Monday, May 7, 2012

Burton Snowboards

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It is amazing how a mission statement so simple can be so striking Burton Snowboards is a rider driven company solely dedicated to creating the best snowboarding equipment on the planet. The is the mission that Burton Snowboards has been run by since 177 when frontman Jake Burton came up with what is now considered one of the best snowboard in the business.


When Jake was given a Snurfer for Christmas in the late 160’s an idea was born as Burton continously tried to perfect what is now known as a snowboard. Burton did not invent the snowboard but he has certainly lent a hand in perfecting and successfully marketing it. It took years of hard work and at times being in as much as $100,000 worth of debt but Jake Burton has made a name for himself and his company that started out as a small business in Londonderry, Vermont.


Strengths


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Burton Snowboards seems to of chosen a firm line of business as the sport of snowboarding is currently on of the hottest sports around. By being the first company in the industry of selling these types of products Burton was surely the first to get his foot in the door. Consumers like a company that has an established history and Burton has been around since 177 when the sport was something just a handful of people were doing.


Burton didn’t give up his dream of selling snowboards and therefore, has established very strong working relationships with his distributors. This has proven to be very beneficial for Burton since he seems to be in tune with the changing demands of snowboarding and the equipment that is needed to accommodate those changes. He has no problem getting new items out. In fact, the business currently offers more than 4,00 products and accessories. Burton Snowboards has gained a large customer base by expanding its doors to international waters. The Japanese snowboarding industry began to boom in 15. It was at this time that Burton decided it would be wise to expand his business and decided to open an office in Japan. He eventually decided to also put up headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. He does business in over 5 countries. Burton has truly helped snowboarding become an international sport.


Weaknesses


Burton has limited his advertising audience by only advertising in a select couple of magazines. Currently Burton only advertises in Snowboarder and Transworld SNOWBoarding. These are clearly magazines that are geared towards the group that would fit into the category of “snowboarders only”. There may be that one person out there is just looking for something new to do but because they don’t normally snowboard would not think to pick up a Transworld SNOWboarding but instead may be reading that Fitness magazine on the other rack. The corporation doesn’t want to limit its options because there are always new potential customers out there.


Jake Burton is currently the sole owner of Burton Snowboards and has no plans currently to go public. This could be a downfall for the corporation once he is gone. Does he have someone else there that he shares his ideas, thoughts, records, and compassion with? If not, what is to happen to the company? The business could surely still strive and continue on but there wouldn’t be the same drive that Burton himself offered to the company because no one else would be working with the same emotion or off of the same dream that Burton has when he received his first Snurfer for Christmas and made something from it.


Opportunities


Burton Snowboarding has a huge opportunity to become the absolute leader in the snowboarding industry as it considers making its products available at national chains. This will open up a whole other door for the sales department. The wonderful working relationship that he has with distributors will come in handy if the company decides to do this, as they will probably be more than happy to accommodate to larger load of orders.


There is an opportunity to expand consumer base as the trend of users changes from those that are considered to be just snowboarders to being snowboarders and skiers. Currently, the average age of snowboarders are under 5. The average age of skiers is 40. In the United States there are .7 million people that are considered to be “snowboarders only”. There are only 10.5 million that are considered to be “skiers only”. Yet there is approximately 14. million that participate in both and their average is 1. This means that there is an age range of people interested in snowboarding that Burton has yet to reach out to.


Threats


Because there are no barriers preventing other companies from entry, new entrants can be expected. This allows for a great deal of competition. This could be especially hurtful to Burton Snowboarding if another company with equal or comparable quality products decides to offer their products in national chains before Burton. Although it may not cause a dramatic decline in sales it surely could cause a few consumers to decide to choose price over loyalty.


With the increasing interest in snowboarding there has also been an increase in injuries resulting from snowboarding. There are approximately four to six injuries per 1,000 snowboarding visits right now. This is bound to have an effect on sales. Consumers that originally thought that this would be an interesting sport to try out or skiers that what to try something a little more adventurous may find that this is just a little too dangerous and forgo the thought.


Burton success doesn’t just come from being a smart businessman. It came from putting in a lot of hard work and determination. Although the sport snowboarding may seem like a simple, easy sport that can’t require much thought (all of which is not true), the act of being in the snowboarding business certainly doesn’t fit into that frame. Burton Snowboarding will continue to be a success as long as Burton and its employees continue to give all their hard work and dedication to the company and as they say, “never stop listening to snowboarders”.





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