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What if ski companies used high tech marketing?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Would they sponsor free technology centers to hook us on the latest gear like MS and Apple do when they give their technology to public schools? At the very least, it makes sense for ski companies to supply the rental equipment used in ski classes: get to the customers when they are most impressionable.

"K2 inside."

Surely there are some spitwads you can hurl at this idea...
post #2 of 10

Not a bad idea.

Myself, I like the K2Women idea -- www.k2women.com

I think ski companies could do a much better job, re: marketing. But, I'm not going to spend my time coming up with a marketing plan -- at least not for free, anyway.
post #3 of 10
At my hill Dynastar supplies all the rentals, as well as having a demo centre with all their new models. They also have a big tent set up right next to the exit of the gondola so you can't miss it (w/ their demo gear).
post #4 of 10

Great idea! (see, I can be agreeable [img]smile.gif[/img] )

It's ridiculous that I can go to an ASC resort and get begged to take out a BMW X5 for the evening for totally free. (Yeah, and it took a lot of begging - not!) Yet nobody there is trying to get me to try the latest equipment for a free run, or at least not marketing it as well.

Yeah, there was some kind of Salomon tent a hike up from the base lodge - but nobody was making it clear whether they were giving free demos, or just hats and brochures.

While the Bimmer guys were positively outgoing. Working the Grand Summit lobby, working the parking lot were people were waiting for the shuttle bus or to get their cars.

You would have thought that the Salomon guys would have been looking for people who had old straight skis to try the "new" skis. Or people with competing brands. Or in my case, already a loyal customer on my XScreams, they'd say "oh, you like your 99 XScreams? You'll just love the Scream Pilots then - they're even sweeter. Here, take these out for a couple of runs."

Not to mention that back in the city they could be offering demos for regulars at ski shops. Yeah, need some kind of security, leave your old boards (maybe while buying a tune) or a card imprint - but get the good stuff out there for a free trial.

The ski industry acts like you have to pay to do a test drive. Imagine if car dealers did that. Well I did run into one jerk dealer 5 years ago who suggested I rent the car from them for a day rather than get off his donut-eating butt and get the model I wanted to test out off the back lot. Didn't make a sale that day and his competition did make a sale 4 hours later.

That's the point - somebody made it easier to try out what I wanted. Even down to the saleswoman saying "why don't you take a longer drive - and really try it out around those hilly corners".
post #5 of 10
You Make some good points,Ski companies have traditionaly relied on the proform deal as a marketing tool.The idea being if Joe, the coolest skier on the mountain is useing the new
"Blaster 5000 Pro Super Comp,""Then that must be the ski for me." The proform deal is not so much a benefit for the skiing professional, as a way for the ski companies to sell skis and bindings. A lot of ski Instrutors have arrangments with ski companies.Lito has his deal with K2,Harold Harbs has his deal with I think, Elan? Other Training Camps and Schools have thier deals as well.How many times have you watched as a racer skids to a halt at the bottem and then steps out of thier binding then starts waving thier ski in a sorta victory celebration?I bet as part of thier deal with Rossi, Solomon,or who ever they are required to do that for the crowds and T V cameras.They also put a lot of effort into demo days and on mountain events.As well as on mountain Demo Centers.Just like cars if you can get the client to test it, The chances of selling that car,ski or whatever are far greater then if they walk into a showroom and just look the car,ski, or whatever and talk with a salesperson.There seems to be more and more Mountain Resorts that maintain a much better rental fleet of high equality skis then in the past.I know that at Deer Valley you rent top of the line Rossi skis and no ski in the fleet is over 2 years old.One thing the ski companies could do better is improve that customer loyalty.They could do that in a number of low cost ways,By requireing the customer to register thier skis for warrenty, they could send out mailers that would offer a free demo from the local ski shop on a new model ski.as an additional incentive they could do like a an Auto comany does and offer rewards for returning customers.Like an additional 10% off the next ski purchase.look Ski manufactures know that the average skier buys new gear about every 8 years, if they could get that customer to buy lets say in 1/2 that time they would sell a lot more skis.and have a lot more profit.
You talked about the differencs in marketing of the BMW to the Salomon skis, well keep in mind that the $45,000.00 SUV has a lot bigger profit margine and a much bigger marketing budget then a $600.00 pair of skis.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 30, 2001 02:27 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Utah49 ]</font>
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Maybe it's not Deer Valley that needs this program but Nub's Knob or Greek Peak. I hear that 80% of the beginners are taught to ski at 20% of the areas. Maybe the 20% are where the ski companies should place the emphasis, just as MS and Apple give preference to needy school districts.
post #7 of 10
Wow, 2nd post this week that mentioned Greek Peak! Brings back those hazy 70's college ski days!

I think nolo's pegged it - it's the entry-level and low-budget hills that need the marketing effort, in addition to the big destination resorts.

Remember the old days of GM Brand marketing, before they made all those boring crummy cars. They got you hooked with affordable Chevys, then traded you up to Pontiacs if you wanted something sportier, or over to Olds and Buick as you aged, with eventually the goal of getting you into a Caddy before you got into a casket. Now I'm not saying that GM's 1950-60's marketing is a classic to be emulated. But they did have a plan to build lifetime owner loyalty.

By the time somebody can afford to go to Deer Valley, they'll buy whatever they want - and they can afford whatever it is they're marketed as the "in" thing. (Not dissing deer valley now - the idea of great groomed slopes and no boarders has definite appeal at least for some days)

But get the affordable, appropriate gear out there where newcomers and aspringing advancing skiiers can try it. These folks are at the Blue Hills or Ragged Mountain or Black Mountain - or Greek Peak. Yes, the relative profits may be lower, but if they are spending the marketing money at all to have a tent somewhere - have one of the people there get out of the tent and work the crowd and the lodge. Don't assume that everyone there knows that there's a free demo day, or that non-ski-gods are welcome. That's a trivial incremental cost over the cost of the road trip and setup they've already spent. And it just might sell a family a set of several pair.

Plus with the eye-opener that skiing on good equipment brings, it may turn occassional skiers into lifelong committed skiers who'll buy now and many times more.
post #8 of 10
I bought Volants because they sent a Volant Humvee with free demos to my local areas. After trying them , they gave me a coupon for $50 off. This was back before they were popular.
post #9 of 10
Did you get to demo the Volant Humvee or just the skis?
post #10 of 10
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