Both Kim and Wickenkamp attribute much of the brand’s remaining equity to the legacy built by industry veteran, Eric Anderson, who along with Kido founded Scorpion in 2004. It was one of the great powersports success stories of the 2000s, with Scorpion soon ranking on J.D. Power’s annual helmet satisfaction study as one of the country’s top five brands.
The resurrection of the Scorpion brand occurs at a time in the powersports business when, not only has the dynamic between a dealer and his distributors and OEMs changed, but so has the expectations of the customer. The market is now driven by consumers demanding more features and value out of a product, not a factory looking to pushing helmets into the pipeline, said Kim.
As such, the company is undergoing a huge outreach effort to get regionals sales managers and regional reps on the road, reintroducing the brand to dealers. It has also pledged to start cultivating that latent interest in Scorpion with both end-users and dealers, an interest, Kim said, is rooted the Scorpion’s focus on value and features, rather than price point.
For Spring 2013, Scorpion is releasing four new products: The R410, which replaces the popular EXO400, and retails for $159 to $179; and the R2000 race lid, which retails for $369 to $389.
“There’s so much promise for this brand to stabilize itself,” Kim said. “We’re not a price point helmet company. We’ve always been a company driven by the value of our helmets. For me, the direction of Scorpion is to not fight in the price point arena. There’s no winning there.”
Kim stressed that having the full and complete backing of Kido gives Scorpion an advantage. Not only does the company control the manufacturing process from start to finish, it’s also an established apparel manufacturer with a successful history of private labeling gear for many of the biggest names in the industry. This, he noted, is a direct benefit to Scorpion’s ExoWear apparel.
And, in assembling a new sales and customer service force, Kim said he looked for knowledgeable and enthusiastic talent not entrenched in the old ways of the industry, business practices currently being tested by an ever-evolving marketplace. The goal, he said, was to bring in a team not wedded to the industry’s standard business conventions who could bring a fresh approach to tackling the market.