Monday, December 28, 2009

Thought of the Day

It’s easier to run a paintball company during times when the paintball industry has good positive growth than during times when the paintball industry has negative growth.

If you are the head of a large corporation that manufactures and markets paintballs and paintball products, you might be considered to be a great businessman if you are doing this during times when virtually everything in paintball is growing. If you sell out near the beginning of a negative growth period, you might be considered wise.

The reputation and profits you have from being in business during those times might give you a head start when you decide to enter the market during tougher times. But during times when an industry is relatively stagnant in growth, it will truly take a great businessman to build something from the ground up. Just being in the right place at the right time isn’t going to cut it.

Smoke and mirror marketing isn’t going to do it either in these times of instant and easy communication. All it takes is one person to peak behind a mirror and within minutes the rest of the world knows what’s going on behind the fa├žade.

No. For a business to succeed in such times it needs products and/or services with good value. In times of past, you could get by with having products and/or services with perceived good value, but even that is tougher and tougher. It’s hard to fool people these days, almost impossible to do it for any length of time. If you are trying to market something that doesn’t work very well in these times, chances are you are going to have a tough time doing so, no matter how great your reputation may be with some people.

4 comments:

  1. Getting the message out there is easy. Making sure that the message stays the way you want it to is much much harder. The democracy of the internet allows everyone to take your message and modify it to their liking. Now it's a race for who has a better following - you as a company or the opinion leaders in your industry.

    I believe that in this particular case, the company in question lost round 1. But they could still turn things around and win round 2 and 3.

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  2. Maybe so. But in the end, they still need a product that has value, at least considered close to what is currently available. A little cheaper but considerably inferior in performance for the end user isn't going to cut the mustard. We already have that available to us without having to deal with two different calibers.

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  3. Hmmm, are we talking about JT or smartparts? JT hasn't put out a good product in YEARS. Smartparts business plan (sue everyone) killed them in the end.

    Personally, I think that the downturn is nice in the fact that it weeds out the worst. As you've mentioned, selling paintball is selling fun. Companies are slowly starting to get back to that.

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  4. Actually, I wasn't talking about JT or Smart Parts. Smart Parts has put out many good products over the years. Unfortunatelly for them, they gambled at the wrong time. They also undervalued their products.

    JT has put out products that were perceived to be good value for new players. They put them in places where new players would see them. Unfortunately, the industry is not in a growth mode anymore and new players are fewer and farther in between. Industries go through phases. When you put all or most of your eggs in the growth phase and the industry leaves that phase, you are going to have problems.

    And yes, it's about selling fun. But you actually need to make it fun as well, not just sell it as such. If something looks like fun from the outside but is not when tried, in the long run it will fail. Hence, why the paintball industry overall is no longer in the growth phase.

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