SIA News 6.7
2011 SIA WOMEN’S SNOW SPORTS MARKET INTELLIGENCE REPORT RELEASED
Women Influence 80% of Consumer Spending
Want to know why women are such an important consumer market to understand in the snow sports industry? For starters, they are responsible for the majority of consumer spending, and have strong influences on overall family purchases. Women influence 92% of vacation spending and 80% of the money made from sporting goods and apparel, which then translates directly into the profits in the snow sports industry.
If you want to know everything about one of the most important markets in the industry, it’s time to get your copy of the 2011 SIA Women’s Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report. Here you’ll find data ranging from participation, season trends, demographics and retail sales to specialty shops. The Women’s Report is a supplement to the SIA Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report; the data reported here is unique and provides detailed information that will help you grow your women’s lines.
- Women spent over $940 million on snow sports products this season and accounted for 40% of the 21.5 million snow sports participants in 2010/11.
- Women’s-specific skis were up last season (2010/11) and were the only category of skis to top sales since the 2007/08 season.
- In the 2010/11 season, apparel accounts for 53% of women’s snow sport spending; apparel tops alone brought in $368 million.
- Alpine equipment accounts for 68% of women’s equipment purchases; alpine equipment accounts for 59% of overall equipment sales.
- Snowshoeing wins over women in the participation category as the most popular snow sport; second is cross country ski.
- 34% of female snowboarders are between the ages of 25 and 34. This age range only accounts for 20% of male snowboarders.
The 2011 Women’s report offers individual chapter breakdowns for the following categories, Alpine Ski, Snowboard, Cross Country Ski, Telemark, Randonee/AT Ski, Snowshoe, Apparel and Accessories. The 2011 Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, a wide-ranging report of activity in the snow sports marketplace during the 2010/11 season, is also available. Both reports are offered at no cost to members and can be bought for $425 by non-members.
SIA provides research that covers all aspects of the snow industry and helps your company maintain a competitive edge. Lean more. Make sure to look out for the 2011 Juniors Snow Sports Market Intelligence Report, coming soon.
If you have any questions or need anything else please contact Kelly Davis, SIA's Director of Research at KDavis@snowsports.org or by phone at 703.506.4224.
BUILDING THE BUZZ
Best Practices: Social Media
A decade ago, snow sports specialty retailers relied on flyers, print ads and radio commercials to connect with their customer base. Today, while those marketing methods remain important, social media is playing a much larger role in nurturing customer relationships.
Phil Leeds, co-owner of Skinny Skis in Jackson, WY uses Facebook and Twitter for event invitations, sale announcements, product news and providing customers with links to articles and blog posts.
“We love the events feature on Facebook,” explains Kjerstin Klien, Willi’s Ski and Snowboard Shop. Fairfax, VA. We also post pictures of things we are doing and new products we are excited about. We look for questions to answer and problems to solve,”
Since snow sports enthusiasts are likely to be heavy users of social media tools, retailers see the value in building relationships in that environment. “Letting customers "in" to the coolness that is our industry is great. We sell fun, and if our customers can grab a hold of this enthusiasm and be a part of our community than that makes it all worth it,” says Chris Bunch, Alpine Ski Shop, Sterling VA. “We want to provide a quality product and experience to our customers; core skaters and suburban moms alike. Social media provides an outlet to showcase not only what is new in the industry, but also focuses on local customers and how Alpine plays a relevant part in the community.”
Raul Pinto, Satellite Boardshop, Boulder, CO adds, “Some customers are just geeks on product so they want to know ASAP when something new has come in. Social media provides an easy way to keep them plugged into Satellite.”
When used effectively social media can build strong relationships with customers. “People love social media. They feel like they can get the answers they need. They feel listened to, says Klien. “I can't tell you how surprised people are when they post a question on a forum or Facebook and get an answer right back.”
Already pressed for time with other operational aspects of running a store, is investing in ever-changing social media marketing worth the effort?
“Our customers love to stop in the store and say they saw something on our page,” says Bunch. ”It's not for everyone. It's real easy to fall into the trap that all you need is social media. It's important, but so is actual interaction, and mainstream advertising. We still do radio and print, and those drive sales as well.”
Over time, Pinto has seen results from social media efforts. “We’ve noticed more results in the last year. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t,” notes Pinto. “There are always new things to try. It’s so easy to get sucked into the buzz and forget about what’s more important. That’s the actual relationships vs. the virtual ones. Our focus is still 110 percent on the person walking through the door. You can never be sure if the consumer coming through the door has found out about you from twitter, Facebook or YouTube. In the end, if you don’t service them well the moment they walk in the door you’ve failed.”
Klien strongly supports that point of view. “Our business is one of relationships. Our customers don’t come to our store because they have to. They come to us because they want to. Part of the success of mom and pop brick and mortar stores is that customers come in because they want to see us. It’s all about authenticity. Social media can really fill cyberspace with blah, blah, blah then here’s the price. Authenticity is the foundation of any good social media program.”
eMarketer publishes data, analysis and insights on digital marketing, media and commerce; emarketer.com.
Social Media Examiner, an online social media magazine, is designed to help businesses learn how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with customers, generate more brand awareness and increase sales. www.socialmediaexaminer.com
Mashable is an independent online news covering digital culture, social media and technology; Mashable.com.
Managing a successful snow sports specialty retail store requires expertise in an ever-changing array of business operations. Human resources, event planning, marketing, product selection, social media and e-commerce are just a few examples.
View past Best Practices articles at snowsports.org/BestPractices.
Lou Dzierzak is the editor of Cross Country Skier magazine. A full-time freelance writer, he has covered the business of outdoor recreation for more than 15 years. Best Practices will shorten the learning curve by offering case studies, resources and how-to tips from experts in specific fields. If you have suggestions for future topics, please feel free to contact Lou at Lkdcom@visi.com.
SNOW EXPERT CONTENT FOR RETAILERS
By attending the SIA Snow Show retailers are making an investment to ensure their shop stocks the latest equipment, accessories and apparel. At the Show they learn about emerging trends to give their customers the best advice and information. This year, as an added bonus, we are providing retailers that attended the 2011 SIA Snow Show with Snow Expert Educational Content, which supports the trends/technology that were seen at the Show. Content delivery will begin in mid-October.
Over the next few months we’ll be sending articles on equipment, apparel and general industry trends. The content was developed by snow sports journalists and can be used as educational material for shop staff, in your newsletters and on your website to educate customers and further position your shop as a Snow Expert location.
Questions? Contact Mary Cecile Neville, at MCNeville@snowsports.org.
ESSENTIAL MARKETING AND ADVERTISING TIPS SEMINAR VIDEO
In today's market we have to be creative in how we stay in front of consumers. Marketing and advertising is an important part of any business plan but knowing how to do it the correct way is the hard part.
At the 2011 SIA Snow Show, Jim Ackerman,President, Ascend Marketing, Inc., presented on how to market and advertise your products during this tough economy. In his presentation, Jim goes over the simple principles of how to increase your sales. View past seminar presentations and videos to share with your staff and use to help grow and improve your business.
"The challenge holding most industry business owners back is that they have a deep passion for their sport and its products, but far less passion for sound business practices, particularly marketing and advertising," stated presenter Jim Ackerman. "Marketing is the engine that drives every enterprise. And while you might be able to get away with weak or ordinary marketing in good times, times are not good now. Fortunately sound marketing principles, even poorly implemented, can have a profoundly positive impact on any business. All you have to do is discover them and put them to work. Some operators in the industry have already taken action and achieved remarkable results. My hope would be that more do the same."
How To Market Your Crap When the Economy is in the Toilet…
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO PRESENTATION.
In this seminar, you will learn the 12 vital strategies to “unclog” the American Economy, One Business at a time.
- What to advertise to who, to double or triple your response rates and profits
- Cloning Customers. A systematic approach to referrals that can round up hordes of new clients with little or no up-front acquisition cost
- Your “Secret Weapon” in the marketing wars of the down economy. Pssst. It’s direct mail
- Guest/Host Joint Ventures; a little-known marketing ploy tailor-made for the snow sports industry
- Branding Bull. Don’t let the big guys fool you. The best way to build your brand is to have tons and tons of happy, buying customers.
How To Advertise Your Junk When the Economy Is In the Dumps…
6 Essential Advertising Secrets GUARANTEE You'll Never Worry About Lousy Sales Again.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO PRESENTATION.
This presentation goes over six advertising principles that will revolutionize your business.
- Differentiate or Die
- Sell the Benefits
- “Selective Breeding” for ever-increasing advertising success
- The Lifetime Profit Value of a Customer
- Make ‘Em An Offer They Won’t Refuse
- Master the Art of the Headline
For more information, contact Jim Ackerman,president of Ascend Marketing, Inc., at Jimack@ascendmarketing.com.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY – MERCHANDISING BY VENDOR VS. MERCHANDISING BY CATEGORY
Tips from merchandising guru, Ali Levy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Within the discipline of visual merchandising, there are at least two unofficial schools of thought, merchandising by vendor and merchandising by category. You will encounter arguments for each side.
Companies design lines that merchandise their products together to create a cohesive story line with colors and graphics that are easy to locate and understand. That would be the case for merchandising by vendor.
On the other hand, some retailers prefer to merchandise by category with the contention that it’s easier to show a customer your complete selection of down jackets, for example, and easier for the employee to find them all. This month I want to discuss the pro’s (good) the con’s (bad) and how to avoid the ugly if at all possible.
The Good – The Pro’s to Merchandising by Vendor
Visual merchandising teams, from sport apparel and equipment companies, engineer wall and racking systems that speak to the brand, its message and create a boutique-like, one-stop shopping experience that encompass the entire line. Of course this includes signage and seasonal point of purchase collateral.
When a store choses to merchandise their space by vendor, this creates the perfect harmony; consistent and recognizable logos, plus the ease and flow of product on the floor. I myself am a brand loyal consumer, so when I go into a store, I look for familiar logos to help guide me to where I want to go. I enjoy the experience of going on a journey of sorts.
I like to wander through each conceptual area and see it merchandised in a way that helps me understand the end use of each product. I like to see extras such as coordinating accessories. This encourages your customers to make impulse purchases and again tells a complete product story with color and clarity on how to use each item. Plus it’s much easier on the eyes to view various silhouettes as opposed to a sea of fleece jackets about to be devoured by a rogue wave of black ski pants.
The Bad – The Con’s to Merchandising by Category
If you merchandise by category, you would maintain that this simplifies the shopping experience by grouping “like” categories together. This theory works well for items such as ski gloves, ski socks, helmets and goggles and most hardgoods. But when it comes to apparel, I think the biggest cons are missing out on multiple “add on” sales, a confusing product and traffic flow and not engaging your customer in an exciting shopping environment.
Let’s say “Joey Skier” comes in looking for a new ski jacket. How likely is he going to try and find a cool layering piece that goes with the jacket if that cool layering piece is several if not a hundred feet away?
He may not be encouraged to linger and therefore you would miss the opportunity to introduce him to a new product and new product category. And we all know, the longer a person stays in a store the more likely they are to make a purchase. Sure he can ask an employee where to find layering pieces, but it’s no longer an impulse buy if he has to search for it.
The Ugly – How to Make It Work for You
We all want to avoid the “ugly” part of the equation. At the end of the day it’s what works best for what your customer wants.
If you find that merchandising by category is the best solution for you, then make good use of vendor signage and collateral so you can show your customer what you have to offer. Cross merchandise on mannequins and with displays whenever possible to encourage more meandering. Post signs on where to find items.
The best thing to do is try different options. Take some field trips to your competitor’s locations and see how they do things.
- Do you like it?
- What do you dislike?
- How would you do it differently? Please feel free to share your findings.
- What works for you and why?
- What hasn’t worked for you and why?
- What advice would you offer to other retailers unsure of which way they should merchandise their stock?
There are pro’s and con’s to both sides. These results and insights can help build the case for whether you merchandise by vendor or by category; good, bad or otherwise.
The Bad - this rounder of summer dresses is overloaded and hard to shop.
The Bad – the solids and patterned pants look messy and incomplete without any matching jackets nearby. Shoppers like outfits put together for them.
The Good – this represents an outfit for running and the elements you need all in one location.
View past merchandising articles and our Merchandising Mondays quicktips at snowsports.org/merchandising.
SIA is working with visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy, to provide retailers with some fresh merchandising ideas for increasing sales and interest from consumers. Levy’s impressive resume includes managing retail, buying and trade show/retail merchandising efforts for some of the industry’s biggest names including The North Face, SmartWool, Cloudveil and Marmot. For more information about her company, contact Ali at Alijlevy@gmail.com or visit her website, alijlevy.com.
BIGGEST CAREER LESSONS: HAVE CONFIDENCE AND BE FLEXIBLE; SUSIE ENGLISH, THE ENDORPHIN GROUP
We recently caught up with Susie English, marketing manager for The Endorphin Group to learn more about her position and her insight on being a woman in the industry. Susie grew up in Park City, UT. Her dad is the Director of Mountain Operations for Deer Valley Resort so she was on skis as soon as she could walk and even earlier in a chest pack under her mom’s jacket. She still loves chasing her dad around the mountain and skis and mountain bikes with him as much as possible. Susie attended the University of Denver, so that she could stay close to the mountains. She majored in Marketing and Finance and spent all of her weekends in the mountains with friends skiing, hiking, mountain biking or climbing. More with Susie below.
How did you get involved in the industry? What about Rossignol?
Growing up in the industry I knew that I wanted to make a career for myself in the ski industry. After graduating from college I headed back to Park City and started a job as the communications coordinator at Deer Valley Resort, it was a great learning experience and the perfect gateway into a career in the ski industry. A year later there were rumors that Rossignol was moving to Park City so I reached out to the Director of Marketing and was so excited to hear that there was a Sports Marketing Coordinator position open. I interviewed and started with Rossignol over 5 years ago right when they moved the US head-quarters to Park City. I was so excited to be working for such an iconic ski company, the one I grew up on. From there, my position evolved and I took on and helped with several different aspects of Marketing for Rossignol hardgoods including budgets, athletes, partnerships, press and communications.
Over a year ago, when Quiksilver sold Rossignol, the Rossignol Apparel brand was licensed to a company called The Endorphin Group. In February, I started as Marketing Manager for The Endorphin Group, managing Rossignol Apparel and Nikita Marketing for North America. My current position is the perfect combination of all my passions; skiing, fashion, and marketing. It has been great to learn the apparel side of the business and because we are such a small, tight company, I am involved with every aspect of the business.
As the Marketing Manager, what does a typical day look like for you?
Every day in my world is different, especially now with both Rossignol and Nikita, but that is what I love about this job. A typical day consists of lots of emails; pitching story ideas to journalists and editors; sending samples to magazines and photographers for photo shoots; communicating with athletes for news and updates; emailing athlete news, most recent media placements, and other pertinent information to our Sales Reps; plan upcoming sales meetings; work with SIA on details for the upcoming show; work with our partners to produce selling tools for our reps; meet with our VP of Sales for weekly update and plan; review current budgets and begin planning for next year; send our designer product to stylist for placement on celebrities and much more. I try to fit in a gym session in at lunch and then in the summer get on my mountain bike after work. That’s what is great about our industry is everyone works hard but still gets out and plays! No day is the same and most are a little crazy, but it is so much fun!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love when I see someone out of the hill wearing one of our products. It is so exciting to know that all your hard work has translated into a sale at the retail level because that’s what it is all about. There are so many options for the consumer when they walk into a store so when you see them in your brand you know they bought it because they love it. So gratifying!
The other thing that still is so thrilling is when products get media placement. No matter if it is a small or large media outlet, print or web it is exciting to know that your product was chosen to be showcased and recommended to the reader.
What are some of the biggest lessons that you have learned in your career? Personally and professionally?
I have learned so much since starting in the industry, both personally and professionally. The biggest lesson for sure has been to have confidence in my ideas and knowledge. Being a young woman coming into this industry can be intimidating. It is so male-dominated and at a company like Rossignol there are men that have been running the show for more then 30-years. They have a lot to teach and I’ve learned to really listen and take it all in, but more importantly to have confidence in what I bring to the table as well. Being young and relatively new to the industry I offer a new perspective and new ideas.
I have also learned to be flexible; some ideas won’t work or won’t be liked. Be willing and able to make changes on the fly to ensure the best outcome, don’t take it personally, and learn from the experience. Getting involved with your community and giving back to others both at work and personally….it puts things in perspective quickly and forces you out of your box. Find what makes you happy and figure out a way to fit it into your job and life.
What advice would you give to women who are looking to get in the industry or just started in a male-dominated industry?
It is a small industry and people don’t leave often so it can be tough. Get a college degree in something that interests you; design, marketing, business. It is important to have an education to compete in the current work world. You have to start somewhere in the industry so work retail, find an internship with a ski company, teach skiing, and get to know everybody and anybody. This will also give you an idea of what part of the industry you enjoy and want to make a career out of; resort, retail, or working for a ski company. If you’re passionate, work hard, and prove yourself, you’ll move up and create something that works for you.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women in the industry? If any.
Women are the minority in the industry, but I think that is changing. Women control 85% of household spending and generally control the family recreation budget so it is important for companies to realize the need for women to drive the women’s market. It’s also crucial to develop women’s specific gear and messaging, because there is a huge opportunity there that is being overlooked by too many companies.
Who are some people (male or female) today in the areas of business and/or entrepreneurship that you consider to be a role-model?
There are so many amazing people in the industry that I have learned so much from, but there are some women that come to mind first.
As a woman in the industry one of my role-model’s is definitely Donna Carpenter. I’ve only had the honor of meeting her a couple times but what she has done with Burton as a business and with women in the industry is amazing. She created the Women’s Leadership Initiative to help women, within Burton, to move up in the company, by setting up mentoring programs, listening to needs, and really focusing on making it a priority. Donna is an amazing leader and is a very influential woman in the industry.
Lynsey Dyer is not just a ripping big mountain skier. She is pushing and mentoring woman through her organization, She Jumps. She Jumps mission is to increase female participation in outdoor activities by building upon a supportive community that inspires its member to reach their highest potential. Lynsey has encouraged countless women and girls to be fearless and follow their dreams.
Coleen Reardon, the Director of Marketing at Deer Valley Resort, was my first boss out of college. She was my first strong woman role-model in the industry and I still think back on what I learned during my time at Deer Valley every day in my job. Coleen knows her product, who her consumer is, and focuses only on that. It is easy to get distracted and try to do too many things in marketing today but if you focus on who you are as a company and what you do best then you’re always going to succeed.
Overall feelings about the 2010/11 Season (industry/company)? Lows and highs? What’s up for this year? What are you most excited about?
We are coming off a great snow year and the stats prove that when it snows, people buy product. The hardest part of the 2010/11 season was the increases in production costs, which ultimately hurt margins for everyone. The collections look great for 2012/13 and we have some exciting new products coming down the line. It’s going to be a great year and I can’t wait for the snow to start flying!
THE WORD ON THE SLOPES
Use the SIA Industry Planner to view upcoming important dates and events in the snow sports industry. Access all of the industry critical dates with the digital version of the SIA's Industry Planner and the downloadable iCal.
Alpine Ski Shop Old Timey Awesomeness Commercial
We caught up with Chris Bunch at Alpine Ski Shop in Sterling, VA to learn more about their new ad campaign and commercial.
Why did you guys think it was a good idea/time to create this commercial?
Tyler and I have always been interested in doing a commercial. However, we wanted something that would "pop" and not look like the other local cable commercials. Also, we needed something that would capture our personalities and the vibe of Alpine. A friend of ours who produces video shorts approached us with a few ideas. What you have seen is just the beginning.
What was your inspiration? Who are you trying to influence?
Our inspiration is always the customer. We are trying to influence our existing customer base, as well as reach out to new demographics. Our tendency towards humor and love of sketch comedy helped to drive the commercial theme.
How important is it for specialty shops to use social media and other internet vehicles to market their shop?
Specialty shops are missing out if they overlook the medium that is social networking. Applications like Facebook and Twitter are real time launch vehicles that plant your message fast and spread it even faster.
Want more? Check out their Alpine Ski Shop Dinosaur video too!
VIEW FROM THE FIELD
Checkout some pictures from Dave Wray’s SIA’s Western Sales and Marketing Manager, trip to Seattle.
Official news: Bring it on, La Niña. Check out some images from Snowboard magazine as snow hit the western U.S. last week. Learn more… Defending Seattle: The Think Thank/CAPiTA NW Premiere. Learn more… Shaun White is launching a new hardgoods brand called Shaun White Supply Co. Read more… Ever wonder how 686 jackets are made? Take a look at this in depth video of “The Process” of creating one of our jackets from start to finish! Check it out… K2 skis and The Rolling Stones have collaborated to create limited edition Rolling Stones skis. Read more… Chris Licata named President of Tecnica Blizzard USA. Read more… John Jackson signs with Burton Snowboards. Read more… If you missed it… Gretchen Bleiler and Louie Vito bare it all in ESPN the magazine's Body Issue. Lean more… TransWorld Media hosted the Southern California Burton Standing Sideways premiere at its Carlsbad headquarters, drawing a huge crowd of snow industry VIPs who were stoked on the new film and this year’s fast approaching snow season. See pictures here… Burton owners Jake and Donna Carpenter once again opened their home in the hills of Stowe, Vermont for Burton’s annual Fall Bash. Read more… This year, SIA will again partner with World Snowboard Day, Sunday, December 18. In its 6th year this international snowboard festival is open to everyone and will feature free lessons for newcomers, contests, demos, equipment tests, parties, and fantastic music! Want to Participate? Contact WSD at email@example.com.
Winter Trails – Venue Update
Winter Trails is updating the 2012 list of event sites and offerings. New this year are snowshoe and cross country ski icons under the event site logo to visually identify the discipline being offered at each event site. Additionally, the formatting capabilities of the short and extended event description areas have been expanded, allowing better formatting and live links to your website.
Questions? Contact Reese Brown directly at RBrown@snowsports.org . Learn more at Wintertrails.org.
Polartec accepting Challenge Grant (an international grant program encouraging outdoor adventure) applications for 2012 expeditions. Learn more… Ski and snowboard celebrities attend Buckman’s Whitehall Grand Opening. Read more… Nate Morley is the new VP of Global Marketing for Skullcandy, replacing Mike Carter. Read more… POWDERHORN the Turner Agency as its new sales agency for the Rocky Mountains. Read more… Extreme skier Glen Plake will make a rare visit to selected ski and snowboard retail stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia in October. Learn more… The Chill Foundation hosted its 10th annual charity golf tournament at Vermont National Country Club near the Burton headquarters in Vermont. Learn more… Flylow Gear wins Colorado Snowsports Entreprenueur Award. Read more… The Rossignol Group announced it has hired Ryan Green as its Nordic Division Manager for the U.S. market. Learn more… Dominating the field at Skiing Magazine’s “Indy” test last spring, Movement Skis racked up a pair of awards from one of America’s most respected ski journals. Read more… Teton Gravity Research is trying to become more than a yearly ski film and a gear dork’s forum. Learn more.
NBS Latest Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Partner
The Nation’s Best Sports (NBS) buying group is the latest Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) partner. NBS, and its affiliated stores, joins Sports Specialists Ltd (SSL), Snowsports Merchandising Corporation (SMC) and Sports, Inc as retail partners. Partners have free use of all initiative materials and messages.
HEAD Wintersports and SIA have increased their commitment. Association members Hotronic, Dragon and Killtec also have come on board. Learn more at skiandsnowboardmonth.org.
Send us your news, press releases and stories to PR@snowsports.org, SnowSports Industries America.
Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who is interested in the growth and further development of the snow sports industry, and continue to do your part. Let it Snow!
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