PROFILE: It's been a meteoric rise for the action camera brand over the past few years...

GoPro: From zero to Hero

Following the launch of the new Hero 3+, BikeBiz quizzes Madison’s head of marketing Kellie Parsons on the story so far…

What have been the core components of the rise of GoPro?
There are so many factors which have helped us along the way. The main one is our product and the quality of what it produces. The content recorded on a GoPro is letting people capture moments like never before. Nick Woodman’s vision for the brand and the relentless focus on product innovation and inspiring more and more people to use the product. Then there’s the footage quality, which is on another level. I think the epic GoPro edits really do the talking for the brand. The internet and social media is so huge and our GoPro cameras and editing software enable users to easily tell their story to the world.

It was way back in 2011 that Madison took on GoPro distribution. How has the brand performed for you?
We had some high expectations and we haven’t been disappointed. I think it’s fair to say that you don’t get to manage many brands in your life which grow at the rate GoPro is. It’s a fantastic experience and a privilege to be part of it.

How does the cycle market measure up for GoPro in terms of popularity?
Cycle, surf and snow are core markets for GoPro but the appeal and reach of the brand extends so much further than that. We are regularly seeing GoPro being used in football, golf and even attached to pets. The fact is the brand has a massive potential for being a camera used by anyone to capture their most exciting memories, whatever that may be.

What type of cyclist most popular with? Mountain bikers, or even commuters?
To be honest we don’t know the split nor do we even try to pigeon-hole a GoPro user as typically they’ll use it for many different purposes. Road cycling is obviously a big deal in the UK at the moment so GoPro is seeing lots of love in that sector but the MTB guys have loved us for years. The biggest thing for me is what they do with that footage. We will get cyclists using GoPro to catch that perfect moment in their ride, but we also have guys using them for insurance to record incidents with drivers or using them as a training tool. For me cycling really shows the versatility of the product

Is there still room for GoPro to grow in the UK cycle market?
Absolutely, every month it keeps growing. We have statistics which show how many people are interested in filming their cycling experience compared to how many actually own a GoPro. Based on those, GoPro still has lots of people to get to, which means more sales for the trade.

What’s the most unusual use for a GoPro you’ve heard of?
It changes every day, just when I think I’ve seen it all then something else comes along. The new Hero3+ edit shows a man hugging lions and I also really liked the GoPro attached to a weather balloon and going to near space. Spend an hour or two on the GoPro YouTube channel and I guarantee you will see something you have never seen before.

The market is becoming ever more competitive with big name brands creating action cameras – is it harder to stay ahead?
There are definitely more brands out there trying to get a piece of the action but they are not coming up with anything different. There is no room for complacency however, and whilst GoPro has become the generic term for action cameras, GoPro manages to stay way out front because they invest heavily and innovate.
Users are proud to own a GoPro. It is highly recognisable. Technically it is the most advanced camera in its class and wins test after test. Couple this with state of the art editing to inspire and a huge global community surrounding the brand, why would you opt for a lesser product?

Any final thoughts?
The cycle trade is doing a great job, and we’re really lucky to have such a strong group of specialist retail partners to work with. The scope for GoPro is massive and the reach is far broader than any of us thought when this category first arrived and it is all there for the taking.

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