Dan Kahn on The “State of the Nation” of the Automotive Aftermarket:
Dan Kahn is a well known name in the automotive PR and marketing world and Kahn Media is (in my option) the leader in that space. I’ve known Dan for years and have always found him to have a great understanding of our industry as well as the ability to read the tea leaves on what’s coming next. Long time listeners will remember our time together on a podcast called “Cars for a Living” and I asked him to return today for a “state of the nations” discussion of all things related to PR, media, and the automotive OEM and aftermarket industries.
Dan was into cars ever since birth. He was raised in a car loving family and his earliest jobs were all in parts shops and automotive magazines like Rod and Custom. At one point a friend invited him to join a media company where he learned the business of PR and he has been in that business ever since. He founded Kahn Media in the automotive market fifteen years ago and recently added the luxury market and has expanded his reach even more.
Kahn Media works with many aftermarket companies and Dan said that back in the day he was lucky enough to meet many of the founders like Jack Chisenhall at Vintage Air and Ray Flugger at Flowmaster. As time has moved forward many of these small companies grew to something sizable and have been acquired by larger companies, private equity groups, or even competitors. Some of that has been a positive, and some of that has been a negative. As the landscape of the industry has shifted it’s something that Kahn has had to stay on top of.
When it comes to PR and media, the same can be said. In the past several years in the automotive world print media component died a painful (and very public) death. Longtime magazine titles were gone quickly but today print journals have returned in a limited – and niche – luxury space. In addition, the at-times leading source of automotive media is now that of independent creators on YouTube, Podcasts, and social channels. These media “influencers” have become a staple of what was traditionally filled by the old print journals. TV (and even traditional news) is still a venue that has influence, but in a far different way than it did even five years ago.
One interesting thing Dan commented on is the reality of “shadow banning” usage across nearly all online platforms. Brands that feature an outdoors hunting component (ex. with a firearm) have had issues as have many others for reasons both understandable and baffling. The next step for the industry is understanding how to move forward on new and independent platforms.
You can find out more about Kahn Media on the internet at KahnMedia.com or Treadagency.com. Follow along at LinkedIn.com/in/KahnMedia for some great information. You can also soak in the pictures at Instagram.com/kahnmedia.
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!