Vew-Do Balance Boards - Trainers, How to Market Balance Board Board Training Devices on a Shoestring.
What the Heck is a Balance Board and a Balance Training Device?
Balance boards, balance trainers and balance training devices also known as "core training devices," are more like a modern day Bongo Board on steroids. They're specifically designed to teach and perfect your balance instincts. Core balance training is the basis for better performance in all physical activities.
Obviously, if you didn't have balance, you'd simply fall over as soon as you stood up. Now very few people fall over because of bad balance, but balance training will increase your performance levels in your chosen sport by helping develop muscle memory using your body's sense of proprioception. Balance boards and balance trainers aren't part of every training facility or home gym yet; but there's a market for the itch. and Vew-Do Balance Boards has been scratching it since 1990.
We had a pow-wow with Vew-Do Balance Boards President Brew Moscarello recently and he explained how this tiny company has managed to market high-end balance boards for the last 15 years on a shoestring budget.
The Vew-Do Flow Balance Board
How Come I Never Heard of Balance Boards and Who Uses Them?
Core training, once the darling of the eastern Europeans, has slowly become a more conventional training method here in the US. It took a long time before we realized it, but beefy biceps and even the use of pro athletes wasn't translating into very many gold medals and world championships.
The US doesn't even dominate sports like snowboarding anymore. Something was amiss in the way we were training. One part of the missing formula for success is "Core Training."
That missing ingredient sparked an entire niche industry "Balance Core Training." With the vision of a way to get better snowboard balance training skills, Vew-Do Balance Boards jumped in to fill the need.
Moscarello originally envisioned his idea to be used as snowboarding balance boards for snowboarders and skiers, but he quickly saw that the use of the boards is almost limitless. They're now used by just about all athletes both male and female, including freestyle wrestlers, shot putters and discus throwers, fencers and golfers. Balance boarding has even become a sport within a sport. Vew-Do boards are so versatile, they can even be used as plyometric equipment.
Born in 1990 and the undisputed pioneer of high-end balance training devices, Vew-Do has seen steady growth in the market. Recently, it's dominance in the niche has become a little diluted by a slew of copycat knock-off products. Even some of the heavyweights in the sports/fitness Industry have stepped up to the plate.
This new challenge has re-energized the crew at Vew-Do and puts them where they feel more comfortable; the role of hungry entrepreneur.
They're Back to Balance Board Marketing Basics
This brings us to Southern Vermont, with snow-capped mountains in winter and a fisherman's paradise in summer; it's an unlikely setting for guerilla marketing of the core-balance-training type.
Janine Moscarello, Brew's wife said recently, "We're going back to what got us here in the first place." After digging a little deeper into that comment, we discovered that a two year venture into operating their own retail stores had taken resources away from their previous marketing success…dealer relationships.
"The lack of attention we paid to establishing new relationships with dealers allowed the low-end knock-off boards to sneak in through the back door; mostly because of the cheaper price tags. We knew we had to get back to what we did before when dealers starting approaching us about coming back to Vew-Do."
This happened as dealers were dropping the cheaper low-end boards from their shops. As Brew exploded into a popular balance board maneuver, an "Ollie" he commented, "The market wants value, but they also want high performance. We are the only patented, high-end multidirectional balance boards on the market and that's where and what we want to be."
Vew-Do grew because of aggressive marketing to dealers from action sports, surf and fitness shops. It was time to get back to where the rubber meets the road.
To make way for the new marketing plan, the retail store on Rte 7 in Manchester VT was vacated and they've returned to their original digs on Airport Rd.
Without the luxury of a National sales force or distributors and unable to make large media buys for print, radio or TV advertising the company has had to do some creative marketing. That usually means taking the show on the road to tradeshows, fitness seminars and training conferences. Brew told us, "It's the most cost effective way for us to get our products in front of the right audience."
Vew-Do Balance Boards Also Gets an Online Marketing Overhaul
After hacking his way through a slew of web design firms Moscarello finally came to the sobering conclusion that web designers are not marketers let alone copywriters.
"We really allowed the web stuff to go unattended and it cost us a lot in terms of search engine rankings and lost sales. We just couldn't seem to get any traction when it came to the online stuff."
He seems to have found the answer to the web problem. Vew-Do now has a totally redesigned website that incorporates an Internet marketing plan. He explained that he recently stumbled onto an Internet marketing specialist with SEO, traffic generating and web copywriting skills.
"We saw what he's done with other websites. That proved to us that what he does works. He's a little wacky, but he turned us on to some web marketing tactics that no one else even told us existed. We're seeing measurable results in traffic and sales conversions already."
He wouldn't tell us who this person was, but alluded to the fact that he might drop a name to anyone who was interested, as long as it wasn't for a competitor. "I don't want to shoot myself in the foot."
In the end, every marketing channel has to be tested and evaluated. Knowing when to go back to what works is what separates the rookies from the veterans.
PS...You can also find great deals for discount Vew-Do Balance Board packages on Ebay. Visit the VewDoBalanceBoards Blog too.
By: Rick Contrata
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