Written by Xan Ricketts, a current MBA Student at the University of Utah
On November 14th, the Eccles Outdoor Industry Club gave Easton, USA a shot (pun intended). Founded in 1922 by Doug Easton, the company remains private and leadership has been passed down from generation to generation. With the guidance of Daren Cottle, the General Manager for Easton, members discovered how diverse this company truly is. Easton owns divisions in bows, bow accessories, arrows, backpacks, tent poles, targets, sweaters, and related hunting products. With two manufacturing plants based in Utah, Easton’s arrows and Hoyt’s bows are known for being superior, high-quality products.
Easton is a large fish in a tiny pond. The market for bows and arrows is limited. Main competitors for Easton’s arrows include Carbon Express based out of Michigan, and Gold Tip based out of Utah. Direct competitors for Hoyt’s bows include Mathews, Elite, Bowtech, and PSE.
Easton sells primarily to low to medium price range customers, while Hoyt only sells to the upper-end. Bow and arrow customers care about arrow speed, quietness of bow and outdoor gear, and draw quickness of the string. With regards to Easton Outfitters, customers want gear that allows them to be stealth. This means the gear needs to be quiet and blend in with the surroundings. Easton only makes their outfits out of the best quality products.
An impressive fact is that during the recent Olympics, every archer that placed on the podiums used an Easton arrow. This shows how reliable their products are and how high of a brand image they possess. Easton cares about their products and are always developing new product ideas. Though it might not be known, Easton considers itself an engineering company. It takes a product about 18 months to come to fruition, with well over 5 different stages of development.
With years to come, Easton will definitely focus on their “Competitive Weapon.” This includes quality, delivery, cost, plant cleanliness, and made in USA pride. Their fixed costs are already sunk in this market, so we don’t see any new entrants making an impact in the near future (thank you Economics 6025).