Who has their own brand of gear

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment Discussion' started by Bashir Ahmad, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Bashir Ahmad

    Bashir Ahmad Orange Belt

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    It seems that there are about 10000 new MMA gear companies starting up everyday. My questions is who here on this forum owns their own brand or is starting their own brand or even knows someone who does.

    Out of 100 new brands, how many will survive to turn a profit?

    Thoughts?

    Experiences?
     
  2. Heavyweight

    Heavyweight Purple Belt

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    Out of 100 new brands? Probably none.
     
  3. www.rdfc.tv

    www.rdfc.tv Orange Belt

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    Agreed :icon_chee
     
  4. boboplata***

    boboplata*** Banned Banned

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    designing is the easiest part. marketing & production is a bitch. frankly, i never had the time to do a decent sales push. i still get some calls but logistics sucks too. i only used my own money from my small salary so it was also a couple of months of getting hungry.lol!

    maybe if i quit my job & get a loan then maybe i can take it further but that would require me to make a duplicate account on mma websites to make me look like a decent person since i'm pretty much of a dick, still i wouldn't even do it out of principle.


    i'd say the survival rate would be pretty low, like less than 5%. i was happy before breaking even. what i'd do is, for every 10 shorts i'd sell, 5 would be at discounted prices to friends & club members. i'm not much of a businessman, but it's nice seeing other people rocking your brand when you're walking by.
     
  5. Bashir Ahmad

    Bashir Ahmad Orange Belt

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    What is/was your brand called? Are you still selling? What made you get into it?
     
  6. smacenroy

    smacenroy White Belt

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    The most important thing for people who are thinking of starting their own mma brand of clothing/gear is that you need a lot of money. It doesn't matter how cool or innovative your designs are, you have to be willing to spend a sh!tload of money on getting your brand out there.

    There are probably several hundred mma brands out there. And 99% of them are dropping like flies because they're not spending the type of cash it takes to succeed in this very saturated market. Look at some of the biggest name brands out there: Dethrone, Warrior Wear, etc. These guys aren't succeeding because they have some of the most original and creative designs. They're succeeding because they're spending a shItload of money on advertising and sponsorships.
     
  7. Bashir Ahmad

    Bashir Ahmad Orange Belt

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    Very True. Can anyone think of an MMA brand that was really, truly grassroots in the past TWO YEARS (meaning you cant say TapouT, which were the original, trunk of your car MMA brand) has anyone gotten to the top starting from the bottom?
     
  8. smacenroy

    smacenroy White Belt

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    I couldn't. And I doubt anybody else could think of one. And aside from a lot of money, a brand also needs to get lucky sponsoring the right fighter. It could propel a brand from obscurity or heavily dent it. While they don't really need the market, I remember Ecko being a hot brand in mma a year or two ago. Then disaster occured when two of its biggest names were on the losing end of title matches: Frank Mir and Miguel Torres. Now they don't have the presence they use to. At least not that I've noticed.
     
  9. boboplata***

    boboplata*** Banned Banned

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    it was/is Martial Arts Combat Apparel Co.

    i'm trying to incorporate the word macaco, my avatar is the logo.

    i started it almost 3 years ago since no one in my region is doing it so i offered a cheaper alternative for fight shorts. customers love it & they are really tough since one of my 1st customer said he still uses them regularly & that was almost 2 years ago. & like sherdog, it's nice to say "first!" when competiting brands come in. i also made (i think) the 1st ripstop gi pants with fight shorts closure system, tough as hell & stays secured always.

    lol, this post made me sound like a salesman.
    :icon_chee
     
  10. Long Nguyen

    Long Nguyen Amateur Fighter

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    do you have a link to your stuff??
     
  11. yella91

    yella91 Green Belt

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    Shoyoroll has done a good grassroots sort of campaign. They have been around a long time. People recognize them from their gis, but they have been sponsoring fighters for well over two years. They were big in the islands with Fokai.
     
  12. KaosX

    KaosX Banned Banned

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    Datsusara, RenegadeMMA, Defense Soap, Project Discipline, Rupture, Gorilla...lots of love to go around.
     
  13. ASEGSEA

    ASEGSEA Guest

    You've given a lot of interesting interviews so far. have you seen any patterns in company's that you think establish it as a "quality" company?
     
  14. KaosX

    KaosX Banned Banned

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    Definitely.

    In every single company I've done an interview with there are common traits

    1. They're all athletes in a combat sport or martial art, all of them - not a single exception to that rule. They understand the market because they're part of it.

    2. They are focused on quality, because the gear was designed by them to fit a need. Examples of this are clear:

    Datsusara's bags are top notch (my review coming soon)
    Defense Soap is tried and tested (and with white papers/data sheets to give in depth info)
    RenegadeMMA has great shin guards
    Rupture makes great looking gear that's made in America
    Project Discipline has a nice variety of gear and will LITERALLY meet you if you're nearby to get that gear to. (Their first gi is dropping soon).

    3. They're keeping in touch with their fans in one way or another, and value their feedback.

    Forums
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Making their cell available for texting etc

    4. They go through prototyping phases and don't just release the first thing they got a hold of (Check out datsusara's facebook page - you'll see a clear examples of this)

    5. They're down to earth and don't have some high inflated sense of themselves.

    6. They Stand behind their products. I had an issue with my xtrainers and mark fixed it fast.

    There are other companies who won't even return my request for an interview and they're bigger companies.

    I still have a few people I've been working with to try to get some reviews in place instead of just straight up interviews but as you can understand most places think you're trying to get free gear, which I'm not - I always offer to pay for it/return it at the end of the review.

    Guess it's just difficult to get the right message across - smaller businesses need ot make money and I have a house/family etc so I don't have a ton of disposable coin.
     
  15. KaosX

    KaosX Banned Banned

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    BTW: Still looking for smaller companies who want some exposure to interview if any are reading this!
     
  16. Cageside

    Cageside Blue Belt

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    We'd love an interview. Shoot me an email: [email protected]

    Thanks!
     
  17. Defense Soap

    Defense Soap Orange Belt

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    If you were an outsider trying to break into the market of MMA I guess it could be a little intimidating to say the least. Just imagine rolling into a niche and setting up camp to find your niche market just so happens to be the toughest, most disciplined no nonsense athletes one the planet that wont put up with any bullshit or have any problem calling ass on you. I would have to guess that is why many companies come and go. Here are a few things that helped me move into my 6th year.


    1. Sell, develop or create a product that there is a need for......don't try to create a need for your product

    2. Make sure your product is of the highest quality......we are a demanding breed.....we expect the companies we deal with to have the same core values as ourselves

    3. Have "over the top" customer service.....customers are paying premium dollars for a premium product, we don't want to give our hard earned dollars to some jackass

    4. Run your company off the values of a mission statement rather then a profit and loss statement....my accountant is to fond of this one

    5. Offer more then just a product.....offer assistance or advise but make sure you are educated on the topic

    6. Communicate with your customers.....anybody can run an ad and hide behind what it says.....put your foot on the line or step into the cage and get it on.....customers respect the fact that you make yourself accessible to their questions. You might take it on the chin every now and then but what the hell we are fighters aren't we. Educate yourself and if you don't know the answer admit it....then find the answer

    7. Listen to your customers.....my customers have more uses for my products then I ever thought of and have actually helped me develop new products.....just because you are a part of your niche doesn't mean you know everything about it

    A big advantage that I have at Defense is that I don't draw a salary. I am a full time policeman therefore I don't have to rely in Defense sales to survive. If I had to draw a salary we might have made it through the learning years.

    Guy
    Defense Soap
     
  18. mrpopenfresh

    mrpopenfresh Red Belt

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    Reminds me of skateboarding and the million brands that pop of with them. Anyone with a silkscreen and photoshop can start a clothing company.
     
  19. ruptureclothing

    ruptureclothing White Belt

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    There are a lot of good companies out there that are slowly chipping away. Retail soft goods is a crowded market and going up against companies with big budgets takes a differentiator, even though you might have better products. For us, the key was a fanatical obsession to quality and US made products under ethical working conditions.

    Btw, Six Deuce should be on that list. Their theme shirts are awesome :).
     
  20. lublin82

    lublin82 Blue Belt

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    Seems many ppl are tryin to jump on the bandwagon of MMA 's popularity.
    Some of the clothing/designs of mma brands is simply awful looking.
     

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