Rollerblade’s Marketing Strategy
Inspired by the older in-line skate, Rollerblades had penetrated the market with the objective of making off-season hockey training possible. The product had easily gained brand awareness from the customers and the brand name became a generic term for in-line skates. Many manufacturers also tried to penetrate the market with the same product, but Rollerblade retained the brand recognition because of its unique selling proposition. The first mass-produced products were found with many flaws that made the manufacturers think of better designs to assure the marketability of the product in the market. The difficulty of the customers to put on and adjust the Rollerblade was changed to a stronger and user-friendly product (Bellis, 1997).
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Rollerblade continued its development maintaining the good record despite the existence of numerous competitors in the marketplace. From 1989, the product had developed making the customers safer and giving them a variety of designs to choose from. However, the manufacturers of Rollerblade lacked budget to promote the product to its target market. Since most of the people have not heard of in-line skating when the product was invented, the manufacturers thought of developing a good low-cost campaign to gain the awareness of their prospective customers. Rollerblade used the guerilla marketing to make the product known in the market. This strategy helped the manufacturers of Rollerblade to get the attention of the target market in strong appeal and persuasive concepts but in a low budget (Kerin et. al., 2005). Rollerblade targeted young adults with ages from 14 to 22 years old.
SWOT Analysis of Rollerblade
Despite the existence of many competitors in the market which manufacture same product for the same target market, Rollerblade is able to be on top of intense competition. The idea of being the first and original in the marketplace had made the company credible in creating rollerblades. The product continued to be developed and innovated that kept it saleable in the market.
However, although Rollerblade was able to gain the appropriate market share, the company still failed to reach the other cluster of the market because of its promotion strategies. The product was not being advertised to other media sources like what other competitors are doing in order to get the brand recognition of the customers. In other words, the company still lacks the effort of informing and persuading all the prospective customers to buy the original Rollerblade.
Rollerblade is being distributed only to limited and selected market. Only few countries are able to buy and use the product which somehow makes the product weaker as compared with other competitors. The product can be distributed to other countries and target a larger market in order to gain a higher profit and market share in the market. Aside from that, the company will be able to penetrate the market of other countries that could give them an opportunity to develop more products.
The constant innovation of shoes and products with same features of Rollerblade could serve as threats to the manufacturers. The continuous changes in the society can also affect the marketability of Rollerblade. Since the young adults easily find new activities to get involved to, the product may go into decline stage if the manufacturer will not innovate into more strategic ways to lengthen the life cycle of Rollerblade in the market.
New Tactics for Rollerblade
In order to make the product stay in the market, the products of Rollerblade should have a better strategic marketing plan. In other words, the company should try a more advanced technique to persuade the customers to buy the product. Advertising in other media sources like television and newspaper can be a good step to start a well organized marketing tactic for a product like Rollerblade. With this technique, the company will be able to promote the product in a larger market and penetrate other countries later on.
Bellis, Mary. (1997). History of Rollerblades. About.com. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from http://inventors.about.com/od/rstartinventions/a/Roller_Blades.htm
Kerin, A. Kerin, A. Hartley, S. & Rudeleus, W. (2005). Marketing: The Core. China: Tsinghua University Press
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