The kayaking industry has experienced a unique growth in the past few years. The year 2007
indicated a sales increase of 5.1%. Due to this large demand, Perception now has the ability to
gain future customers and current kayaking enthusiasts.
Perception has a reputable brand history for producing quality products at a reasonable
price. Since the 1970’s Perception Kayaks has offered a wide range of kayaks and gear for new
and experienced kayakers. The broad range of kayak prices that perception offers appeals to a
multitude of customers, ranging in price from $333-$2000.
Likewise, competition in the kayaking industry has increased correlating to the new demand
for product. Old Town and Emotion are seen as the biggest competitors within our industry,
however Perception’s variety of amenities provides an edge over its’ competitors.
Based on previous research conducted, it has been determined that Perception is a highly in-
novative company frequently bringing forth new ideas. Additionally, primary research con-
ducted showed Perception has the highest brand awareness among its competitors. The goal of
this campaign is to increase Perception’s brand awareness by 65% in order to increase sales.
The boat industry, which includes Kayaks and Canoes as recreational
boats, has been increasing steadily and in 2007 increased by an esti-
mated 5.1 %. There was a large increase in the sales of recreational
boats that was a noted difference from past years, where sales of
such boats were in decline. There has been an increase in recreation-
al boat users to 18.3 million users nationwide, a significant amount
compared to the 16.8 million users in 1998. This industry is predict-
ed to continue in this growth pattern in future years.
IbisWorld: “Boat Building in the US- Industry Report” Oct 17 2007
Bill Masters, who began making Kayaks while enrolled as a student at
Clemson University, originally created Perception in the 1970’s. He
has been credited with expanding the Kayak market to include low-cost,
molded plastic kayaks. Perception is currently owned by Confluence,
which is a holding company that also owns several other brands of kay-
aks and canoes. Confluence Holdings Corporation was founded in 1998,
and by 2000 it was the world’s third largest manufacturer of canoes
and kayaks. Over the past nine years, Confluence has acquired some of
the leading producers of kayaks and canoes including Dagger, Main-
stream, mad river canoe, harmony, wilderness, and wave sport.
International Directory of Company Histories: Confluence Holding
SWOT Analysis: Perception Kayaks
• Perception has a variety of kayaks including those intended for day
touring, fitness touring, recreational, sporting recreational,
• They offer 7 recreational kayaks; 3 Sporting Recreational, 6 Sit-on
• As a brand they have been present since the 70’s, making them a
recognizable Kayak brand
• Perception has a broad price range: from $333-$1700
• Range of sizes & weights to fit all types of consumers
• A variety of amenities including: removable kids seats, cup holders,
storage hatches, adjustable seats, foot braces ect.
• Perception is owned by Confluence, a company that owns other
recognizable brands of kayaks
• Consumers cannot purchase a kayak directly from the website
• Limited availability in stores: not all retailers carry every style
• There is a limited budget
• Expensive product, and can generally only be used by one person
at a time
• Heavy to carry and hard to transport
• There is currently not a kayak brand that is widely recognized
as the best, and this advertising campaign could be an
opportunity to increase national brand awareness
• Use events nationwide to increase awareness
• Provide kayaks to people of all experience levels
• Increase amount of national retailers
• Only a select market of consumers nationwide that would
have access to water
• There is a multitude of kayak brands currently available
• In the United States, the season for Kayaking is limited
in most parts of the country to spring and summer. This
means that all events and promotions must occur during
this time period
Run by longtime recreational kayakers with a serious passion for fun,
Emotion Kayaks offers a kayak for any beginner paddler. The team at Emo-
tion Kayaks is constantly striving to come up with new and innovative
ways to make their products the best and they are in pursuit of the ulti-
mate kayaks-built for fun.
• Seven sit-in recreational kayaks and nine sit on tops for recreational
• Emotion Kayaks are made with polyethylene plastic for ultimate
durability and long time use - their kayaks are very user friendly.
• Their kayaks are easy to repair and are UV resistant.
• All kayaks come with a three year hull warranty (boat but not
• Their website also has accessories in addition to kayaks that you can
• They are a relatively new business with a lot of good things to
offer, and are growing fast.
• Cheap-Prices range from $409-$599 for sit-in kayaks and $379-$899
• A lot of the kayaks do not come with “all the extras”-they
are very simple boats.
• They do not have a lot of retailers selling their boats
because they are new-do not have a whole lot of pull yet.
• Only available in six colors-no combination colors
• Emotion Kayaks does not offer a tandem offer in their
• The kayaks do not have an outfitting system.
• Emotion Kayaks have featured advertisements in the
following magazines: Canoe and Kayaks: Beginner’s Guide, Pad-
dlers Magazine, Paddlers Press, and Paddlers Dealer. They
have also had featured articles in: Outside Magazine, Sports
Fishing, Paddlers Magazine and Saltwater Fly Fishing.
• Some of their ads are below: (They can also be found at
http://www.emotionkayaks.com/HTML/pressroom/ in a full-page
Canoe and Kayaks Beginners Guide
Paddler Press Paddler Magazine
• Emotion Kayaks participate in the Bay Area Paddle Fest in late
September which runs for three days and features many different
exhibitors and retailers showing off their products and services.
• Participates in the annual Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Classic which
promotes kayak fishing in Jacksonville with a fun conservation-
oriented format and raises funds for children’s programs through
Daniel Memorial. The premier eco-tourism event also supports the St.
Johns Riverkeeper in Florida.
• Participates in the International Kayak and Canoe Trade Show which
attracts retailers, distributors and manufacturers from all over the
“See the world with emotion.”
Old town is dedicated to their spirit of innovation and tradition. They contin-
ually strive to advance the art of paddling through better designs and light-
er, more durable materials. They strive to create a sense of adventure with
• Old Town kayaks are sold at more retailers than Perception and are a
very well-known and respected brand.
• Offers twelve recreational boats.
• They offer great entry level kayak options which are inexpensive, easy
to use, and durable. They also allow the customer to transition to a
next kayak level easily.
• Price range between $329-$899.
• They offer kids’ boats and removable kids’ seats in their tandem models.
• Outfitting systems are available on all kayaks and are equipped with an
extra comfy seat.
• All recreational boats are made with Polyethylene materials, which
offer excellent durability and affordable options.
• Old Town offers three tandem options and two of them are over $1,000
and do not give the paddler the option for solo kayaking. The tandem
that does is very small and lacks a removable kids’ seat.
• Old Town offers only six color options for their kayaks.
• Although Old Town has a lot of kayak options, they are mostly known
for their canoes.
• Has only been selling their own brand of kayaks since 1995 after
taking a break from selling them in the 70’s.
• Features a lot of their kayaks in L.L. Bean catalog and website.
• Featured in Canoe and Kayak’s buyer guide
• Old Town participates in the Bay Area Paddle Fest in late September
which runs for three days and features many different exhibitors and
retailers showing off their products and
• They also participate in the Outdoor Retailer Trade Shows which is
held in Salt Lake City, Utah twice a year.
Old Town does not have a slogan.
Comparison of Brands
Old Town offers twelve recreational boats that are all
relatively inexpensive and easy to use-making it a great entry
point for new paddlers. This kayak is the least expensive of the
bunch and is easy to maneuver and paddle, a family favorite.
Emotion Kayaks offers seven sit-in
recreational kayaks and nine
sit-on tops. They pride themselves
on being user friendly, easy to
handle and affordable. This kayak
offers great stability and handling
for paddlers of all experience
Perception offers seven options for recreational kayaks. This
Acadia kayak is a great choice for beginner kayakers who want some
comforts. This kayak features outstanding tracking, stability and
speed and offers a large storage area for all your extra gear.
Surveys were distributed online to various forums for kayakers
as well as targeted towards certain Facebook groups expressing
an interest in kayaks. The surveys were created online via
The main goal of this campaign is to raise brand awareness by 65%.
Perception strives to represent the most exciting and innovative
products to consumers with an enthusiasm for paddling.
Create an adventure for consumers by providing a unique experience
with each rafting journey, and to provide skilled paddlers with qual-
ity products while opening doors for new recreational paddlers.
Perception promises an exhilarating experience for every paddler
and offers high-value products.
Perception will offer high quality products while providing helpful
information to new and experienced paddlers.
Brand Essence and Values
The Essential Core Values:
-Providing unforgettable adventures
-Developing innovative products
-Creating an experience that:
• Educates new and seasoned paddlers
• Makes consumers feel good about their purchase
• Helpful employees at the retail stores
• Maintain a positive relationship with retailers
• Indentifies employees the retail stores
• Create trust with the customers
The target market consists of male adults aged 25-54. They are married,
have attended college, and are involved in professional occupations. The
average household income of the target consumer is $75,000-$100,000. The
target regions are in the North, South, East, and Midwest. Target consumers
are generally white, they are homeowners, and have children. Some
psychographics of the target consumer of Kayaks consist of information
like they enjoy taking risks, and feel how they spend their time is more
important then work. They exercise at least once a week, and feel quality is
worth paying for. They also are cautious and don’t buy brands they are not
MRI & Simmons
Considering that Kayaks have traditionally been advertised with serious tones that are intended
to inspire, Adrenaline decided to go in a unique and fun direction within all of their creative
executions. The creative team has redesigned the Perception logo, developed print ads, and created
an informational advertorial. Banner ads have also been presented to create awareness towards
those surfing the Internet. These tactics will:
Increase awareness and sales of the Perception brand
Provide information for consumers
Reach the target market, as well as new consumers
Differentiate Perception Kayaks from other competitive brands
Portray the brand personality as adventurous, fun, and innovative
Relate to the interests and personalities of target customers
The reason why Adrenaline decided not to go with television advertisement is because the target
market does not watch TV often. When they do watch television it is generally related to the
outdoors like The Weather Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The Travel Channel with the
exception of news stations. Adrenaline feels that our budget would be better spent through other
forms of advertising and promotions where the ads could get more exposure at less cost to fit our
Finally, with our budget Adrenalins is able to run a national campaign. Adrenaline feels that this
is an important aspect because it will give Perception more exposure to increase sales. Also, many
of the magazines chosen do not run DMA’s. Therefore advertising budget and planning will run
much smoother if everything is run nationally. Although it is more expensive, it is a wise marketing
decision that Perception is fortunate enough to be able to afford so Adrenaline must take advantage.
The logo was done in a simple fashion to mimic the success of other brands
like Nike and McDonalds, whose logo consists of a single letter or symbol.
Adrenaline’s goal is to have consumers look at that “P” and immediately think
of Perception due to its simplicity and unique Font. The red color is used for
the logo and throughout the campaign.
Adrenaline has also come up with a slogan for the brand, “What’s your
perception on life”. The phrase is constructed for consumers to think about
what their life means to them. Hopefully they will want to live it to the
fullest by exercising, eating right, having fun, and enjoying the outdoors.
Kayaking can obviously take care of three of those benefits, which is a reason
why consumers should purchase a kayak from Perception.
The logo and slogan should represent one another, as well as the brand.
When the slogan is heard and the logo is seen, comsumers should think of
Adrenaline has found through research that magazine print ads will work best
to reach our niche target market. Three ads within the “Paddling” campaign will
be released throughout the year within five magazines that the target market has
shown a substantial amount of interest in.
The “Paddling” print campaign was designed to be different from other kayak
advertisements. Black and white photos are used to differentiate the ad from
others in magazines and create a classy look. The reference paddling is a humorous
pun that is easy to understand, and catchy enough for readers to remember. The
yellow text is used to make the phrase stand out against the photo so it is not lost.
While each ad has a different photo, it contains the layout and text to create
unity for the reader to associate toward the campaign. All ads include the phrase
“Everyone Needs a Good Paddling”, the redesigned logo with the slogan “What’s
your perception on life”, and a call to action through their website.
The ads will be placed in Men’s Journal (index # 204), Outside (index # 304),
Men’s Health (index # 140), Wavelength (specialty publication), and Canoe and
Kayak Magazines (specialty publication). Each magazine represents a specific
interest of our target customers according to Simmons research. Men’s
Journal and Men’s Health reach our target market that is also very inter-
ested in health and outdoors activities, while Kayak and Canoe, Outside, and
Wavelength obviously reaches our niche market that is specifically
interested in kayaking.
Each magazine will feature the three ads in four of the yearly twelve issues
nationally, and varying by month for best exposure during high purchase
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Spring and summer months are heavily advertised because of the warm weather and heavy
water activity. Winter months are advertised around Christmas to persuade consumers to buy
a Kayak for a gift, or ask for one themselves. There are also many people who Kayak in
places such as Alaska during winter months, so it is important for potential consumers to
realize this when planning their winter vacations either to a warm climate or cold. Perhaps
they will purchase a kayak before they leave for this vacation. There are no schedules for
January, because most people only exchange gifts in January, rather than buy because of the
heavy purchasing in December. Also, October is the month between summer and winter when
focus is shifted toward winter sports more than ongoing summer activities.
Considering that Perception is spending a substantial amount of money in these magazines,
Adrenaline has asked that each magazine provide editorial support by featuring in online
banner ad in their website or an editorial in their magazines. Also, Adrenaline is asking
stores that sell Perception Kayaks for merchandising support by placing in store
displays in areas that are visible to consumers to maximize its promotional purpose, and
educate consumers on the brand through the informational brochure.
The Perception brand had already built a fun, easy, and informational website prior to
Adrenaline’s interest. Therefore, the only change made to the website is the release of
the new logo, and one “paddle” ad. All three “paddle” ads will rotate every month to
link the website to the advertisements for easy recognition. There will also be a link to
the “Perception Owners Club” site.
Considering that most (if not all) customers who view the website do so to seek
information on the brand, Adrenaline felt that the focus of the website should be on
Perceptions Kayaks and information regarding them. The advertisements have brought
the customer to the website and created awareness of the brand. The next step is for the
website to provide information that the consumer needs. Therefore, the focus for the
website is information and brand reputation, not brand awareness.
is a good
The banner ad is a simple idea with a copy of a Perception ad, the logo and slogan.
Adrenaline feels this is an important part of brand exposure because it relates to the
impulse buyers. The idea behind this concept is that internet surfers will see the
banner ad, and through impulse, become curious to learn more about kayaks with a
possibility that they will buy one in the future. The design of the banner ad was
created to allow viewers to easily relate it to the print Ads. These banner ads will be
placed on the Canoe and Kayak, Outdoor Review, and Altrec websites where Perception
Kayaks are sold, and consumers search to find what selection of Kayaks the franchise
carries. When clicked on, it will take you directly to the website.
Click here to Visit WWW.Perceptionkayaks.com
The advertorial was designed to persuade the reader to learn more about Perception
Kayaks without knowing that they are looking at an ad. It is designed to look like an
article released to discuss the innovative new kayaks that Perception has
developed. The ad describes the new kayaks and also provides answers to frequently
asked questions regarding individual kayak purchasing (ex: which kayak is best for
you). The point is to provide a consumer with more information than other banner
and magazine ads able to. This one page spread will be released in all five chosen
magazines during the month of April when kayaks are purchased the most in order to
maximize the amount of kayaks that are sold within the Perception brand vs. its’
Perception announces a group of new boats for 2007
“We’ve fully re-engineered the Carolina for 2007 into a boat that is easier to paddle
and more comfortable than ever before. The new Carolina provides a platform that is
stable and effortless to paddle”.
Included in this group is the completely re- sit-inside or “decked” kayaks, and sit-on-top
engineered Carolina series, as well a new Prodigy, kayaks. Determining which kayak is right for you
Search, and Torrent series of boats. Passion has begins with determining which of these categories
always been the driving force at Perception- a best describes how you want to paddle. Close your
passion for paddling; a passion for design and a eyes and picture yourself paddling for a minute.
passion for producing exceptional kayaks. In the Where are you? Think about where you would like
70’s we pioneered the plastic kayak and since then to paddle the most and compare that to the oppor-
we’ve led the industry with innovations that have tunities that you have in your vicinity.
opened the sport to new Paddlers and expanded
the capabilities of experienced Paddlers. It was Whitewater - Negotiating your way through obstacles
almost 30 years ago when a few passionate souls down a rock-ﬁlled creek.
thought that they could produce a better boat.
Day touring – Leisurely trips of moderate length, in-
Today that same passion drives us to produce the
cluding occasional overnight family trips in moderately
best boats available and has made us one of the
world’s leading kayak brands.
Exp touring – The longest trips, in the most adverse
Getting started with some Frequently Asked Ques-
conditions, with the heaviest loads.
How do I select a kayak? Recreational – Casual family paddling, after work, on
the weekends, at the local lake, in calm conditions.
Selecting a kayak is a big decision. Your Percep-
tion dealer can also be a great resource in selecting Sit-on-top – Beach play, or paddling in warm weather,
the right boat. Use our Dealer Locator to ﬁnd your great for those who don’t want to be conﬁned inside a
nearest dealer. decked kayak.
There are three basic categories of kayaks: White- Your best bet will be to ﬁnd a retailer and try out
water, Touring, and Recreational. Within each some different types of kayaks. This way you
category there are sub-categories. For example can tell which type of boat is more comfortable
Trouing kayaks can be broken down into tran- for you and get a better idea of the differences
sitional touring and expedition touring. Further, between them.
All text taken from
there are two distinct types of kayaks - traditional
For more information visit
for example purposes
• Given to customers at the point of sale as a resource and guide to
• Will target beginners and new comers to recreational kayaking.
• Regional maps, destinations, and attractions will be available based on
geography of the store.
• Regions include:
• Rocky Mountains Area
• Great Lakes Area
• Scenic photographs
• Testimonials and destination
• Travel guide
• Kayak owner’s guide and recommen-
• Travel and kayaking references
• Waterproof lamination
Promotions and Sponsorships
• Great Hudson River Paddle 7/1 – 7/11, Albany, NY
A relatively new kayaking festival along the banks of the Hudson River Green
way Water Trail in upstate New York. There are events for every skill
level from the 150 mile trek between Albany and New York City to
the many smaller public festivals on the banks along the way.
The Great Hudson River Paddle offers a variety of events and activities that
are attractive to our target market.
Perception will work with the event’s host, the Greenway and National
Heritage Area, as well as other not-for-profit organizations and businesses in
sponsoring the event. A booth will be set up to promote the brand and provide
information on Perception products.
• Reno River Festival 5/10 – 5/13, Reno, NV
• Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2008 8/9 - 8/12 Salt Lake City, UT
Over 950 of the world’s leading outdoor brands showcase their Spring/Summer
apparel, equipment, gear, services, boats, and technical wear to the industry’s
leading retailers, dealers, shops, big box stores, guides/outfitters, and
outdoor focused media.
Creating a corporate sponsorship between Perception and the 2008
Olympic Canoe/Kayak team will stand to benefit both parties.
Perception will pay for training expenses and will also gain publicity
during the sporting event because Perception kayaks will be used
during the actual races. The logo will also be displayed on the
uniforms worn by the US Olympic Canoe/Kayak team. This sponsorship
will allow both parties to be successful.
This sponsorship will help reach Perception customers and potential
customers during the Olympics which is said to possibly reach 4 billion
people this year. Being associated with a positive event like the
Olympics also creates a positive spirit between customers and the
Perception Owners Club (POC)
• A web-based owners community accessible from
• Sign customers up at purchase point when they buy a Perception
• Customers are provided with a username and password in which
they will have exclusive access to Perception Kayak owner
forums, special offers, and information.
• The POC will give buyers something more than just a kayak. It
will make them a part of a large exclusive group of kayaking
enthusiasts not unlike themselves. Members will be able to
share trip stories, offer tips and advice, and comment on a
variety of topics all relating to kayaking.
• The hope is that the POC will build a nationwide community of
Perception Kayak enthusiasts that can identify with each other
on the computer as well as on the water.
Point of purchase/
• Will feature information on
Perception’s line of recre-
• information on the Perception
Owner’s Club (POC).
• Sample copies of the region-
based informational brochure
• A Perception kayak will be the
centerpiece of the display.
• The display will be in close
proximity to the front of the
Perception floor space.
Canoe and Kayak $34,565
Men’s Journal $327,930
Men’s Fitness $572,660
Canoe and Kayak $10,395
Men’s Fitness $75,235
Altrec.com $3,600 Adrenaline’s marketing objective is to
increase Perception’s sales by 65%,
Promotions $1,441,082 leaving us with a total advertising
Outdoor Trade Show $261,152 budget of $3,854,000.
Great Hudson Paddle $250,000
Reno River Festival $250,000
2008 Olympics $300,000
Magazine Inserts $527,720
1% for the Planet $400,000
10% of total budget $385,400
Total Advertising Expenditures: $3,782,542
Measuring Campaign Success
The goal of this campaign is to increase brand awareness by 65%. It
is necessary to measure how successful Perception’s new campaign
met that goal. Monitoring website traffic on
http://www.perception.com before, during, and after the campaign is
one way of understanding how much brand awareness has increased.
Reader service inquiries and customer service calls are also good
resources to determine the level of brand awareness. The most
accurate and important tool to measure the campaign success is to
measure sales before and after the campaign.
REI. 15 Nov. 2007. 15 Nov. 2007. www.rei.com
Gander Mountain. 15 Nov. 2007. 15 Nov 2007. www.gandermountain.com
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Emotion Kayaks. 18 Nov. 2007. 18 Nov. 2007. www.emotionkayaks.com
Macnow, Glen. “Small firm’s road to the Olympics.” Nation’s Business. July 1992. Accessed at http://findar-
Minnesota DNR. Accessed on 1 Dec 2007. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/canoeing/minnesotariver/four.html
“Boat Building in the U.S.-Industry Report”. 17 Oct. 2007. Ibis World. University of Saint Thomas Libraries,
Saint Paul. Accessed on 25 Nov. 2007. www.ibisworld.com
Ingram, Frederick. “Confluence Holdings Corporation.” International Directory of Company Histories. Vol.
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MRI. 2007 Fall Report. 19 Nov. 2007. www.mriplus.com
Simmons Database. 2007 Annual Report. 19 Nov. 2007.
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