Hey everyone. I just want to say thanks for all the comments in the last post. Thank you for taking time to share your ideas, thoughts and concerns about Salsa. I’ve been wondering how to follow up on that post. In all honesty, I think we will need several posts to actually cover all that was written.
Last week’s post just goes to show us, and possibly you, just how much potential we have here at Salsa. Today, I want to briefly discuss our road over the next few months and also dispel some myths about Salsa.
Some folks commented that they were here for this brainstorm during Frostbike. First, thanks for attending and commenting. At that brainstorm, we laid out some of our plans for 2008 and beyond. In one of the discussions, we also mentioned that we are working on a brand assessment. This brand assessment is an exercise that results in a written document about Salsa. It includes our vision statement, our brand promise, our brand positioning and discusses our brand attributes and perceptions. These meetings and discussions are in full swing and we will share some of the findings here on the blog. You may also see a survey here on the blog that will help us determine where we have opportunities and gaps between our desired and perceived brand identity. Again, thank you. Your comments are already helping us.
I’d also like to talk a little bit about Salsa, our marketing, and our relationship with QBP. It was clear in reading the comments that there is an opportunity to shed some light on these things.
Many folks think just because we are part of QBP, one of the world’s largest and best bicycle parts distributors, we can do anything we want. In the case of marketing, folks seem to think that we can spend whatever we want. Let’s dig into this idea just a bit.
Here at Salsa, we always say “Maximize the good and minimize the bad” regarding our relationship with QBP. We have so many good things having QBP as our partner and financial backing. No lie. Honestly, many of the projects we are doing right now would likely not have happened if we did not have QBP to assist. What other small brands don’t have to worry about payroll, receiving, collection of money and employee benefits? Not many.
That said, do you know we have our own P & L statement? What’s a P&L statement? It’s a statement showing our business in dollars and calculates our Profit and Loss. You see, while we have the support of QBP, we are charged with laying out a vision, navigating Salsa & staff to success, making sound decisions, and being sustainable as if we were a stand alone business. We’ve been doing pretty darn well the last several years, but keep in mind that Salsa is a very small part of QBP’s overall sales, roughly 3%. Now, I’m sure you are thinking what does this mean?
Specifically, it means we set our budgets, staffing and plans based on Salsa sales, not QBP sales. That is a pretty big distinction. In the case of marketing, we can go even a bit further.
I think everyone reading can say that they understand that marketing and marketing campaigns cost money. I personally struggle with some marketing expenses because I think a good marketer can justify almost any expense or campaign. It’s true, getting your name out there and recognized is a challenge and a good marketer jumps at opportunities. Because of this, I’ve given Kid Riemer a strict budget for Salsa marketing.
In 2007, Salsa spent less than $75,000 on marketing. This includes all add campaigns (web or print), sponsorship, event give-a-ways, etc. While some folks may think this is a lot, others that are in marketing or know what it actually costs will likely realize that this is peanuts when you are talking about positioning a brand in the eyes of the public.
There is certainly more to it than just what I wrote today but if you consider just what I wrote, I think we do a pretty good job and often times come across as a much larger company than we really are. That is to Kid’s credit. Our colors, our web, our catalog, our print adds are consistent and good. Kid’s got high standards for the look and feel of Salsa. It certainly doesn’t mean we can’t take other risks or in some cases, better utilize some of the money we do spend. We always need to be reviewing that and working to improve. Those are all things we are looking at now.
As we move into 2008-2009, two of our main strategies are to get folks on our bikes at events and to increase our dealer presence and awareness.
So…I’m not looking for anything specific here regarding comments. I just want you to know that we are working on our picture for the future and that each of you are helping us achieve that vision.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we look into the hot topic of high end Salsa steel road bikes and dig a little deeper into the Primero and the La Raza.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.