Everyone is going pro!

Last Monday night I went to a presentation of the new 2012 range of Fender guitars and amplifiers. I sat in an amphitheatre along with 600 other people and watched a stunning range of gleaming ‘Axes’ and amps put through their paces ... it then occurred to me that not everyone in the audience was a professional musician. In fact, most of the people were probably ‘enthusiasts’. I then remembered my recent visit to a well-heeled middle aged professionals home and seeing a stunning electric Fender guitar on display. Clearly a weekend rocker ... and yet 20 years ago the only people that owned Fender guitars were professional musicians. WHAT'S GOING ON???
Just look at the scores of Pinarello mounted, lycra clad weekend cyclists who might look like part of the Tour De France, but are clearly not paid cyclists!

What's becoming clear is that pro gear is now more accessible to the masses than ever before thanks to the internet and social media. It's easy for anyone to get up to speed on who has the best gear, how much it is and where to get it.

It's not a new strategy - Nike has been doing it for years, that is treating all of it's customers like they are athletes/pros. By doing this, Nike has amassed millions of people of all ages as consumers that can identify with their brand/products that are championed by athletes that perform at highest levels.

But what is new is the higher end, big ticket item categories are now using the same strategy - treating everyone as a pro. In fact, it seems the survival of high value niche products in our contemporary global marketplace is predicated by a brand positioning that is both elite and yet accessible to all with cash or a decent line of credit.

So move over David Bailey, I’ve got myself a new Nikon DSLR