Editorial – December 2020

Adding “LifeStyle” To The Mix –
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional 

Dive Industry Association has been reorganizing the International Diving Community into Local Diving Communities for the past four years to establish industry norms and create a pathway for dive industry professionals who want to start, grow and succeed in their watersports businesses.  Working regionally with Dive Industry Professionals is a much better way to meet the needs of local diving businesses and return the industry emphasis to smaller, targeted geographical areas.  I believe this paradigm shift from national corporate marketing to local small business support will be the key to restarting this recreation in a very positive way. A re-birth of our recreation, so to speak.

As I said, we have been reconstructing the way we look at the diving community and have been sharing our written plan, as we develop it, with Dive Industry Professionals in the Global Diving Community.  It is refreshing to see a plan come together as we write it down for public scrutiny, although we do take criticism from time to time for incomplete information and questionable data.  But here is the real exciting thing that has been happening.  Dive Industry Professionals are starting to come out of the woodwork to help us iron out our concepts and tweak our imperfect data.  The result is that our vision of the future diving industry is getting clearer and clearer all the time.  Another benefit of laying out our research for the industry to see is that we are seeing holes in the current business paradigm.  Let me tell you about a very important concept we overlooked.

For the past twenty years our Goal has been to Build a Better IndustryOur Mission has been to bring Buyer & Sellers together for mutual benefit.  Our efforts have been to  Focus on the sales of Diving Equipment, Training and Travel and our Message to the public has been 1) Learn to Dive  2) Buy Your Gear  3) Go Diving  4) Stay Active.

Looking at our new presentations in light of the COVID-19 experience, something seemed to be missing.  Our Goal and Mission was spot on but something in our focus and message didn’t synch.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The one focus point we forgot to include was the sales of LifeStyle Products.  Of course.  This has always been the strong point of the Surfing Industry, the Boating Industry, the Fishing Industry, the Apparel Industry, and also every recreational industry except scuba diving.

There are three factors we have to keep in mind about adding the focus of selling Lifestyle products in the diving market.  1) Selling Lifestyle products can eventually exceed the total revenue of diving equipment, training and travel.  2) Selling Lifestyle products is perfect for keeping your business alive during the pandemic.  People are not diving as much, they are not taking a lot of classes and few are traveling.  But consumers are still buying jewelry, apparel, marine art, and everything that reminds them that they are Divers, Ocean Ambassadors, and Guardians of the Environment.  And as an added bonus, it’s the Holiday Shopping Season now!

Selling Lifestyle is big business in the Surfing Industry.  Bathing suits, apparel, beach products, health products, books, magazines, etc.  Same thing with the Fishing and Boating Industries.  Once you buy a boat, do you really think your purchasing has ended?  Not hardly.  It’s just beginning.   This could be Scuba Diving’s big shot in the arm.  
At a time when we needed it the most.

So our Industry Paradigm has shifted.  Our Goal is still to Build a Better Industry.  Our Mission is still to bring Buyers & Sellers together.  Our Message to the public is still learn to dive, buy your gear, go diving and stay active.  But now our Business Advice to Dive Industry Professionals is to Focus on the sales of Diving Equipment, Training, Travel and Lifestyle products.  

For more information contact Gene Muchanski at gene@diveindustry.net 

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About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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