Thursday, May 08, 2014

Yum! Magic Marketing Pixie Dust

What do you see in this picture?

Lunch, right? It's a post from Packlite, a tumblr feed I follow. This particular post has 20 'notes', most of which are simply likes. The reason this post is so beloved is because the lunch box in question is a GoRuck GR1 Field Pocket. You only need to know three things about GoRuck gear: (1) it's expensive. That 'lunchbox' is $75. (2) its got a reputation for quality. "Built tough enough for war" the website promises. (3) its got one heck of a loyal fan base. How else can you explain a photo of a $75 pouch being used to hold lunch earning such praise. The author of Packlite need only plop a GoRuck backpack down on the ground, photograph it, and the likes start rolling in.

One of the forums I follow said it best:

... There isn't any specific design aspect that makes GoRuck better for rucking. In fact, I could (and have) made a strong argument that compared to TAD, Kifaru, or even the Maxpedition packs I mentioned, they're worse. What GoRuck has done is sprinkled magic marketing pixie dust on their packs, which creates the illusion that they're better.

They're good packs but if you don't snort the dust then you see them for what they really are. A relatively well made Slick 1000D Cordura pack that has inherited a near mystical reputation built on a really savvy social media based marketing plan implemented by a fitness business that also happens to sell nylon gear. No more, no less.

It may be magic pixie dust, but it's definitely working. If you've got a product you're selling, it's worth taking some time to check out GoRuck. You quickly realize that you're not dealing with a company who's just interested in selling products. And that's a good thing. So while I'm not buying a $75 lunch box anytime soon, and I'm quite happy with my $8.00 bag, I do think there's plenty to learn from the people at GoRuck.

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