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    Posted January 10, 2009 by
    ToddJones
    Location
    Jackson Hole, Wyoming
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Surviving a tough economy

    More from ToddJones

    Teton Gravity Research: Growing a Brand in a Recession

     
    http://www.tetongravity.com Like everyone, we are gripped on the economy and business is tough. It was just over a year ago that we laid off half our staff and sold a portion of the company to a strategic partner to stay afloat. This was when the economy was thriving and things were good. In the long run, some questionable decisions we made a few years ago that almost crushed us and put us out of business, have created a business environment at our company that has prepared us for tough times. My company, Teton Gravity Research is a popular action sports brand that sells a lifestyle clothing line and creates some of the most cutting edge action sports entertainment to date. We have been in the business for 14 years. We were doing action sports before the X Games. We actually consulted ESPN on a panel, advising them how to enter into this young independent and growing culture back before X Games 1. After a tough year in 2007, we tightened our belts and focused on growing sales channels with a super tight and core team of employees. We implemented a series of analytics and tracking programs that would allow us to examine the business under a microscope. We learned a lot of things about the company. We learned that the majority of our retail clothing sales come from a select number of stores. To respond to that, we created a cutting edge closed circuit entertainment POS display that showed off our films, TV, and action sports media and housed our clothing line. We cut off our low selling retailers, betting that working with less and doing more would be better for us. The bet has paid off. Retail clothing sales have grown. We took a deep look at our website http://tetongravity.com. We have over 4.5 million page views and 250,000 unique visitors a month. These users populate our ever growing community and discuss everything skiing, snowboarding and action sports. We began to sell advertising on our site in August and pass this space off to our strategic partners in larger deals. This has quickly become a solid revenue stream and lots of our partners are choosing the new media channels as a significant part of their sponsor packages. Our analysis has helped us adapt to an environment where people are spending less on traditional advertising forms and more on new media. There are a number of other scenarios, where our heavy analysis and adaptation to that analysis in the last 16 months have allowed us to react to the ever changing market and make tough, yet frugal business decisions. As the market started to dive late summer 2008, this preparation has proven tremendously valuable. We have had to make hard decisions recently, but they have been easier to make now that we understand our business better. Here are a few of the steps we have taken to stay afloat in the Bush JR. Depression. We have aborted a few new hires and decided to promoted within and add hours to key employees. The production side of our business uses cutting edge cameras and equipment. We have made tough decisions about which equipment is critical and trimmed money from this budget. We have tightened our production budget as well and cancelled some locations, hoping to get better footage in less places and save a few dollars. We have also taken measures to invest in growth areas. Anywhere we can increase revenue has been looked at and we have asked, “If we invest more will the return be greater” Those areas have received budget increases. Two of those, as mentioned above are our branded apparel line and our website http://tetongravity.com Overall our philosophy is that, even though we grew in 2008 and had a profitable year, we need to be prepared for difficult scenarios in 2009. Every area we spend is being looked at and double checked to make sure it is necessary so if things do slow we have room to wiggle. With the right moves, we plan to have more growth for 2009. ToddJones's Biography Author Todd Jones is a co-founder of one of the fastest growing action sports brands in the world, Teton Gravity Research. For more info check out http://www.tetongravity.com. Todd's other blog can be seen at: http://tetongravity.com/blog/BlogRss.ashx About Teton Gravity Research Teton Gravity Research is an action sports brand specializing in surf films, snowboard/ski films, TV programming and online content. TGR sells a hip lifestyle clothing brand based around actions sports culture. TGR is a proud member of 1% for the planet. For more information visit www.TETONGRAVITY.com or call us. TGR Contact: Steve Jones (307) 734-8192 x13 scj@tetongravity.com

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