Shop Local at the Hickory Farmers Market

Man working at farmer's market taking cash from customer


On Wednesday and Saturday mornings from April until the end of November, the Hickory Farmers Market brings the city together for the freshest and finest goods our North Carolina purveyors have to offer.

From the fresh regional produce to the imaginative creations of local artists, the farmers market puts the unique character of our community on vibrant display. The gathering at Union Square in downtown Hickory has become a great opportunity to mingle with friends, neighbors, and the people that provide the food we all enjoy.

The Market

The Hickory Farmers Market presents a wide variety of local goods that change with the season. Farmers, chefs, and other purveyors will bring their best offerings to the market, and the stands will feature a colorful assortment of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, honey, flowers, preserves, meats, seafood, and more. Arts and crafts tables will also display the handiwork of our local artisans. The market brings in an average of 45 unique vendors, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Eating in Season

Since the season dictates what’s available, the vendors’ offerings may very well be different each time you visit. Regular patrons can find watermelon, green peppers, and sweet blueberries in the summer, and can expect pumpkins to appear as the heat gives way to an autumn chill. Of course, peanuts and sweet potatoes are perennial mainstays. Some items like field peas, pecans, and white potatoes have a very brief harvest, so be sure to pick them up whenever you see them!

Make Your Plans

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through the summer and fall. In November, the market is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep in mind that the market will be closed on October 12 for Oktoberfest.

You might also like:  Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Our mission is to assist car dealerships through our expertise in E-mail marketing, digital marketing, direct mail marketing, and more. Our honed marketing strategies can open up multiple avenues for new business to follow directly to your automotive dealership. We offer a dynamic range of services to help you draw traffic to your website, and all our campaigns are proficiently designed and executed to drive prospective customers to your door.

If you would like to hear more about what Prospect Vision can do for your business, come by our office to speak with one of our friendly team members today. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re standing by to help you achieve your goals!

Don’t Miss The Downtown Hickory Art Crawl This May

Flowers and photographs


If you like to admire art, shop for artwork, talk to artists, or just enjoy a good time out and about in the community with your friends and neighbors, then you won’t want to miss the Downtown Hickory Art Crawl. This year’s festival takes place Wednesday, May 15, and will bring some of the best local art to an easily walkable 4-block area of downtown Hickory.

A Sidewalk Gallery

Make plenty of time to stroll among the exhibits and take in the varied works from more than 60 different artists, all set to a backdrop of music to fuel your artistic appreciation. Browse masterpieces of pottery, paintings, woodwork, and other art media and chat with the artists on hand about their process and inspiration.

The artwork isn’t just to admire; it’s also for sale. Support our local artists and select some lovely original pieces with which to infuse your home interiors at the same time.

Art Crawl Details

Join the Art Crawl kickoff parties at 5 p.m. at Full Circle Arts (42-B Third Street NW) and Trade Alley Arts (25 Second Street NW). Make sure to grab a map of the Art Crawl and check out the participating artists so you can plan your evening. Also, don’t miss out on your chance to win a $25 gift certificate by having your Art Crawl map stamped at these four locations:

  • Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse (29 Second Street NW)
  • C&C Trading Company (221 1st Avenue NW #108)
  • Splendique Fashion Boutique (246D Union Square)
  • Craft Beer Cellar (109 Government Avenue SW).

Downtown Hickory Art Crawls are sponsored by the Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Jackson Creative, and Focus Newspaper.

Related: Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Your automotive dealership deserves the best possible marketing to achieve the best possible results. That’s what we strive for at Prospect Vision, where we take a tried-and-true, effective approach to full-service marketing that’s geared to increase your overall impact in the industry and drive traffic to your website.

Our approach implements focused Direct Mail Marketing, E-Mail Marketing, Direct Marketing, and other campaigns thoughtfully designed and implemented to get your business the attention it deserves.

Ready to learn what Prospect Vision can do for you? Simply contact us or stop by our Hickory location at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, for a friendly face-to-face consultation with our knowledgeable team members. We look forward to working with you!

Timing is Everything When Getting Customers to Upgrade a Vehicle

Flowing hourglass on wooden table; Twilight blue


In July of 2018, CARMAX published a loyalty report from customers who traded in cars. Using their data, CARMAX explored which cars people own at trade-in and what they purchase as their next car. Did they stay with the same brand or not? Are people loyal to the same type of car they used to drive (i.e., do SUV owners keep buying SUVs or do they switch to sedans)? This was a great test case because, given choices of dozens of brands in close proximity, what percentage would stay with the brand they were driving. New car retention hovers around 52 percent, but given freedom of choice, what would consumers pick?

The highest ranked vehicles traded in for the same vehicle was only 30 percent. That means three out of 10 repurchased the same brand, at best. The average was closer to 20 percent. In this new era of digital-based competition and customer control, people are increasingly buying because of a brand’s relevance to their needs in the moment.

The truth of the matter is that loyalty is waning. And you don’t want to take the chance of your customer picking something else. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5 percent can increase profits 25–95 percent. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60–70 percent, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5–20 percent.

Timing is Everything

A new vehicle purchase is still an impulse buy. A friend of mine in the car business always used to say, “Rarely does anybody really have to have a new vehicle. Somewhere in their brains, they have justified a new vehicle.” The service lane is the optimum location for capitalizing on relevance and timing. The customer is thinking about their vehicle, they may be questioning if it is time for a new vehicle, or a new model may have caught their eye on the way to the service lane. This is the perfect time to insert yourself into a conversation.

Having a dedicated person or team is a great way to help ensure that you’re in the conversation. This way, their main focus is on transitioning service customers to new or used vehicle sales. Having a person that becomes used to dealing with these transitioning prospects is an important asset. Having someone that has learned the nuances of nudging a prospect along increases the chance of the sale.


You have to find the right customer who is in the perfect equity position to upgrade to a new vehicle. Once the service appointment is set, look at the customer’s history and their equity and see if the time is right to draw them toward a new car. Providing them with a loaner while their car is getting serviced is a great way to help transition them from the service drive into sales. Prepare some offers for the customer, and once the car is returned and they say they love it, provide them with the offers to purchase the vehicle with no money out of pocket. Thanks to your data, you already knew the customer’s situation before they arrived and were able to draft offers that fit their particular situation.

Don’t Fall Prey to the Status Quo

To succeed in the non-loyalty era, dealers must be continuously willing to abandon old practices. As new technologies shift customer journeys and expectations, they can (and should) also enhance companies’ abilities to engage with customers in more relevant ways. Often, the greatest roadblock is a dealer’s lack of willingness to transform their processes, organizations, and mindset into something new.

Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Bartender pouring beer


There’s no shortage of great breweries in and around Hickory. With such a tremendous variety of style and atmosphere, there’s something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed patio setting with friends and a pale ale, or a cozy interior with a soothing stout, you’re bound to find a taproom that suits your tastes. Get to know a few local institutions below:

Granite Falls Brewing Company

Built into a 116-year-old former soda pop site, Granite Falls has become a go-to Hickory hangout.  When you visit, you may hear music on the dog-friendly patio or explore the history of the old Granite Bottling Works. On draft, the year-round offerings include the bold Hoppalachia, and springtime arrivals include the light but tart Blueberry Falls.

Fonta Flora Brewery

For a decidedly rustic vibe, check out the agriculturally-inspired Fonta Flora. The master brewers combine English and Belgian brewing sensibility with true Appalachian resources. You can taste the storied region’s unique terroir in the sweet honey of the Ticky Ticky Buzz, or the Appalachian heritage red corn in the Bloody Butcher grisette.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Enjoy a good brew for a good cause at Appalachian Mountain Brewery, who donate a portion of their taproom sales to local nonprofits and charities. Perineal offerings include the award-winning Boone Creek Blond Ale, chocolate and coffee Porter, and a variety of ciders. The drinks lighten up for springtime, with seasonal brews like the crisp Belay on Saison V11, the fruity yet bitter Dry County Pale Ale, and the Hoppy Snazzy Fresh, whose name tells you everything you need to know.

Blowing Rock Brewing

In addition to a selection of fine craft brews, Blowing Rock Brewing also features its own inn, complete with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, and spa-inspired toiletries. Downstairs, brews range from the floral and citrus High Country Ale to the rich Big Chocolate Porter. In the springtime, don’t miss the refreshing Mountain Spring Juicy Hopped Blonde Ale.

You might also like: Check Out the Selection at Olde Hickory Tap Room

Learn More About Prospect Vision

See the best possible results from our proficient marketing approach for your automotive dealership. We offer a variety of services to help you drive traffic to your website, with E-mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, Digital Marketing, and other campaigns expertly designed and executed to lead prospective buyers to your dealership.

If you would like to learn more about what Prospect Vision can do for you, come by and speak with one of our insightful team members today. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re standing by to help you succeed!

Hickory’s Spring Fling Craft Show

Jewelry on display at street festival

Spring has sprung here in Hickory, and there’s no better way to welcome the season than with the Spring Fling Craft Show.

On April 13, more than 80 artisans and purveyors will stock their booths with all kinds of unique gifts and treasures. There’s no telling what you may find when you browse the tables across the Hickory Metro Convention center. You might come home with a charming necklace, a boutique fashion statement, or an elegant still life painting for your dining room.

When and Where

The event starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. It will be held at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. It lasts until 4 p.m., and admission is free to the public.

What to Expect

With over 80 arts and crafts vendors at this year’s event, you can expect a little bit of everything. In the past, we’ve seen handmade wreaths, colorful jewelry, vibrant tie-dye, beautiful paintings, fragrances, apparel, and more. It all comes courtesy of regional artists and small businesses. Judges will survey the offerings at each table and declare the best-in-show by the day’s end.

Learn More About Prospect Vision

With our proficient marketing approach, you can expect tangible results for your automotive dealership. We offer a diverse range of services to help drive traffic to your website, with Digital Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, and other campaigns specifically designed and executed to lead potential buyers to your lot.

If you’d like to learn more about what Prospect Vision can do for you, we invite you to come visit us and speak with one of our team members today. We are conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re ready to help your business succeed!

Attend the Catawba Valley Pottery Antiques Festival This March

Blue pottery works in okinawa

Surround yourself with North Carolina’s ongoing craft traditions this Saturday at the 22nd Annual Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival! The event brings in artisans from across the state to exhibit their beautiful stoneware, textiles furniture, baskets, and more. The non-profit event benefits the Catawba County Historical Association and the North Carolina Pottery Center.

When and Where

The main event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 and lasts until 5 p.m. It will be held at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, located at 1960 13th Av. Drive SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children 12 years old and under. The Friday Night Preview Party requires tickets to be purchased online in advance for $45.

What to Expect

On Saturday, over 100 vendors will offer their handmade wares, demonstrating the continuation of a deep-rooted North Carolina craft. While technique and style vary from artist to artist, you’ll see the pottery made just as it has been for generations. From wheel to kiln, the glazed earthenware on display represents a genuine folk tradition that has survived through the Industrial Revolution and modern convenience. You’ll find elegant vases, colorful accent pieces, jovial jugs faces, contemporary coffee mugs, and more.

Don’t miss the preview party on Friday night, where you may enjoy live music, classic Southern food, a cash bar with two complimentary drinks, an early buying opportunity, and even a chance at winning a $200 shopping spree for the next day.

Learn More About Prospect Vision

We can custom-craft our marketing approach to support your automotive dealership. We deliver a dynamic range of of services to drive traffic to your website, with Direct Mail Marketing, Digital Marketing, E-mail Marketing, and other campaigns specially designed and implemented to lead potential buyers to your showroom.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Prospect Vision can do for your business, we encourage you to come by to speak with our team today. We are conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re prepared to help your dealership succeed!

See What’s Playing This March & April At The Hickory Community Theatre


Whether you’re seeing a larger-than-life Broadway show or a strikingly high-quality community production, everyone loves the theatre. Lucky residents of Hickory, North Carolina, have access to a variety of excellent stage productions at the historic Hickory Community Theatre. See what’s taking center stage in the coming months, part of the season that marks this theatre’s 70th.

End Days

This off-beat, funny, thoughtful, and engaging production centers on a 16-year-old girl as she navigates her days with complicated parents, an Elvis-impersonating admirer, and the Apocalypse. The show runs March 1 through March 17, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Based on the novel of the same name by Mark Haddon, this show follows an intelligent but misunderstood 15-year-old boy who is accused of killing his neighbor’s dog. His attempts to find the real culprit leads him on a life-altering journey and an earth-shattering discovery. This show runs March 29 through April 14, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Hickory Community Theatre

The theatre is located at 30 Third Street NW, in Hickory’s Old City Hall. With roots stretching all the way back to 1947, when the idea of the theatre was born, Hickory Community Theatre has grown in popularity, scope, and success over the years. The 2018–2019 season marks a milestone for the theatre, as it celebrates its 70th production lineup.

You can view the seating charts and purchase tickets on the theatre’s website. Season tickets and special ticket packages are also available.

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Get the best possible results from our expert approach to marketing for your automotive dealership. We provide a variety of services to help you drive traffic to your website, with Direct Mail Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Digital Marketing, and other campaigns carefully organized and implemented to get your dealership attention from prospective buyers.

If you would like to discuss what Prospect Vision can do for you, stop by and speak with one of our helpful team members today. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we can’t wait to help you succeed!

Spend The Night At Catawba Science Museum

night at the museum


If your child lives for hands-on discovery, scientific exploration through play, and just plain fun, then the upcoming Night at the Museum at Catawba Science Center was planned with them in mind. The event takes place Friday, February 22, so there’s still time to register.

A Night to Remember

This event promises fun for the whole family, with hands-on science classes, a planetarium show, and a unique slumber party inside everyone’s favorite science museum! The classes are designed for children in third through sixth grades, but siblings are also welcome – and even parents will have a great time.

The price for members is $20 and for nonmembers is $25. The whole family can sleep amid their favorite Catawba Science Center exhibits and wake up to breakfast, Slime Time, and more exploration and play.

Register by calling (828) 322-8169 or emailing Space is limited to 90 people, and payment must accompany registration. Don’t miss this special event!

Discoveries at the Science Center

Catawba Science Center brings learning to life for kids of all ages. This beloved venue invites visitors to discover through play and to learn by exploring.

Rotating and permanent exhibits and special attractions of all kinds make the Catawba Science Center a unique experience every time you visit. Here are a few visitor favorites:

  • Carpenter Hall – Featuring hands-on activities that foster critical thinking through free play, allowing kids to design, build, and explore with a variety of tools and materials at their disposal.
  • Aquarium – Freshwater and saltwater aquariums feature respective inhabitants to observe. There is also a coastal North Carolina habitat where visitors can see and resident marine creatures. There is also a shark and stingray touch pool and daily shark feedings.
  • Milholland Planetarium – Featuring exciting shows like Stars: Powerhouses of the Universe, Laser Legacies, and Seasonal Stargazing.

Other big draws include Germ Zone, Hall of Astronomy, Gross Labs, RaceWays, and Science Courtyard.

Related community content: Beer, Wine and Grub: Check out the Selection at Olde Hickory Tap Room

Let Prospect Vision Boost Your Dealership’s Success

Looking to drive traffic to your automotive dealership? Prospect Vision can help! We combine focused email, digital marketing, and direct mail initiatives to drive customers to your dealership, increasing sales, market share, and customer retention. Contact us to speak with one of our friendly marketing experts about how we can customize a plan for your unique business and get the fast, effective results you want!

Mastering Service Lane Marketing

service lane mechanic

“Customers don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” – Steve Jobs

When customers shop, they either browse vehicles that might catch their fancy, or they gravitate toward a vehicle that fits their needs in the best possible way. How you approach these people and the environment you place them in is critical to your success.

If your customers don’t really need a new vehicle but are in an equity position, then you need to give them a promotional experience – an excuse to buy. But, if they need a new vehicle due to costly repairs or obsolescence, then you give them information – logic.

One size does not fit all

You’re more likely to convince customers to buy or trade for a vehicle if your strategy aligns with their mindset. You need to have your service lane ready for both promotional and logical purchase mindsets.

Q: What makes car shoppers consider a vehicle they don’t really need?

A: Positives

Unengaged customers are more likely to consider buying a new product if they anticipate a “win,” or if that product promises a feeling or an experience that is new or exciting. An example would be building off-road displays for crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks Or, an example of increased cargo capacity (bikes, kayaks, golf clubs, luggage, etc.) can be effective in giving the customer a visual for a new experience.

Unengaged customers are put off by taxing, factual details. One possible reason is that when shoppers imagine the feeling or experience a product promises, they’re using the brain’s daydreaming mode. You can only daydream if your mind is allowed to wander, and it can’t wander if your attention is absorbed in numbers.

Look at your service lane. Is it just nuts and bolts? (Pun intended) Is the service lane included in the dealerships sales activities? In addition to providing service information, does it communicate that NOW is a good time to trade up?

Q: How do you convert a “need” buyer?

A: Information

If you have a need buyer and it would be advantageous for them to switch to another vehicle, then you need to give them information. Give clear, detailed specifications and offer accurate comparisons to maintaining their current vehicle vs. buying or leasing a new one. Here is a checklist for the information buyer:

Fuel economy – Gas prices may be low now, but chances are they’ll rise again. The fuel economy of new U.S. cars and trucks hit a record 24.7 miles per gallon.

Repair costs – How much it costs to repair your current car. If your annual repair bills exceed a year’s worth of car payments, then it’s time to start shopping.

How much value your car continues to lose – Cars depreciate significantly over the first few years of ownership, often more rapidly than your monthly payments are paying down the loan, putting you upside-down financially.

Safety – Every car should have:

  • Backup camera
  • Curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability control (ESC)
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-departure warning
  • A “Good” score in the IIHS small-overlap test

Only the latest designs do well in the difficult small-overlap front crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Many of today’s high-tech cars work to avoid crashes altogether, warning the driver about hazards and sometimes responding to threats quickly. Advanced systems can automatically slow or completely stop a car. Visibility aids such as rear cameras and blind-spot monitoring show what’s around you, helping situational awareness.

Connected features – Almost every recent car has these as standard.

  • Hands-free phone usage
  • USB port for plugging in a phone
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity

Specialty items

  • Voice commands recognition
  • Built-in navigation
  • Ability to use integrated apps like Pandora or Spotify

At the very end, signing the contract to buy a vehicle is an emotional decision. It’s a significant commitment. But, knowing a customer’s mindset along the way can help you determine the best path to take on the way to a sale.

Reaching Women Shoppers Through Direct Mail

Woman reading direct mail


According to the National Mail Order Association, women have exclusive responsibility for sorting mail and choosing which items to keep for further consideration in two-thirds of U.S. households. By many other accounts, more than 80 percent of those who pick up the mail across the country every day are women, most of whom also serve as the primary shoppers both on and offline for their households.

Women also tend to read each and every direct mail piece addressed to them.

A report from the marketing website found that 65 percent of new cars are purchased by the woman of the household.  American women spend about $5 trillion annually. This represents over a quarter of U.S. Gross Domestic Product. For retailers, women shoppers are their largest target audience.

As digital advertising continues to grow, the effectiveness of direct mail cannot be overlooked. As online shopping increases each year, it is important to note that studies show that 67 percent of online action is driven by offline messages. A study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that 78 percent of consumers react to direct mail immediately when they receive mail from a brand that they’re interested in. Forty-four percent visit the brand’s website and 34 percent search online for more information about the product.

Before you drop your next mail piece be sure to keep your female recipients top-of-mind:

  • Sell customer service — Women want to know how the transaction is going to be handled. They prefer nice and easy. Make a customer care representative available by phone to strengthen the relationship and pave the way for a smooth transaction.
  • Impart useful information — Women do their research before buying and like to know why making this purchase is a good decision. In addition to expressing why it’s a great deal, include why it’s a smart deal.
  • Be personal — Use first names in the copy and make each recipient feel special with messaging that is polite, factual and smart.

Women drive 70–80 percent of all consumers purchasing through their buying power and influence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a salesperson mishandle a female customer. Remember, they not only buy for themselves but also direct purchases for their partners, children, parents, in-laws, nieces and nephews. Placing direct mail in women decision-maker hands provides you with a tremendous opportunity. Female shoppers easily constitute a vast majority of vehicle purchase decision-makers.

From cars to healthcare to vacations, women are calling the shots at home. They pick up and read mail, place orders, and use coupons at retail locations. Dealers need to acknowledge the dominance of decision-making women and personally address them directly through the mailbox.