Nadja Herger, Communication Manager
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what are you doing to meet them?
Comfort and fit are the key points that need to be reached in order to satisfy the end consumer. Every brand wants a piece of the winter helmet sales cake now, so the helmet offering grows extremely. But more quantity doesn't mean more quality. It's too easy to pick an open-mold helmet model and put brand logo and graphics on. We keep investing into our own brand and custom helmet molds to offer anatomically correct shapes. A helmet only protects as good as it fits. As an independent family-owned protection gear company we set us apart by our continuous ambition for innovation in helmet technology, fit and style.
For the upcoming season, what is your brand doing to differentiate itself?
We expand our offer for kid's helmets, introducing the new Arctic Nipper Mini and Maxi helmets. A kid's sized inmold snowboard helmet, incredible light with a great shape for perfect fit. As known from our summer model Nipper (Mini and Maxi), the helmet doesn't need any dial size adjustment as the low and snug fit shell shape is designed to cover a children's head without jiggling and slipping.
We offer a broad spectrum of helmet models and types (inmold, hardshell, FlexTech) and large color and graphic selection. We work with artists for unique art design series.
What new technologies are you introducing to your line?
We add a new technology to our FlexTech technology of the award winning Arctic Kraken helmet (ispo Boardsports Award 2011) that will result into the safest helmet available. We will spread the words about our new Kraken+ as soon as the helmet is finalized.
From your perspective, how concerned are consumers with helmet certifications?
We experience an increasing concern about certifications. Consumers now understand that there are different types of helmets out there. In Europe laws require certifications, if not retailers are not allowed to sell the helmets. I believe that selling helmets without certifications but a big warning like "this helmet does not meet action sport protection standards" is like selling a car without brakes.
What trends do you anticipate in the realm of graphics, themes, and colors?
Compared to the mountain bike scene, where the helmet is part of the outfit, snowboarders and skaters still tend to pick simple black or white uni-colors. Those are still the big sellers and brights are exceptions. But I see a slight change and I think natural colors might have a chance in the future. Brown, desert sand and coal could gain more acceptances.
Graphics and artist's artworks are for individualists that like to differentiate themselves from the masses.
Girls and women are more open to graphics. Winter 12/13 we keep on offering our Art Design models working with the Australian surfer and artist Karlee Mackie who has a great talent for female artworks. The Swiss artist Celine Quadri brings cool scribble graphics with only a few color highlights to the helmet shell.
Very welcome are color-matching straps.
What trends have you detected with regards to sale volumes?
Helmet sales continue to rise. Increasing concerns, higher awareness and new helmet technologies stimulate the market.