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brand loyalty

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This poll gauges how brand-loyal the EpicSki community is.
post #2 of 24
While polls can be fun, please keep in mind that there is a very diverse group in the epic community. Whether a person will get new skis every year can depend a lot on being 'in the business' more then 'can you afford to spend a $1000' so put some effort in allowing an option such as:
Do you want new boots this year?
wish I could afford some

you get the idea.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Very good point, Ryel. Thanks for the feedback. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #4 of 24
I think we all know what brand loyalty is. As to myself, I am category loyal. By that I mean I have a certain criteria for my skis and boots. There maybe 2 0r 3 brands that fill that criteria. Then I narrow down the selection process. In a nut shell I am category loyal.
post #5 of 24
I tend to be more loyal in boots. A Tecnica last fits my foot, so I know that a new one will usually fit the same.

AS far as skis, My last 3 pairs were Volkl, but only because I like the way they ski. I tend to demo skis during the year, get opinions, try friends skis, then buy. I also read the ski magazine reviews, but take their recommendations with a large grain of salt.
post #6 of 24
"...but only because I like the way they ski."

THAT has got to be the WEIRDEST rationale for picking a ski that I have EVER heard.
post #7 of 24
I am brand loyal, but more than that I have a very strong stigma against brands that I haven't liked in the past or even have had a bad day on...

Rossignols are good examples, I was using a pair of rentals that were well beyond their usable life. They were so badly worn, the left ski had a visible permanent reverse camber so forever in my mind I have a superstition about rossignol skis even though they make some of the highest performing skis on the market.

I still am brand loyal heavily to K2, Atomic, and Salomon, and neutral to most others even thogh my stigma towards some skis is purely psychlogical and not related to the actual performance of the skis.

Is there a sports psychologist out there???
post #8 of 24
Is there a sports psychologist out there???
Shrink this:

I get new skis when I find the best pair at the best price in the ski swap.

post #9 of 24
I am 99% loyal to bindings(Look/Rossi), 75% loyal to boots (Lange) and am reasonably open about skis - currently on Dynastar but interested in Stockli, Volkl, Rossignol, K2, Salomon. My binding loyalty means that I won't even consider most of the integrated ski/binding systems, I would consider Atomic skis except I can't put Look bindings on them so they are out.

I am surprised to see more people are ski loyal than boot loyal given that each boot maker has a particular last (wide/narrow etc) and most peoples feet just fit some brands better than others. Which skis you like is much more subjective especially recently as skis each feel so different, even the same ski in different lengths can feel totally different.
post #10 of 24
I learned to ski on Rossi 15 years ago, and haven't skied anything else ( cept to demo) I'm happy with Rossi ski. Marker has been my choice of binding ever since they came out with the selective control binding.
I spent 6 years in Lange boots. Last year tried a pair of Technica boots on, and my feet have been happy since.
No i don't buy new gear every year. It's to costly, even for those of us lucky enough to get good deals, other than Pro from.
post #11 of 24
Tecnica boots, that's my first loyalty.
I bought those TNT of mine after skiing for some time with Salomon S92 racing rear entry boots, real comfy, nice to use in pow (well, that stuff we call pow here...) or in moguls, but as for skiing with some power fast turns, absolutely not the kind of boots I wanted. In comparison, I suffered a bit with my TNTs
at the beginning, but after I found the ideal setting they feel like slippers and even I am aware that after 10 yrs they need replacement, I am hesitant to do so. I would buy a pair ot ICON XT (the racing ones) for one reason : no gizmos like cant adjustments or forward lean or stiffness adj. On the downside, I decided not to:
a) at 336 euro, discounted, they are too expensive for my pockets, b) I fear they are too stiff for the use I intend to make.
I am considering Nordica dobermann, but I couldn't find a discounted pair from last season, and this season's are too expensive, yet.
So, it's another season on Tecnica TNT, they've served me well.
As for skis, no questions, Volkl. No real rationale behind that.
I may ski any brand which I can put my hands on, provided the prices are affordable. Althougt I've yet to find a brand which
is as durable as Volkl. What I mean is, Volkls "maintain" their level of performance throughtout the years, as compared to Rossi, that the first year perform like the Ferraris they are, and the second year, they are nearly dead (this applies to my limited experience of stock skis). At least Volkl deterioration in performances is less noticeable.
Bindings, I've always wished Marker, but always ended up with Salomons, even on my current P40 F1. Again, a question of money.
post #12 of 24

I'm not sure YEARS is the right metric considering that some people in here ski 100-days and some five. Maybe DAYS of skiing would have been better. Or at least a question that asked about skiing frequency.

My guess is that the bulk of people who answered 3-5 years probably will ski <50 days in that period. You probably do that before Christmas!

post #13 of 24
I used to have nearly religious fevor about certain brands of skis. These days I'm much more a whore to whoever will give them to me! [img]smile.gif[/img] They all seem to ski pretty well these days, as long as you are on the shape and flex you desire - tune seems to stand out more to me.

Boots have always been a matter of what fits my freak feet more than anything else.

Something that did also occur to me sometime ago is that if any one ski company *really* had an incredible edge over the other, only their athletes would be winning all the competitions.
post #14 of 24
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):

Something that did also occur to me sometime ago is that if any one ski company *really* had an incredible edge over the other, only their athletes would be winning all the competitions.
Along those lines, it will be very interesting to see how Bode Miller does this year on Rossi's. Rumor is he got a *huge* pile of money to switch from Fischer, so now perhaps we'll see if the skis make any difference.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I agree with Todd, that all the major manufacturers are building great skis. When all products are pretty even in a category, all that remains to differentiate them are consumer perceptions about the brand. Does brand A's performance hold up over the years or does the ski go soft after 100 days? Does brand B have a no-questions-asked warranty? Features of the brand that come into play after the sale are often what decide "brand loyalty."

The last question on the poll was to get a read on people's identification with the brand. Think of all the rear and side windows you've seen the Oakley sticker, the weathered barns with a red-white-blue K2 on them, teenage athletes with the swoosh shaved into their hair, middle aged Harley fans who have been tattooed with the HD logo.

I can understand how we would have less loyalty to boots, because there's a lot happening in boot designs these days. The boot market is in a state of technological disruption, which often inspires defection from the Comfy Old Shoe to the New Boot Technology.

Just a few thoughts on results of this casual poll. I should do one for those who have a quiver of skis--is your quiver one-brand or a brand sampler?
post #16 of 24
Nolo, to answer you question,
except for a pair K2 slalom skis, that I've now classified O (for obsolete) because they've nothing left to give, all other skis are Voelkl (two going to be O soon as well).
post #17 of 24
or you could do one on "would you wear a K2 hat if the rep gave it to you."
post #18 of 24
I'm still on my first pair of skis and my first pair of boots. This makes the questions a bit harder to answer.. but you could have asked if I'm going to buy the same again next time (ans: only if I think they're the best buy, no particular brand loyalty). How 'bout poles? I picked a brand last time because they were the only ones in my length in stock.
post #19 of 24
I wonder what has caused people to decide to get new skis this year. While most people seem to get new skis either every 2 years or 3-5 years most people are going to be on new skis this year.
post #20 of 24
Not me, unless Santa brings one [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #21 of 24
I was all set to buy K2 skis this year. A buddy of mine put a guilt trip on me about how K2 moved all the USA jobs and manufacturing to China. Now I don't know what to do.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
K2 moved its manufacturing plant to China, but sales and marketing and corporate offices are still at Vashon. As far as I know, no one makes skis (or sneakers or clothing) in the U.S. anymore, because the cost of supporting U.S. entitlement programs would price these products out of the market (since all the other companies build theirs overseas).

Buy the K2s. We live in a global economy. Might as well enjoy it.

(Disclaimer: I work for the company as an ambassador.)
post #23 of 24
The first question asks whether or not I will use new skis for the coming season. I answered yes, but The truth is that while I would like to get new skis, it will depend on finding a good deal. Every ski that I have ever bought for myself, and all but two of the skis that I have bought for other people have been used rentals or demos.

The skis that I have now are Salomon Axendo 9 PR 5/6 that I bought out of the back of the Salomon reps van for $150 at the annual pre-season intructors meeting.

I have put three seasons (30 to 35 days per season) on them, and the left one is bent in front of the binding, but if I can't find a good deal on newer skis I will keep on using the Axendos. I hate buying skis because I don't know what the lines are. I not only don't know what to buy, I don't know what to try. I would like to try Atomic 9.12 and 9.18 or whatever the current equivilent is, but I have absolutely no brand loyalty. The skis that I have now are Rosignol and Salomon, but I would be happy to go to Atomic or K2 or Vokle or anything else.

I got new boots last year. I really liked my Technika boots, but in retrospect, I'm not sure why. They didn't fit. My calves were way too big for them, and also since I have more meat on the outside of my calf than on the inside the boot cuffs were pushed way out of line. Talk about a wide track. To get both skis flat on the snow I had to ski with my feet about two feet apart.

My new boots are Nordica 9.2, which I would not even have tried on except that I was at the Green Mountain Orthotic Lab, and thats what the guy brought out. My general feeling is that Nordica is for weenies, but they fit perfectly. The are short enough to get under the big part of my calf, so they are not too tight, and they don't get pushed out of line as much. The boot cuff adjustment is sufficient for the amount that they were out of line, so I didn't have to do anything radical like having the soles ground. So, even though if I have any brand feeling it is anti-Nordica, I bought them.
post #24 of 24
Nolo, it's sad, but seen from here, I was really happy to buy
K2 for exactly the same reason you said. They were MADE IN THE USA.
I accepted it, and anyway the price I paid was not more than what I paid for my Völkl.
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