- “You should pick a snowboard based on the terrain you want to ride”
- “The best boots are the boots that fit your feet”
- “Buy outerwear with fully taped seams so water doesn’t get in”
The above are the ways people SHOULD be buying their snowboard gear. Unfortunately should isn’t HOW they actually end up buying their gear.
How most people pick their snowboard gear
4 factors go into most people’s decision making when buying snowboard gear: Brand name, good marketing/claims, design and what their friend says. That’s it.
I’m not saying you guys reading this right now do that because I like to think that if you read this snowboard blog it puts you in the small minority in the world that actually properly researches and picks their snowboard gear.
However, the snowboard world is big and unfortunately, not everyone is like you or me.
Like it or not, most people will buy a snowboard just because it has sweet graphics, it comes from a brand they know, the marketing for that snowboard product says it’s the best thing since sliced bread or their friend says it’s awesome.
Or some combination of all 4 factors.
So why do I bring this up? Well…
How snowboard companies trick you into buying their gear
I’m talking about this because I believe brands have a huge responsibility to their customers. That responsibility to to make sure you meet the expectations of what you advertise and offer to new snowboarders.
Out of all the 4 buying triggers I talked about, 3 of them are directly related to the marketing and sales tactics of each snowboard company. The last factor, word of mouth and social recommendations, is a by-product of both marketing and the quality of the product.
Marketing is what gets you to buy their product and even if you don’t know it, you’re being affected by marketing.
Why do you think companies like Burton sponsor so many instructors? Because snowboarding students will naturally think higher of a snowboard that is being used by the person teaching them to snowboard.
Know what? It works. Good marketing works and it gets you to buy stuff in every single industry in the world.
Ever notice how popular the white iPad and iPhone are? Studies have actually shown those white iphones and ipads outsell the black versions simply because Apple often markets them later as ‘newer’ and therefore ‘cooler’ products.
Heck, you clicked to read this blog because I marketed it well by using a good title. If I titled this blog “Snowboard companies and their responsibility to the customers of their products” I guarantee it would get far less views.
Marketing is neither good or bad, but it does give companies control over how you react and buy from them. This means they have a responsibility to use that power correctly.
If a company offers a snowboard with a new amazing technology that promises to make the rider feel like a magical unicorn, it should dam well make them feel like a unicorn after their clever marketing convinces people to buy it.
I know me saying this won’t change the fact that there’s a lot of companies out there who don’t care about anything else except whether their product sells, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s wrong to take advantage of new snowboarders who don’t know any better.
These are riders who are getting excited to snowboard for the first time and they don’t know whether what you’re telling them is a complete lie or fact and taking advantage of these people is low.
Claim your product is awesome if it’s awesome. Claim your new technology is a huge change in how snowboard bindings perform if it actually is. Claim your product makes Jessica Alba instantly appear in front of you if it actually does that (where do I buy this).
I hate that it’s become common in our industry for companies to produce new technology which doesn’t actually offer any benefit while being marketed as the new greatest invention in snowboarding.
There are better ways to get AND retain customers. All of you snowboard companies that never answer your twitter and facebook messages from fans can start there.