Recreational Boat Building Industry
The remainder of this page stores links to some of our older web pages with market research information and some miscellaneous information we have collected about the the boating industry market.
Some new product opportunities are discussed on our RBBI Inventions Page. They are posted here for the world to see, so you better "get on them in a hurry."
The rec.boats newsgroup FOLDER contains some of the newsgroup messages we thought to be of special interest to the industry. One great example is the two stroke oil discussions. It costs a great deal to do consumer research. Here are your customers talking to each other about their likes, dislikes, and how they see the industry. All you have to do is respond with the proper products and marketing programs.
There is a Marketing Section of the Editorial Page on the Industry News Section that discusses some of the areas of marketing that we think need greater development. We encourage you to read it and would be glad to hear your comments.
Business Week 21 Oct 1996 issue, page ENT 28 has a story titled, "When Pushing the Right Buttons Isn't Enough" about Edward D. "Buz" Lewis and his company called Buztronics. They make pin on "campaign type buttons" with a battery and a blinking light in them. The buttons can be in special shapes (cards, beer bottles, etc) and are very popular in Japan. The article mentions there are 5 other competitors in this "blinking button" industry. The concept might be adaptable to many different campaigns, but one jumps out in our minds.
Attn: Mercury Marine / MerCruiser - can you imagine a round black campaign style button with the Black Scorpion on it with two flashing red eyes ??? Seems like an awesome potential application of the product to us. People would kill each other at boat shows for them. We looked up Buztronics using our Office Tools page and found the contact info:
Buztronics 7736 Zionsville Road #100 Indianapolis IN 46268-2175 (317) 876-3413If you give it a try, please send us a couple.
The Wall Street Journal had an article titled, "Influx of Immigrants Adds New Vitality to Housing Market" on page 1 of its Thursday October 10, 1996 issue. It describes how the wave of newcomers to the U.S. in the 80's from not only China, but also South Korea, Vietnam, India, the former Soviet Union, Mexico, and Peru is now turning into a wave of home buyers in the 1990's. Many of the Chinese people are now quite affluent and are purchasing very expensive homes in Southern California.
The top two dozen gateway cities contain two thirds of these foreign arrivals. These cities include: Metropolitan Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and Washington D.C.. Nationally, as the baby boomers are leaving the home buying ages, the baby bust group was expected to cause a considerable slow down in housing starts. The large influx of immigrants has helped to reduce this downturn.
The article explains that in Southern California some areas are being specifically developed for them and their culture. It explains several special steps being taken to accommodate them: hiring Chinese speaking salesmen, using Budist Monks to bless subdivisions, removing the number "4" (makes them think of death) from housing and street numbers, fountains symbolize prosperity, they like water tanks, extra cooking exhaust vents to handle Chinese cooking, and stairways the angle away from the front door (so the luck won't run out).
Perhaps this affluent and concentrated group of new home buyers would also be potential boat buyers? If you are in the area of one of these developments it might be worth visiting with some of them and seeing what it might take to interest them in boating.
Here is a self serving idea - You might want to place an add on this website. It gives Drive Manufacturers the opportunity to be daily in front of the Boat Builders who are using this resource. It gives Boat Builders the opportunity to be daily in front of the Boat Dealers using this resource. Magazines are flipped through and thrown away. These adds will be seen again and again. Boat Dealers can be in front of the hundreds of end user boaters who browse through here on a daily basis. If your interested check out our Sponsor Information Page
Several of you have considered expanding your product lines into new areas, purchasing other businesses, etc. If you want to evaluate another industry and learn more about it, we have a "How to Learn About an Industry or Company" page on a sister web site that can greatly help you organize your thoughts. It also can be very helpful in learning about potential suppliers or distributors. If you need some professional help in evaluating another industy, please contact us, Polson Enterprises Research Services.
A great deal of general information about the industry is available in the annual corporate reports of the large players in the industry. They have a number of "glitzy photos", then provide some hard statistics on the industry and compare their current performance to last years. They also have a "Letter from the President" describing why things are up or down and their view of the future. Annual Reports can be very interesting. You do need to remember that the numbers are usually correct, but the words are always slanted in their favor.
Here are some addresses of some of the majors. You can just write them and request a copy of their current annual corporate report and they will send you one for free. The reports for the past year are normally out in April of the current year. The most relevant annual reports are from companies involved only to the boating industry (OMC 1st, Brunswick 2nd). Note, OMC is now private and you will have to rely upon historical copies.The Japanese companies in the industry are quite diversified and it is also difficult to get an English copy of their reports.
Brunswick Corporation 1 North Field Court Lake Forest IL 60045-4811 Outboard Marine Corporation (no longer in business) 100 Sea Horse Drive Waukegan IL 6085 Volvo Investor Relations 535 Madison Ave New York NY 10022other publicly traded companies in the industry are:
A nice general discussion about the boating industry and its various elements appears as a Case Study in the book, Recreation Business, by John R. Kelly in 1985 and published by MacMillan Publishing Company. The case, "The Complex Market for Boats" begins on page 317 and ends on page 323.
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