Has the term Social Media graced its presence in your daily vocabulary yet? Do you really understand what this term is and how much impact it has on our world? I seriously hope so because it’s something that has changed the way we interact and communicate with each other. Some say it could be the death of our existence but that’s neither here nor there. What it has allowed us to do is communicate at a moments notice to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
For brands this is the direct line to consumers and the snowboard market. Now I know you’re probably saying, “No shit Sherlock!” well relax there’s a point to where this is going. As anyone that doesn’t live under a rock knows or isn’t over the age of 50 and playing Farmville, Facebook has many utilitarian functions like engaging a brand to find out more about them. On one of my latest journeys into the bowels of the Internet I was studying up on a new snowboard brand out of Park City called Nope. Their little propaganda seemed interesting so I figured I’d see how it played out even though I was seeing a lot of played out pitches.
After about a week of seeing typical Facebook updates about how ‘Merica is so awesome and China is the yellow devil a picture of Doc Brown from Back to the Future popped up with this quote:
NOPE Snowboards is, as best as we can be sure, the only snowboard company run and operated by real doctors and scientist, wearing lab coats. Our design and tech team has a over 18 years of training from schools that cost a lot, with a combined 5 degrees and two doctorates. Our team has specialized in physics, biology, coconuts, biochemistry, dentistry, aerospace NASA stuff, animal insemination, extra-terrestrial life, ghost hunting, alligator wrangling, and they are even Iron Chef’s. So who else would build the best snowboards in the world?
Now as anyone knows I like to stir the pot so I threw out the question of asking how all that pertains to running a snowboard company. They were not amused with that and got kind of offended even though it was a legitimate question. Then they decided to delete the comment and ban me. Awesome social networking skills right there and upon talking with a friend he encountered the same thing from them. Must be rough as a brand with less than 100 fans to pull something like that?
Besides their awesome social networking skills what sets this brand apart from all the other upstarts? Honestly nothing and if you read Illicit Snowboardings article on 1 manufacturer 11 brands you would quickly realize that they were missing a brand. Yep that’s right they’re just another cookie cutter brand out of the Monson Factory. Can you fault Monson? I don’t think so they’re just a factory, however I do believe you can fault the shortsightedness of Nope. for doing little more than using Google to find OEM Snowboard Manufacturers in the U.S. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and see what you pull up. Shocking isn’t it? That’s some serious SEO right there and kudos to them for being the top pick.
Now it probably would have ended there with me questioning why they got so offended with one little question but it seems that Ryan from the website Ride On Top had a few questions he wanted to ask. You can read that here. Now for some reason it turned from questions to them talking about this very website you’re reading. Not sure what I did to upset them since I was off snowboarding while this was going down but it got pretty hilarious. My personal favorite quote was this:
The “Angry Snowboarder” is so far up the bleep of the big companies that small companies that try to keep it in the US are flagged and tagged as being bad
What makes this statement hilarious is that I’ve interviewed a good selection of small independent brands that make their boards in the U.S. I also always make sure to try and include small independent brands in everything I do even though I know it’s a bigger undertaking for them. Can’t fault the big companies for having budgets and the ability to better facilitate what any media site is doing than an indy brand. It’s just the nature of the beast and if companies would appropriately market or prepare for this they would get the same level of benefit as the big guys. That’s just basic business sense and not something one of those degrees in artificial space cow insemination can teach you.
So while we’re on the subject of bad business lets talk about stupid claims they’ve made for the world to see. This is the gem from earlier on Tuesday:
We also offer a price that is sensitive to the American worker, while we pay 8X more for our product than similar foreign made boards.
I really want to know where they get this number? The cheapest I’ve ever seen a board made at the SBF factory in China was 70 bucks. 70 x 8 = $560 that doesn’t seem right if they’re selling the board for $399 unless they’re taking a huge loss while they establish their brand or are just trying to fail. Does that sound like good business to you? Sounds more like some serious fucking bullshit! I’ve had a source tell me cost on these boards is $225 on average from Monson so if you divide that by 8 it would cost $28.13 cents to have a board made in China. Does that sound realistic by any means?
Now if you look at that $399 price tag and compare it to the other brands in that article by the fine English chaps from Illicit Snowboarding you can see that it sits in the middle of the other 11 similar brands that have their boards made there. So essentially the biggest difference is tech marketing, graphics, and the fact they get defensive when you ask them a question.
Another quote from Nope. that I think should be addressed from the Ride On Top article is this:
Why is it so easy to hate on others, when you take no chances yourself. To all that feel we are not doing things right, start your own brand – tell us how easy it is – after you fund your inventory, hire people, insurance, liability, taxes, space, utilities – then come talk to us – We are NOPE, we stand for something beyond narrow visions of people with nothing better to do than tell us we are not doing things right. If you take the opposite side of our company, then you support homeless veterans and other social injustice. If the snowboarding crowd spent less time hating on each other and came together real change could be affected – do we care about the haters, NOPE.
Well when you’re rolling around in a BMW with a custom full wrap graphic I don’t think you’re hurting for funding. I know plenty of other independent snowboard brands that have their own factory or are sourcing from other U.S. factories that do not drive a BMW or even have a show room in an expensive ski town like Park City.
What narrow visions do we the potential buyers of your product have? This is the information and technological age where we can communicate within seconds and question anything told to us and yet you are the one that hasn’t brought anything to the table but some lies and an overly defensive nature for when we are inquisitive. In summation do I believe this brand will be around in another year or two? The answer to that is NOPE.