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Friday, September 12, 2008

Use of Innovative Marketing Techniques Brings Success

Do they sell Rollerblades anymore? I remember owning a pair when I was a kid. Apparently Rollerblades were designed to help hockey players train during the offseason. Then it sort of became a cultural phenomenon.

Today there is a product called a Flowboard, which looks like a skateboard but rides like a surfboard. The owners of the company have a goal of bringing the experience of carving deep powder and ocean waves to the asphalt, making Flowboarding the newest skating sensation.
The Flowboard was developed in 1999 by some students in San Francisco, as a means to skate down the steep hillsides. One of Mike Kern’s employees took it to work one day, and he thought it looked interesting, so he checked it out. Mike saw an opportunity. He licensed the product for a year before he purchased the company for $400,000 in 2003.

Mike has been working to increase sales, setting up buying opportunities at skate retailers, surf and snow shops, as well as stores like Big 5 Sporting Goods.

Since Mike took over the company, Flowboard sales have skyrocketed from $1 million in 2002 to $4 million last year, and they have projections to make $15 million next year.

How has Mike made this product so profitable? First, he began an aggressive advertising campaign, including a 40 foot bus which travels to action sports trade shows. Second, he sent production overseas and made the price of the boards go from $200 down to $80. Additionally, the company has used television commercials to promote the flowboards, as well as offering internships to college students. Students have featured the flowboards on their MySpace pages, and have uploaded videos to YouTube.

I really like this company's marketing campaign and plan to use some of their ideas on my own business in the future.


t said...

I think I will buy a couple of these for my boys, hee hee. It's great to hear what marketing campaigns are successful.