Seems a silly question I suppose. Action sports are what we do. It’s what we’ve always done. It’s what we love. Our trade shows are more fun than anybody else’s. We get to take vacations and call them business expenses or, even better, product testing. Uh, not that I’ve ever done that, Mr. Tax Man, sir. But I’ve heard about it.
- All product differentiation is created by advertising and promotion (branding) and design.
- No functional product difference remains exclusive for long.
- The fashion business is huge. The action sports business is tiny.
- The fashion industry encourages product replacement. If we all wore our shoes and apparel as long as we reasonably could, the fashion industry would be a hell of a lot smaller than it is.
- In a product we are encouraged to replace from season to season, function can become less important than form.
- The customer base is no longer easily identified or segmented. Marketing (the process of figuring out who your customer is and why they buy from you) is critical. And challenging.
- Your relationship with core participants is different. You want to sell to them, but they may be more important to you for the legitimacy and brand power they can give you with all the non participants who represent your biggest opportunity for growth.