Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer:
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
VERSATILITY/TIMELESSNESS: People are buying one new outerwear piece instead of two or even three. So that piece simply needs to be more versatile. We are seeing the need for more timelessness in our designs, so that riders can enjoy their outerwear for more than a season. Less ‘flavor of the moment’ but still on trend. And on top of that, we are also seeing more multi use of snowboarding outerwear, i.e., wearing it from the mountain to the street. And while that isn’t new, it is more common, and in fact riders want their outerwear to look and feel as good and relevant at the street level as it does on the hill. Simply put, timeless design plus the option to wear your jacket for multiple occasions are both becoming necessary benchmarks in the outerwear game. And it makes sense; riders are streamlining their needs to ensure their cash goes as far as possible.
PRICE: And that is a good segue to the next shift, which is around price. Riders are not only demanding and needing more options at the lower price levels, they are also looking for more value added at those levels. It’s a new day, and the price of admission can be a barrier to your brand if you don’t recognize and act on this. The market is a reflection of the greater global socio-economic situation, and as such our products need to respond to that.
QUALITY: While always an important factor, never before has it been such a critical hallmark. For all the reasons above, the consumer wants (and can really only afford) to invest in brands and products that have a history of quality and functionality. No one is willing to gamble on their disposable income purchases, and nor should they. They are looking for heritage brands that they know they can depend on. Bling and flash won’t pull it these days; it’s all about quality and dependability.
WHAT WE’RE DOING: Whether it’s quality, timelessness, functionality, versatility or value, Burton has a 30-year history with those hallmarks as our foundation. Putting the needs of the rider first has always been what Burton has stood for, and what drives us. So while the riders’ needs change with the climate and the culture, we know that as long as we focus on them and the sport, that we stay a step ahead in designing and delivering the right product mix.