In light of the recent announcement from Burton that it it is restructuring its umbrella of brands, which includes among other changes, launching anon helmets, and scaling back RED to limited availability, we caught up with anon Brand Director Randy Torcom to learn more about the shift in the brands’ focus and to get the first drop on its helmets and goggles for 2013/14.
What can we expect to be different in anon’s helmets from RED’s, both technologically and aesthetically?
anon.'s DNA has been deeply rooted in style for over ten years so it goes without saying that everyone can expect the same level of fashion in anon helmets that they've become accustomed to with our goggles. On the performance end, we've partnered with the industry leader BOA technology to deliver the best in customizable helmet fit. In addition, we've also partnered with Skullcandy to develop an exclusive design that offers the ultimate in cell phone connectivity and audio integration. Other highlights include Hybrid 50/50 construction, which brings the best of ultra-lightweight and durable constructions to the game, plus an exclusive ABS foam recess called "StrapStash" which allows riders who prefer a more skate inspired look to comfortably run their goggle strap under their lid.
Check out anon’s 2014 A2 Collection:
Three adjectives that sum up anon helmet’s steez:
Diverse, progressive, and comfortable.
How about for last year’s RED line:
Youthful, simplistic, and predictable.
How big is your line sir, and how much will it set me back?
The new line of helmets will include 89 different styles, with a price range of $59.95 to $159.95.
With RED still available for Burton team riders that are on other goggle brands, will those be carryover models or anon styles branded as RED?
There are no new unique model designs for RED in ’14, just carry-over styles in very limited availability.
What are you guys most stoked on in being able to synch the goggle program up with the helmet program?
The list of efficiencies we gain from having both product categories under the same brand is a long one. However, the most important one is how much more effective we can be with telling our goggle-to-helmet integration story. Even though RED helmets and anon goggles were designed to be worn together, telling an effective story at the consumer level with two autonomous brands was an extremely difficult task. Even though well-designed technical features are what make-up legitimate integration, consumers tend to have the perception that buying a helmet and goggle manufactured by the same brand is what ensures proper alignment and fit. Additionally, we're confident that this move puts anon in an advantageous position within the competitive landscape for a long time to come.
What opportunities does this offer you on the sales/retail front?
At retail we'll be able to tell a more holistic and impactful story for the consumer, which will make more efficient use of the footprint our retail partners dedicate.
What are you going to be doing to support anon’s new endeavors?
Out of the gate, the things that stick out as being most relevant for retailers include a completely new trade show booth for SIA and ISPO, new retail merchandising/fixture program, and to create excitement on the consumer level we're launching video commercials for the A2 collection and M2 goggle.
Here’s a look at the new 2014 M2:
The M2 looks sick. Tell me a bit about this. Looks like a frameless goggle with Magna-Tech?
It's no secret that frameless goggle designs are trending right now. It's not anon.'s style to make a "me-too" goggle, so with Magna-Tech in our arsenal it only seemed natural to integrate the technology. The end result equals an ultra-stylish frameless design combined with the best quick lens technology in the industry. When Lando [Mark Landvik] was in Burlington for an anon photo-shoot last Spring, he was so blown away with how easy the lens swapping is with the M2, he decided it's what he wanted for his pro model.
Are you launching any other new goggles for next season?
In support of our women's expansion initiative, we're launching a new model called the Tempest. Hannah Teter came to us wanting a goggle that she could see better from while coming out of rotations in the pipe, and as a result, the design for the Tempest offers up one of our top performing peripheral views in the line.
Will your beanies focus on compatibility with helmets? Are we talking a full line of do-rags, or will there be styles you can wear as lifestyle pieces?
There are 12 different styles in the line that offer up a well balanced mix of helmet compatible and lifestyle headwear. With anon being so accessory centric, we see a big opportunity in this product category and a natural course of evolution for the brand.
What additional resources are being focused on anon with the near-elimination of RED?
For the brand, on a global level, Burton is committed to seeing this transition through successfully. Ever since this project came to fruition they've responded to its needs with a deeper investment in trade show, retail merchandising, packaging, marketing, and product development.
The changes at Burton were tough, but seemed strategically sound. What are the upsides for your team?
Simple - more focus, less distraction, and smarter investment.
How are you handling the sales force on the rep front? Pretty much all of your reps were already RED/anon?
No changes are being made with the rep force. However, now that there are less brands for our reps to manage there will definitely be more resources and undivided attention focused on anon.