Adding to his Northern Lights equipment out of Canada, Jhan Dolphin will bring the Canadian Raw Power fitness accessory line to the United States starting this month.
Although the Ontario-based company has exhibited at U.S. shows, it is only available at a smattering of stores, mostly in the Eastern states. Dolphin will distribute in the Midwest but will also take care of other areas for now too.
"There's never been a concentrated effort in the past to hit the U.S. market," Dolphin told SNEWS.
In a fitness accessories market where no one company has particular brand awareness among consumers, Dolphin said he believes the name -- Raw Power -- and the packaging -- bright purples and reds -- can grab customers perusing product in a store, especially when prices are similar. The words "Get Charged" and "Get Motivated" appear on the website and packaging.
Others have indistinguishable names such as Shiek, Vallejo, Harbinger and Bell, whereas the name Raw Power, he says, makes a statement about performance, power and go. Raw Power (www.rawpowerfitness.com) was founded by Bob Harrison in 1997 after he spent 15 years at Grizzly Fitness accessory company. The Raw Power line includes belts, gloves, straps, and other miscellaneous pads, wraps and fitness gear. The website announces the company's intended addition of sports nutrition, workout apparel and martial arts/boxing equipment.
"The Northern Lights products are enhanced by these accessories," Dolphin said. "It just makes sense."
SNEWS View: Dolphin has a point -- all the accessory companies kind of wash together with none really being THE company that a consumer seeks out. I'll bet if you asked most users to name who made their gloves, wraps or belts (no peeking!), they wouldn't be able to tell you. That's not a good thing. This is of course not to say that the other accessory lines aren't top quality -- most are. But in a market where prices are similar and quality is similar, what may make the sale is a tug on the emotions that might come through something as subtle as colors, packaging and name. It'll be interesting to see how the accessory line -- now heating up a bit with the addition of Bell buying out Bollinger -- will develop in the next year or two.