Zebco Brands demonstrates commitment to ASA
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Zebco Brands has been a cornerstone of the annual ICAST trade show for more than 50 years. The manufacturer’s impressive booth and new product launches have become a go-to feature at the world’s largest tackle trade showcase.
The Oklahoma company looked forward to this year’s ICAST with particular anticipation, having recently relaunched and repositioned its key Zebco and Quantum brands and prepared a tranche of new products ready to unveil to dealers and media.
So the cancellation of this year’s show not only marked a significant break in tradition for Zebco, but a potentially missed opportunity in a recovering marketplace.
However, the launch of the virtual alternative, ICAST Online, meant that the show was down, but not out. And Zebco made clear its commitment to the new venture and its organiser, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).
“We knew that it would be different this year, but given our long-term support for the ASA and ICAST we intended to participate fully,” says Zebco Brands President Steve Smits.
And by that Smits meant more than just using the platform to launch new products and engage with the market. Zebco was quick to take up the option to become a Diamond Partner, the top sponsorship package available, to secure a prominent presence right across ICAST’s digital platform.
“We wanted to get as close as possible to doing everything that we would normally do and we covered all the bases,” says Smits. “Our brand was very visible. We also sent dedicated ICAST email blasts during the week, communicating through ICAST’s mobile app and taking part fully in the New Product Showcase.
“We are excited by the momentum we have with our brands, and ICAST Online helped maintain that. We did our best to make the show a great success.”
That momentum has gathered pace since Smits and his team decided to reposition Zebco and Quantum two years ago, starting with researching people who loved the outdoors but were not engaged in fishing.
The outcome was a repositioning of Quantum to focus on the heart of the market with an intermediate to avid product range. The popular Accurist product line has been redesigned to cater for specific fishing techniques. Marketing is driving the durability and smooth performance of the Quantum brand and its new Tested Beyond Limits campaign is being brought to life in the retail environment.
At the same time, Zebco is launching a new strategy designed to offer specific products for different youth age groups, with the growing youth fishing sector a key target. All products in the flagship 33 Platinum line have been updated and carry high expectations.
Zebco packaging has also been completely redesigned to make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for in store.
In addition, the Zebco Brand has gained impetus from a campaign called ‘Catch On’, launched last year. The timing could hardly have been better, explains Vice President, Brand and Consumer Experience, Dave Johns.
“This year has been a real opportunity because so many more people are fishing and are considering fishing because of the pandemic. The campaign message speaks to them and overcomes the barriers they may have had in the past. It is very digital, but has also been brought to life in retail with product displays.
“Our efforts to reposition our brands give us a wonderful opportunity to capture those returnees and newcomers to fishing, not just this year but going forward.”