Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ogo Sport rep Matthew Roman tosses Ogo toys at the OR show Wednesday, July 31, 2013, with Fausto Delfin, who just wandered over to Roman's booth to play with the merchandise. More than 27,000 attendees peruse the aisles of the Outdoor Retailerís 2013 Summer Market at the the Salt Palace Convention Center Wednesday during Salt Lake Cityís biggest convention.
Outdoor Retailer: Traditional advertising may scare off potential customers
Retailers » Consultant urges outdoor marketing aimed at urbanites.
First Published Aug 01 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Aug 05 2013 12:14 pm

Iconic pictures and advertisements of climbers hanging off a rock face by a fingernail, base jumpers leaping off a cliff or surfers riding enormous waves might appeal to extreme outdoor enthusiasts. But they could be scaring off millions of potential customers.

That was the message a California-based design and innovation firm called IDEO and staffers Clark Scheffy, Kate Lydon, Jill Levinsohn and Tracy DeLuca brought to retailers and manufacturers attending the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show that opened Wednesday at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The firm is in what it calls "the question-asking phase" of determining why potential customers may not be buying outdoor products, especially in urban areas.

Early research presented at the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual breakfast shows that some traditional advertising that features extreme sports and athletes might actually be scaring off people who enjoy the outdoors in milder ways.

As one presenter put it, many potential retail customers are finding the outside by simply walking out their front doors. Their experiences might involve rooftop camping, backyard bird watching, walking an urban trail, planting a small garden or fishing at an urban pond.

Many of these people find themselves intimidated by basic gear that might seem difficult to use, don’t know anyone they can trust to guide them into the outdoors, are afraid they could get hurt or don’t even try due to feelings of potential failure and embarrassment.

One person featured in a video presentation said she liked the outdoors but didn’t like nature all that much.

Lydon said many people are looking for a place to enjoy a five-minute walk in a city park as opposed to a three-hour drive to a state park. Some might define their desires as more "outsidey" than "outdoorsy."

"We need to invite people into the process by providing an easy way in," she said. "We need to make things closer and find simple ways to get people out."

IDEO’s mission is to help organizations innovate and grow by uncovering latent needs, behaviors and desires. As part of its ongoing outdoor retail study, presenters asked those attending the trade show to write down questions or ideas about how to reach those with nontraditional ideas of outdoor recreation.


story continues below
story continues below

The group shared some preliminary ideas.

One involved bringing products to places such as parks or trails through the use of "gear trucks" selling basics. These trucks would be similar to food trucks and carts that can be seen in most urban areas. Another idea was for retailers to offer classes on basic outdoor skills such as knot tying or building a campfire.

Retailers were told they should become a hub where newbies or those intimidated by more extreme sports might come to be educated.

One suggestion involved providing expertise on nearby outdoor or camping activities and even helping customers navigate the Internet to teach them how to make a camping reservation.

Some store owners have found potential customers are intimidated by gear that is too complex or takes up too much space. A way to solve this might be for retailers to provide storage lockers or even to rent outdoor gear to urban residents whose apartments may not be large enough to store equipment.

Outdoor Retailer’s Summer Market is a not-open-to-the-public trade show that runs through Saturday at the Salt Palace and is expected to bring 27,000 people into the Salt Lake area.

wharton@sltrib.com

Twitter @tribtomwharton



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.