2016:037 Conclusions of Blandeur

There have been a few things that dominating my train of thought for the past few months:

  • I wonder if my neighbors can smell this?
  • Oh good, please, bring on an anxiety attack. Right here, in a grocery store, because I can’t find the olives.
  • Hollywood made a movie about those shitty plastic troll toys, the ones with brightly colored hard and zero fun-to-play-with qualities. And this movie featured the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. And it was poised to be a mega blockbuster, and it just disappeared. And no one in society talks about this. It’s so fucking weird. I’ve been thinking about his all summer. (Of course, this was all before I learned this film wasn’t released until November)
  • Jake Burton said this in an interview with snowboarder:

    I’ve realized that my methods of day-to-day management are outdated. That was tough for me. For instance, every product had to change every year, I don’t care what the fuck it was. Not necessarily functionally, but at least aesthetically. You had to really redesign the goddamn thing. For me the worst nightmare was a kid buying this sick jacket that had this awesome print, pulling into the lift line and then somebody else showing up with the exact same jacket, like they had the same dress at the ball. You remember how many logos we had? That was another thing—use all the logos we can! Like don’t use that swoosh all the fuckin’ time, it drives me nuts. Well, those things are completely out the window, and now it’s about carry-over product. Shops want to buy product that they know is going to be in the line the next year, and if they carry it and end up sitting on it because it’s a shitty snow year, they’re not going to have to close it out and are going to be able to sell it at full pop the next year. That is how the business goes, and there are great companies like Patagonia that spit out the same shit every year.”

Sounds like dude is given up on freshness.

Is it because the Playboy decks are tacky as fuck? Is it because their XIII line was essentially 2003 Analog styles and sat on the shelves at Haven with the Neighborhood collab until it all went on 60% clearance? Or does he just want to keep those orders up more than anything?

Let’s be clear on this, I like Burton’s gear. I’ve been head to toe in their gear, with only a few exceptions, for the past 25 years. So when I read this, I hear “we’re cutting out a lot of the personality of snowboarding.” And I get bummed out thinking of the brand being homogenized. It’s statements like that which lead me to believe think they are no longer the torch bearers, the spiritual leaders, of snowboarding. It’s just one last cash grab, disguised as an epiphany, before Jake steps away. He’s basically setting the company up for a future following in the footsteps of Patagonia and the North Face. But at least The North Face can sell through their Purple Label.

And the blandeur has already begun. Check out this ad in Outside:

IMG_6533A full, two-page spread with zero mentions of snowboards or snowboarding or standing sideways (insert jerk-off motion). The marketing team is just lining up and tossing the brand’s heritage in the the dumpster. I don’t really look forward to a time when we get to say “Well, Burton used to be a snowboard company.”

On the flip side, I’m really looking forward to their SS2017 trail running line, which should be hitting stores in mid-January.

On the other flip side, I don’t think everyone in the marketing department got the memo about this new direction:

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 8.18.19 AM




on “2016:037 Conclusions of Blandeur
2 Comments on “2016:037 Conclusions of Blandeur
  1. I liked the XIII. And while I am an extreme consumer, I would rather buy a $700 jacket that I know stand the test of time and not feel outdated in three years. Same with hardgoods.

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