I have a new obsession: playing with my HD Hero 2 camera, by Go Pro, that I recently received as a gift. I have many digital cameras already, but this one is a very special one: it captures images and videos while I am practicing my favorite and extreme sports. The beauty of this fantastic camera is: I can use it in the water or wet conditions; I can attach it on my snowboard; I can put it on my kitesnow helmet; I can crash to the ground without being worried of breaking it; and I am able to keep it outside at minus twenty. Even if I am rough with it, the Go Pro likes to capture intense moments and the beauty of Alberta’s landscapes for me, allowing me to share them with my friends.
It Started With A Great Product
I remember my very first marketing class: one of the lines that my professor wrote on the board was about the Marketing Mix (4 P’s), which was about Pricing, Product, Promotion, Place (Distribution). The Marketing mix is certainly a very simple concept even if it doesn’t include every aspect of today’ needs.
The Go Pro company is a perfect example of a company that manages successfully the product aspect of their marketing mix. On top of understanding new online/sport trends, Go Pro was able to create a complete product, offering it at a great price for the targeted segment, and markets it perfectly. As a result, Go Pro is being listed on every sport product reviews as the camera of the year (all markets put together).
…and I’m Going Pro!
The Go Pro managers were visionaries. They understood and saw these following trends :
(1) an increase in popularity in video sharing via social media platforms;
(2) videos are better tools to transmit emotions and experiences;
(3) the intense popularity of extreme sports since 1990 and the sharing of these videos via Youtube.
Taking into consideration these trends, Go Pro identified precisely the functionalities they needed to put into the perfect camera using off the shelf technologies. The camera needed to be small, durable, waterproof, “crash-proof”, mountable on anything, focusing on videos, image quality, panoramic view, accessories for sports, simplicity of use, etc. They didn’t reinvent the camera or try to design one that would be used by professional photographers; instead, they probably asked Sony to sell them the internal organs of a basic compact digital camera and they focused on everything else. Of course GoPro didn’t consider developing a camera from scratch, they just wanted to better package a stripped down version of the digital cameras readily available.
As a result, all sport practitioners want a HD Hero 2, and once they get it, most of them share their joy on Facebook telling their friends they can’t wait to post their very first extreme video. Camera owners also share their videos on Youtube, Facebook or other social media platforms. As the name of the brand says, extreme sports fans all want to be a hero, hoping that their next crash will become viral.
This Post Isn’t A Product Review…
it’s only an example of a company that was able to address a niche segment’s needs. The niche just happens to be big. Congratulations to Go Pro: you rock and made the filming of sports of all kinds a lot more accessible.
Just for fun, here is my very first SnowKiting video. I hope you will enjoy and share it with other extreme sports fans.
And by the way, the best videos are often taken by beginners, not by pros, because they (we) crash hard and often, so don’t think “I should wait until I am good” if you want to make good videos.