Entries by jeff

Public Wisdom, Maybe; Comparing the 1999 and 2000 Buyers Guides

I hold in my hand the Transworld Skateboard Buyers Guides from 1999 and 2000. Everything you could possibly want to know about decks, trucks, wheels, and bearings are in these guides.  Well, okay, Transworld exercises some discretion in which brands make it into the guide and which don’t.   All the product from each brand isn’t necessarily […]

Snowboards from Afar; The Potential Impact on Retailers

In the early 90’s, when snowboards started pouring into the U.S. from the Austrian ski factories, there were claims that consumers wouldn’t accept boards labeled “Made in Austria.” Mostly, those claims were made by U.S. factories threatened by foreign production. If there was a marketing advantage to a board “made in the USA,” it didn’t last long, […]

Using Consumer Data for Marketing Decisions; “Yeah, We Ought to do More of That.”

It’s a bad idea to write something requiring you to talk to the marketing people at snowboard companies during the selling/tradeshow season. But the topic is a critical one. Most companies in this industry don’t do a good a job collecting and utilizing consumer information as they should. They understand that success in a tough market requires it, […]

Sam And The Gradunzel-Eating Monster; It’s (hopefully) a fairy tale.

Long, long ago in an industry far, far away (cue the heroic music), the sale of moss-covered, three-handled family gradunzels* had taken off. Now, gradunzels had been around for a long time, and they were manufactured by a dedicated group of companies, the founders and owners of which had been among the earliest users of […]

Snowboarding the Internet; Taking the Tour at 26.4

Slow connections suck. So while we wait for my 56k modem to connect at 26.4 kbs, consider this. All the dotcoms with money (typically from an egregiously successful public offering) are advertising like mad. On TV, on the sides of buses, everywhere.   Why?   Because there’s not much difference between Barnes&Noble.com and Amazon.com if you want […]

Changes in Market Focus; The New Snowboarding Reality

Most of us are in a different business than we were a few years ago. Retailer, brand, manufacturer, or even consultant, our customers have changed. There are only a handful of companies out there that can say they are snowboard companies. Others have adjusted their strategies, or aren’t around anymore.  Remember the “C” word? Consolidation wasn’t just about a […]