The European Outdoor Group is expanding its annual market research program, collecting data about a much wider range of sub-categories than before and involving a large number of brands, including retailers that sell outdoor products under their own private labels. In the absence of any standard classification of the various categories of outdoor products, the EOG has established a new breakdown through multiple meetings with the brands.

As a result, more brands than before have started to supply their data. The EOG is inviting the other companies that have been reluctant to contribute to the program, including those that are not members of the EOG, to participate in exchange for access to the final data – without market shares. It has already collected data for four years.

To move to the next stage, the EOG has made a significant investment of about €100,000, commissioning the development of a superior software system for the collection and the collation of the data, and the presentation of the results. The EOG is about to appoint a dedicated, experienced manager for the project, rumored to be coming from one of the major international market research companies.

The results will be available for consultation online by all the participants – including non-members – on a new platform, www.europeanoutdoorfacts.com. After a test run, the EOG has decided not to make the results available to anyone else.

The move to an online platform allows the association to expand the scope of the research from seven main categories to 44 separate sub-categories. The European countries covered are the same as before. The EOG will continue to collect the data anonymously from the participating brands and retailers under the supervision of an independent notary. The data will be subjected to a Gap analysis with the input of leading experts, and the results will be fully shared with all the participants.

David Udberg, president of the EOG, looks at its market research program as an essential planning tool for outdoor companies. He says the program will not only benefit the participants, but will also provide significant input that can be used in dealing with other business organizations and governments, and for the general promotion of the outdoor industry.