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April 19, 2016
Dream on “Nordhavn Dreamers” sites reach new heights of popularity
Less than 24 hours after getting off the phone with Callum McCormick, he sends an email showing the traffic data for the Nordhavn Dreamers’ Facebook Page. The weekly numbers have jumped 41%. “Insane!” he writes.
The Dreamers’ Facebook page has caught fire these last few months, reaching and exceeding 2,000 all-important “likes” in recent weeks. And perhaps even more impressive, the latest analytics show the Dreamers page is actually seen by triple that number, with post-engagements reaching 8,000. (An engagement is a person who saw a post and reacted to, shared, clicked or commented on it.)
When talking about the evolution and popularity of the Nordhavn fan site, McCormick remains mostly non-chalant, but on occasion can’t help letting slip a comment that evokes a mix of pride, astonishment and excitement. “It’s amazing how people have responded to it. I’ve created a monster!” he jokes.
McCormick, an English businessman, is the visionary who saw the potential in establishing an online forum and fan page centered around people who wished they owned Nordhavns. A crazy concept, maybe, but he felt there must be others like him who longed to live the Nordhavn lifestyle and were eager to discuss that passion with others.
McCormick says the aha moment that led to the idea for the Dreamers site came after he tried – and failed – to gain access to a private Nordhavn owners online round-table. “I desperately wanted to be a part of the Nordhavn Owners Group,” he said referring to the Yahoo-based chat forum consisting of Nordhavn owners, Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) staff and vendor specialists. “Problem is, you need to actually be an owner to get into that!”
Back in 2009, flush with the notion that he would purchase a Nordhavn 62 with the proceeds from selling his recruiting business, McCormick set out to get himself fully entrenched in the Nordhavn lifestyle, which would start by surrounding himself with other owners, hence his attempt to backdoor his way into the Nordhavn Owners Group (NOG). Unfortunately, the sale of his company fell apart and McCormick was left only with his dreams of setting sail on a Nordhavn.
For several months, the Dreamers group consisted of McCormick and one other person who stumbled upon it after he – like McCormick – unknowingly tried to join the NOG sans Nordhavn. “For three months it was just me and this fellow,” recalls McCormick. “We had a good old time talking about Nordhavns, just the two of us!” Once Nordhavn Owners Group moderator Milt Baker caught wind of Dreamers, he began steering anyone who didn’t meet membership requirements of the NOG in McCormick’s direction. The Dreamers group really started taking shape after Baker and other owners signed on, followed by members of PAE staff. With current and former owners’ experience and the manufacturer’s expertise there for the taking, the Dreamers group has become an ideal place for would-be Nordhavn buyers to start planning for a purchase. “If anyone wants to be an owner and is looking for a serious piece of research, [Dreamers Group] is a great tool.”
There are now 2,159 members of the Nordhavn Dreamers Group. And as far as McCormick can tell, it’s the only manufacturer-specific forum of its kind. “(Other boat) owners groups exist, support groups exist. I’ve never found another group like ours,” he said. “Nordhavn is more of a lifestyle. It’s been very easy to slide a Dreamer’s club next to the brand and succeed. It sells itself.”
In fact, it was the success of the Dreamers group that prompted him to launch a Dreamers anti-group, if you will, in the form of a Facebook page. The beauty of the Dreamers Yahoo group is its function as a place where people can ask questions, gain insight, initiate in-depth conversations about various topics, usually technical. But McCormick knew there was a more “fun” side of Dreamers to be had. “The best thing about the Facebook page is I post a picture up there and you get hundreds of people instantly liking it, people able to comment quickly. Say something funny. Facebook is spontaneous, instant, and more social.”
Now in just over two year’s time, the Dreamers Facebook page is closing in on 2,100 fans, and that total grows daily. McCormick will tell you he’s not overly concerned with the numbers. “One thousand fans was a milestone but you always want more; two thousand was great. Now I want 10,000!” he laughs. While the rapidly growing number of “likes” offers some reassurance that people enjoy what he’s doing, McCormick promises it’s not a popularity contest. “It’s a niche dream market and I just want to make sure people who are interested in it do see it.”
Managing two social media sites might seem like a huge undertaking for the full-time business owner, but he insists it doesn’t take up much of his day. “It’s a hobby,” he says. “All good fun.”
It’s also a reminder for him to keep his eye on the prize. Although McCormick has since been granted a ticket into the Owners Group as an honorary member, it’s not the way he had originally hoped to gain access. But he’ll take it for now while he works hard on meeting the group’s main eligibility requirement.