Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz
Actually, it is brilliant.
Here's the deal: Santana wants to know who's out shopping for tandems and has built a marketing model around their extensive catalog and the premise that making personal contact with a potential customer is the best way to secure a sale. Therefore, their website although more fully populated today has traditionally been quite sparse to entice visitors to request a catalog. The catalog request does a couple things in that it:
1. Adds the tandem shopper to their permanent client data base and mailing list for the annual catalog and the supplemental tour brouchure that also comes out about once a year (I'm stilll getting mine some 10+ years later).
2. It puts Santana's very colorful, images of happy tandem team-laden catalog in the hands of the shopper who will likely put it on a coffee table or, better yet, in the "reading room" where it will continue to be seen and picked up by other members of the family or even passed along to friends.
3. It causes a dealer contact sheet to be mailed along with the catalog that provides the name of your closest, authorized Santana dealer.
4. It puts your name and contact information in the hands of that same Santana dealer who may elect to call you or simply have that name sitting by their phone/computer so that they'll recognize who you are and where you live if and when you contact them.
5. It also means Santana's staff can punch your name into their client data base when you call to see if you're listed and, if not, will offer to send you a catalog, etc...
Now, guess what: there aren't any geometry tables in the catalog either. Why? Because Santana would prefer for you to make up your mind by riding their tandems, not simply comparing specs that may or may not mean anything to the average tandem buyer and that, after all, is their focus: the folks who are most likely to buy a Santana and, frankly, they know their market segment as well as anyone. Alternatively, and assuming you don't run across a dealer or enthusiast who happens to know what those numbers are, the hope is that you'll call or contact Santana or one of it's authorized dealers to ascertain that information. Again, the name of the game to Santana appears to be make personal contact with the client.
Just my .02, noting that I'm neither a Santana owner or dealer just an industry watcher, enthusiast and consumer advocate.