Trends, changes and possibilities.

Changes.

Things change through time, this is no difference for wakeboarding. In the 80’s wakeboarding looked very different than it does now, such as the tricks, the outfits and the style. Internet didn’t even played such a role as it does nowadays. For example, the tricks they did 30 years ago were less technical and more aggressive. Today people pay more and more attention on how the tricks look, rather than 30 years ago where people tried to spin and flip as much as possible. In the 80’s internet was used in a different way, as we do today. People couldn’t search the world wide web for wakeboarding videos, whereas today multiple wakeboarding videos are posted every day. These videos can inspire other people by learning or even creating new tricks. Back in the old day’s pioneers had to come up with new tricks by simply putting their bodies in to the test, without any certainty if it was possible or not. But now we luckily have videos of people showing us what is possible.

This is how wakeboarding looked like in 1995. 

And this is how wakeboarding looks like today. 

Trends.

In the wakeboarding world there are a couple of trends that are hot at the moment. For example:

By spinning less and grabbing more, the rider is forced to come up with creative grabs. With these creative grabs the rider is more likely to express his self through wakeboarding.

The bigger boards is a relatively new trend, which gives the rider not only more surface of the board touching the water it also is less exhausting and allows the rider to flex their board even more. This board flexing, also known as pressing, is also one of the ways to show the riders creativity through wakeboarding. This is a lot harder than just going straight on an obstacle, and it has endless possibilities.

The narrow stance is a cause of the bigger boards. Because before wakeboard producers started producing bigger boards, the riders put their bindings closer and closer to each other. This causes the board to easily flex more, which allows the rider to press even further. As you can see on the featured image the wakeboarder leans forward to flex his board, this is a well-executed ‘nose press’.

Digital brand building tips.

As with all trends some people love them and some people like them. Besides that, trends are time limited. This means they are not for ever, which can be seen as business opportunities. In regards to the digital brand building, these trends are a perfect to build a brand digitally. By:

It is possible to build a brand digitally. As long as the trends are being covered and the voice of the public is being heard, it is possible to create a digital wakeboarding brand.

What doe you think of the trends? Do you like them? Or are they not cool? And what about the brand building tips, useful? What are your thoughts?

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Mik Nieuwenhoff flippin’ and grabbin’ in Holland.

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Board sports compared

In the previous post we talked about building a digital wakeboard brand. Wakeboarding is not a big sport in comparison to other equal sports such as surfing, skateboarding or snowboarding. These sports are way bigger and have more developed markets. In this post we will talk about the differences and similarities between these sports and wakeboarding in regards to digital brand building.

To create a relevant link between these sports and their markets, is it necessary to first give a really quick introduction to these sports. Starting off with skateboarding. Probably the largest sport on this list is skateboarding, because of its easy accessibility. ‘Not only the sport is one of the biggest on this list, the skateboard market is also one of the biggest.’ Skateboarding started in California. In the 1950’s a group of surfers got the bright idea to surf the concrete. From a group of surfers, it grew up to 6.44 million skateboarders in the United States only. From the 50’s till present the skateboards changed a lot, as you can see in the picture below.

skateboarding-history-evolution

From skateboarding we’ll go to where it all began, surfing.

Surfing has no exact record of when it began, but during the 15th century people were already catching some waves in their canoes. This makes it one of the oldest practiced sports on the planet. With this given it is understandable that surfing has a huge market which is relatively developed. The estimated population of American surfers in 2015 was 1.7 million. This shows us how big the surf market actually is. In the picture below you can see how surfboards have changed.

surfboard-evolution

From surfing on the water we go to surfing on frozen water, a.k.a. snowboarding.

In 1964 a surfer named Sherman Poppen built his daughter the very first snowboard, a pair of kids’ skies tied together. One year later Sherman teamed up with a bowling-ball manufacturer and then started producing the snurfer (snow-surfer). This was a great success it was the beginning of a very popular trend. In 2015 there were roughly 5,7 million snowboarders in the United States only. In the picture below you can see how the shape of the snowboards changed.

snowboard-evolution

The most of the brands which are related to any of these board sports use similar brand building strategies. As you can see here: the skate, snowboard, surf or wakeboard brand Instagram accounts are slightly different but also very comparable.

Most of the time you will see content of the riders who are sponsored by the brand or promotion of the (new) products. When the brand building in these sports are compared with brand building in the wakeboard market a few differences are noticeable such as:

  1. The size of the brands (indirectly the brand building budget)
  2. The audience of the brands (tone and size)
  3. The platform of brand building
  4. The message

 

The internet is a continuous process, so is social media. This goes hand in hand with the digital brand building strategies and the use of the social media platforms of companies. Couple years ago brands where mainly focussing on the sale of their product. However nowadays brands are more focussing on the delivery of a good and positive online experience instead of promoting their products. A recent trend is posting content of the actual consumers, this creates connection with the brand and can build brand relations.

What do you think the next changes will be in regards to digital board brand building? Do you think consumers get more and more power?

Digitally building a wakeboard brand.

Starting off with the definition of Brand Building:

Brand Building is generating awareness, establishing and promoting company using strategies and tactics. In other words, brand building is enhancing brand equity using advertising campaigns and promotional strategies. Branding is crucial aspect of company because it is the visual voice of the company. Goal of brand building is creating a unique image about the company.

With the unique image that is created with the brand building, it is possible to decorate the brand from all the other (wakeboard) brands. Since internet became a marketing tool for companies, it created an opportunity to build the brand digitally. This is where digital brand building arise. For many brands digital brand building is nothing new, but this does not mean that all the digital brand building options already have been used. Mather the fact digital brand building is a continues process which takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge.

Wakeboard introduction.

Wakeboarding started in the 80’s, which makes it a relatively new sport. It combines water-skiing with snowboarding. Whereas you get pulled on the water with water-skiing, the wakeboarder stands sideways as a snowboarder. Last year it was Europe’s fastest-growing sport. Wakeboarders can wakeboard behind a boat or a cable, these 2 dimensions are pretty different from each other. The boat gives the riders a wake from which they can jump off, where the most cables have obstacles and kickers in the water which allow the riders not only to jump but also perform different variation of tricks on these obstacles. These obstacles create a whole other aspect in the wakeboard sport. This aspect of wakeboarding is very similar to the skate- and snowboard scene. Here are some videos which show you the differences between the two dimensions.

Cable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYA56vXbgEE

(This is a POV video of cable wakeboarding in Australia: https://thetripfrommik.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/bli-blines-friday-no-2/ )

Boat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH0XqH44SUI

Wakeboard Market.

Another relevant topic for this blog is not only wakeboarding as the sport itself, but it also necessary to understand the wakeboard-market. Because of the fact that wakeboarding is a relatively new sport, it is not as big as comparable sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding or surfing. This is noticeable in the amount of brands that are involved in the wakeboard-market. But this market is growing, and there are still a lot of opportunities for the wakeboardbrands. This makes the market interesting, because it is continual. There are a couple of key products that are essential for every wakeboarder, these are:

  • Wakeboard
  • Pair of bindings
  • Lifejacket
  • Helmet
  • Wetsuit
  • And finally a boat or a cable to pull you

These key products create possible markets. Most of these markets consist just a handful of main brands which play an international role. Regularly besides the international brands, there are also some smaller brands which compete in these markets. In general, the wakeboard-market use digital brand building in the same way as the comparable sports. Most of the brands use Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Email and they all have their own site. The only noticeable difference between the markets are the size and the amount of the companies that are involved.

Because of the fact that wakeboarding is new sport it can grow a lot bigger than it is at the moment. In which way do you think the wakeboard-market will grow? Will it get more brands or will the brands which play a role right now grow bigger in size?

If you want to read more about wakeboarding you can visit the official site of the International Wakeboard & Waterski Federation by clicking the link below. http://www.iwwfwakeboard.com/IWWF/Welcome.html