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Burton Snowboards: A Marketing Assesment Essay

Snowboarding is a wintertime sport that is rapidly growing in popularity. The founder of the sport, Jack Burton Carpenter, is amazed at the success of the snowboarding market and contributes the success of the market to his determination of foreseeing snowboarding becoming a popular winter sport. The following assignment will describe with specifics the environmental forces influencing the snowboarding industry, the differences in marketing goals in comparison to Burton Snowboarding’s early years with that of today, and will describe each element of Burton Snowboarding’s marketing mix.

The environmental forces influencing the snowboarding industry includes the following:

Demographic: Baby boomers will retire or have already taken early retirement; therefore recreational activities will increase greatly. Recent retirees will give up most of their spare time, (that was normally set aside for work), for leisure and recreational activities. The snowboarding market is targeting teenagers’ usage of their products. Therefore, if the snowboard industry wants to keep the teenage audience interest in their products they must maintain its image. In order to keep their image safe, the industry must sell to high profit organizations and not low budget markets such as the bi-way, (who knows what the bi-way would want with snowboards but it’s a good example of a low budget market).

Economic- Business Cycle: Sales of snowboards will be high during times of prosperity, (when the economy is at its peak). Adding more appeal on snowboards, (examples: a new look, upgrade, new products and more uses for the product), during times of prosperity in the economy will help to expand the snowboard market. Widening the snowboard market makes the consumer more aware of the product and thus adds to the sales on the product.

Economy- Inflation: Since the majority of the consumers buying snowboards are teenagers, inflation rates will affect their buying power. Teenagers receive minimum wage and thus will not have adequate funds to purchase a snowboard for recreational expenditures.

Social: People are more concerned then ever about being healthy and fit and more and more people are looking to new unique ways of getting their health needs met.

Location: The snowboarding market must be situated in or around accessible snowboarding facilities or areas. E.g. Ski resorts, mountainous regions and places that receive an adequate amount of snowfall.

The elements of marketing mix that Burton snowboards cover includes price, product, and distribution, marketing communications and customer service. The following is a more specific outline of each of the marketing mix elements.

Price: Burton Snowboards range from $300-$1000, more expensive then low named brands but shows that quality, effort and workmanship has been placed into the creation of each individual board.

Product: Burton added a new line of protection equipment for the upcoming snowboarding season, including such products as: styling helmets, pads and hats. The helmets are improved from last year’s models and now contain: venting ports, micro fit adjustments, a wide-angle view (for safety) and removable earpieces.

Distributions: Burton snowboards can be purchased at any local retail that specializes in snowboards, (the locations nearest us includes: Sports Swap 2045 Young Street and Sporting Life 2454 Young Street), and at ski resorts allowing snowboarders (rental only).

Marketing Communications: Burton Snowboarding has created an image that is appealing to teenagers. Burton is using this image to attract this age group by advertisements, Internet sites, and articles in popular teen magazines and by sponsoring local youth events.

Customer Service: Burton Snowboarding has created a safer snowboarding experience for its users, by introducing safety products such as helmets and pads.

In the early years of developing the snow boarding industry, Burton tried to gain acceptance from fellow skiers. Burton tried to persuade ski resorts of allowing snowboarders to use their ski resorts. Burton got its big break in 1983 when Vermont Stratton Mountain allowed snowboarders to use its slopes. Burton hoped that by opening opportunities to snowboarders on ski resorts that the sport would gain acceptance from the consumer, and thus open the snowboarding market.Burton is now at the leading edge of snowboarding, and its products cover the largest variety of boards, ranging from: Free riders, pipe boards, novice and expert lines of boards. Burton also sells snowboarding equipment along with its line of boards; this helps with consumer’s convenience and helps to gain more profit for the company.

Burton has put together a non-profit organization that helps under privileged kids learn to snowboard. All equipment and professional instructing are available. Burton hopes to promote the product and show the consumer that it cares about the community, all which will reach more target markets


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