Its never really any surprise that companies dump ass loads of money into marketing to drive sales. Its also pretty much a given that the only reason they have pro riders is to drive sales. The problem is that too many people buy into the marketing hype and image and not the actual product. I’ve witnessed it first hand many times how the hype behind a company, tech, rider, or product pushes sales more than the product.
The biggest perpetrator of this is the whole “By riders for Riders” bull shit. I hate that piece of marketing more than anything else in the world. Seriously why can’t a company just straight up come out and do a slogan like, “For snowboarders by rich bastards looking to further the growth of their stock portfolio”. I think what really pisses me off the most about the “By riders for Riders” is that the mindless people buy into it and believe that the people running the company are doing it for the love of the sport. First off the only reason ever to start a company is to make money. That is always prime objective number one and will always be there. No one starts a company to give away all their product, barely scrape by, and never get any further ahead. If they did that would be the poorest business model ever.
The second biggest tool for hype is marketing tech that supposedly makes snowboarding fun again. What the hell does that even mean, if snowboarding wasn’t fun to begin with would people do it? I highly doubt it, this isn’t ski racing after all. I’m convinced that a company could make a product and put that it has Fossilized Anodized Pixie Shit in it, slap a guarantee that it’ll make you float like Tinkerbell and people would believe it. There’s so much tech like that, how Magnetraction supposedly makes ice into powder. Last time I checked ice wasn’t powder, it doesn’t feel like powder, and it certainly doesn’t ride like powder. It might grip a little better but ice is ice if you’re going down you’re going down nothing is going to fix that. Tech is one of those things you have to look at what is being presented to you and see if it actually makes any sense.
Now there’s the whole pro factor. Seriously I think everyone is claiming some form of pro status, whether its legit pro or just a pro bro. I don’t think anyone can deny that they want to ride the board of their favorite pro. It makes them feel cooler inside and in some cases on the outside. The fact is that 95% of people that snowboard will never ride like a pro and the inside of a pro’s boards are probably a bit more beefy than what the general public needs. If a pro is hot their board will sell and the company is happy if they’re not so hot bye bye you’re on to the sea of retirement. Seriously look at where Kevin Jones is today when that dude was at the top of his game he had it all, then he disappeared now we have nothing.
A companies over all image can be hype driven. It’s like looking at Technine and saying well they’re thug, or Capita with their artsy, or Burton with them being Mainstream et cetera et cetera. People will buy into the image they perceive from the company because it lets them put a title on who they are whether its gangster, emo, or rocker. Burton has cornered the market thorougly and gotten people to believe that they are what everyone needs. Ask someone that doesn’t snowboard to name a snowboard company guarantee they say Burton.
In the end those marketing dollars put into the spin engines could be better spent getting people on the product or in research and design. Companies can spit out numbers and put out ads where they say they did all this R and D but the truth is if you’re putting money into an advertising campaign you’re taking money from more research and design. I still stick to the theory that if more companies would do more on snow demo’s for consumers they would push far more product. Ultimately people need to read through all the marketing bull shit, tech bull shit, and spin that companies put on things to sell a product.