Lots of great commentary above
Posted by: salty on Oct-04-12 3:52 PM (EST)
Nice chat here. Lots of variables for sure. Valley owners are smart guys so I think their decision making isn't knee jerk.
I think sponsoring coaches and expeditioners, guru's etc, is probably the smartest thing a manufacturer can do. Far greater than ads in magazines, and really not that expensive. I believe this was Dennis's strategy and it worked. I see P&H coming on strong here as well. In the past few years we hear a lot more about guru's paddling their boats, some cool new designs, excitement etc.
And as alluded above how boats and customers connect is changing rapidly! Many small shops are on the edge, and it's also a mistake to be snobby about the REI's EMS's and MEC's. These guys provide training and actually some great knowledgeable service. The tiny shops may be specialty in brands but often the low paid help isn't that dialed in.
Who knows?? My best paddling surfing pal is soon on the job market and I talk to him about doing his own designs. If he sold 100 custom boats a year at 4k a piece he could make a living! I think "he" could pull that off with his resume'!