I'm helping a friend install display panels at a sporting goods manufacturer's new headquarters. The manufacturer has been eminently successful and needed to expand their offices. I've heard of the brand before. I'm not sure what all they make. I think tents are in their lineup of goods. But like many of these outfits, they have discovered that the real money is in the rag trade, that is, clothing. And the clothing is outrageousely expensive. And each item of clothing is prominently emblazoned with the manufacturer's logo. This is nothing new of course. But like many things, one needs to see it in the flesh, at the source, to fully comprehend the physical reality of it.
The formula for companies like this one seems to be as follows. Make some high quality sports gear which attracts a following, establish a recognizeable logo and then put that logo on everything from baseball caps to shirts to shorts to windbreakers to shoes. There's a finite amount of money in selling tents or rock climbing gear or whatever, but an almost unlimited amount of money in selling clothes.
So the business model for kayak builders would be to create an attractive brand of kayak with a distinctive logo, then sell clothes with that logo on it. Then make more money selling clothes than kayaks to where you can make the kayaks just as a sideline to maintain the illusion that your business is about adventure rather than clothes.
Kayak logo wear anyone?