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 Post subject: Metroboat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:26 pm 
The "new" Metroboat has just been introduced by Folbot.
Appears to be a Citibot with a map of the New York subway system on the deck! :lol:
If this is the new progressive Folbot, I'm confused.
This is the answer to a question that (i think) no-one asked. :roll:
Or...perhaps Folbot is proposing the answer for NY"s traffic problem. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:55 am
Posts: 92
Location: NYC
Do they honestly think people would buy something like that?
I don't even think you can legally paddle a 10' kayak in NYC waters.

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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:00 pm 
Huh? You guys are kidding about this, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:12 pm 
Red wrote:
The "new" Metroboat has just been introduced by Folbot.
Appears to be a Citibot with a map of the New York subway system on the deck! :lol:
If this is the new progressive Folbot, I'm confused.
This is the answer to a question that (i think) no-one asked. :roll:

Must be a Citibot with map on deck. Looks un-aesthetic to me, maps and diagrams seldom look nice on anything (this isn't their purpose). Progressive or not - new company owner is apparently experimenting again, after recent elimination of the For Sale section at the forum. Sometimes it's better not trying to be progressive - fewer chances of making things worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:47 pm 
I scoffed at this too when I saw the press release. Then I started to think. If Folbot has figured out a cost effective way to print graphics on decks, I suspect there is a ready and untapped market for corporations selling and/or giving away promotional boats with their logos (think Red Bull, Pepsi or any number of other companies that spend serious advertising dollars). I did notice on the Web site there were other images coming soon.

What would be more intriguing is if Folbot could take this to the next level and allow custom boats to be ordered. Submit a JPG file and presto, a boat with your own personalized deck shows up (Fotobot anyone?). They probably would have to make an exception to the money back guarantee for art projects gone bad, but it certainly would be a unique selling feature. Pure speculation here as I'm clueless about current fabric print processing technologies.

A Metrobot isn't my personal style, but I have to give David and company serious credit for thinking way outside the box - especially compared to the rest of the industry. It will be interesting to see where this goes...

HF


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:36 am 
Quote:
It will be interesting to see where this goes...

Where?... Somewhere towards better profit margins (or may be margins are in the red and they are trying to survive). I wouldn't order a boat with any promotional logo for myself, and very few people would. Unused items with corporate logos are usually sold to general public at discount, because nobody likes it. But may be this "side business" with corporate customers will give Folbot much needed cash flow. God help them.


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:33 am 
I might be willing to paddle a promotional logo-decked Cooper or a Kodiak if it was given to me as a gift. And it depends upon the logo and product advertised. However, I would probably seriously abuse the boat and keep it assembled in the yard year-round except for trips to places where I would seriously abuse the boat. What I mean to say is that I would doubtless have little if any pride-in-ownership of such a kayak because logo-branded items of that sort feel like a joke. On the other hand, it would get a lot of use and a lot of people would see it. That's my contribution to the focus-group.


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:26 pm
Posts: 28
Maybe Folbot can make a print of "used Folbots for sale." Paddlers might be interested in that print design.


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:41 am 
In my experience, flashy graphics are great attention getters..."today"...doesn't take them long to become old news, and out of fashion.
They may be the greatest thing today, and an eyesore next year. I believe most people buy any boat with the intent of keeping it for a long time, and this model may grow old quickly. Can't imagine it being a big seller, especially "used". Hmmmm...coincidence? Maybe thats why the "used Folbots" section was removed from the F/F. :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:43 am 
Sorry to sound so negative, but I really think this one's a turkey.


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:59 am 
forum fanatic

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:55 am
Posts: 92
Location: NYC
The MTA (NYC's transit system) has a line of officially licensed merchandises. Most of these are items like mugs, neckties, and shower curtains with subway maps or station signs printed on them. While I would never buy such things, I can see how these might be novelty items or souvenirs for tourists that come visit.

The Metroboat would be some hefty souvenir. No one loves the subway THAT much, do they?

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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:04 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 180
Location: Arizona, USA
It sounds eerily like the USA fastfood chain - Subway - sandwich shops which had at one time (perhaps still do have) interior design wallpaper depicting old time black and white and sepia photos of New York subway patrons in late 1890's garb along with sections of city maps circa turn of the century .

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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:45 pm 
I don't think that Folbot will sell many of these - in fact I expect that they have already sold every one that they ever will - why else would they use such an ugly design, unless they already had a prepaid order for a batch of them.

However, as HavenFinder said I do see a potential for a market with custom designs, and if it helps them stay afloat through tough times I hope that Folbot is able to tap it.

I'm sure someone could come up with aesthetic but eye-catching designs and patterns (not subway maps) - that you would be proud to be paddling on the water, and might actually want to buy - although it remains to be seen how resistant the printing will be to UV. And if they can make them as one-offs they can probably afford to have a large library of designs that they never really sell that are just there to make you feel that you did have a choice.

As for corporate-sponsored boats - No you wouldn't ever buy one yourself (not at full price anyway), but you might at a discount, or win one as a competition prize, or raffle ... Folbot sells a boat, owner gets a cool new boat to paddle, sponsor gets their logo on a product that we all know will catch lots of attention every time it comes out of the bag - everyone wins.

Let's not laugh at them just yet. The only thing wrong is that they chose to promote it with a design that will probably not win many fans, even in New York.

[cynical]Custom graphics on boats such as intrusive corporate logos (or subway maps) will obviously attract a lower price when sold 'used', and will probably go through owners faster - And Folbot doesn't want this negative aspect reflected on their website, hence the removal of the 'for sale' section - it's no coincidence.[/cynical]


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:06 pm 
This is an interesting idea. I'm not sure what materials FB use but I know plenty of companies use Printed PVC sheeting for billboards instead of paper. They can be primed, re-printed and therefore cut out paper costs. I have designed van/lorry livery too which was to be printed on PVC sheeting and apparently it isn't too much more (per meter) than you would pay for a standard commercial van.

If they were to sell sponsored boats in PVC for 1/2 or 3/4 of the price you could buy one and paint the skin however you want. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Metroboat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:13 pm 
I don't think that recent removal of "for sale" section was related to this batch of promo-items. Very few individual customers would buy it - may be only after 40-50% discount or when given for free. Even if this would eventually result in 10% of the regular price for some boat, there is nothing diminishing about this. At the recent auction after Vancouver Olympics all promo items were on sale for less than half-price if new, and cheaper yet if used. This is normal and happens everywhere.

Vast majority of the "for sale" section at the forum were regular boats, and one or two promo items wouldn't have changed the picture. The fact is, Folbot wasn't happy about people not buying enough new boats and closed the section.


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