Building a Scuba Community: Part Two

Building a Scuba Community. Part Three. The Dive Bus, Curacao.


In this issue, we continue to find and promote great ideas from scuba businesses.


This month we take you to Curacao to my favourite Dive Shop in the Caribbean, the Dive Bus. The team works hard with owners Mark and Suzie Pinnel and their great manager Zoe. This is a business that knows the concept of building a community.


From the first time you arrive at their place, you feel a welcome part of their family of divers. I and many others are repeat customers as we always feel at home. Now that is how you build a community of divers to build your business.


I could write an entire article on the welcoming atmosphere at Dive Bus, but this article will focus on one of their many great ideas!


Who among us divers have been to a tropical island diving and picked up a t-shirt? Correct, we all have a drawer full of them at home. And for those of us from colder parts of the world, I am Canadian, and for a large part of the year, that drawer is exactly where those warm-weather shirts stay.


Now let me ask another question. Who among us divers have been to a tropical island and purchased a cold-weather hooded sweater and a wool toque (hat)? If you are like me, you answer “No” to this question.


Well, imagine my surprise when I stepped again into the Dive Bus, and there were different colours of cold-weather hooded sweaters and wool toques (hats) on the shelves in front of me.


The marketing part of me just had to ask Mark why? Then after hearing his thoughts, I wondered why not?


Mark’s answers were.

1. These items keep us warm when we go to trade shows.

2. Our customers must stay warm when their plane brings them home and in their colder climates.

3. After our customers are home, they wear these items regularly. They are not hidden in drawers.


What was obvious to The Dive Bus may not be so obvious to many of us.


This store is about more than selling someone a sweater or a hat. In addition, it is a great way to build a community around your business.


The upfront benefits are relatively straightforward. First, sales! Give people what they need and want. Then there is the always great advertising of having people walking around wearing your logo. But there is so much more going on here, building a community!


By way of cold-weather clothing, the Dive Bus has expanded its reach and community of divers. These people have bought not only clothing items but The Dive Bus Experience. And then, they brought it to their personal home community, thus expanding their circle of divers by way of visual awareness, repetition of the message, and without doubt word of mouth advertising. You just have to be asked by friends, family and co-workers about The Dive Bus experience.


Take a moment to examine your dive business. Perhaps, hooded sweaters and toques are not going to help you increase your community of divers, but what would? Try your ideas, and if you need help, contact us at info@ScubaBiz.Help.


Whether you are looking for a place to bring a group of divers, a group of students to be certified or if you simply want to be inspired. As an instructor, this is a shop that you want to visit.


Check them out!

The Dive Bus, Shore Diving (@dive_bus_curacao) • Instagram photos and videos

Better yet, visit them in person!

Yours in fun, safe diving, Bill Doran

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