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University blogs, the million dollar challenge: a case study of how gopro creatively leverages user-generated content marketing.

GoPro promo

My previous blog post introduces you to the concept of Electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM) and its different strategies. Among those strategies was user-generated content marketing. In this blog, you will learn from an inspiring story of how GoPro promote their new cameras by integrating user-generated content marketing seamlessly with their branded content marketing.

About GoPro

GoPro is a leading American technology manufacturer and seller of action cameras, camera accessories, and its software. Action cameras are wearable and mountable cameras which you might already have seen or used one before.

What was the campaign?

October last year, GoPro launched its new cameras, HERO8 Black and Max. Traditionally, to promote a new product, technology companies would produce product-focused videos internally. GoPro, on the other hand, put the task in the hand of its community through the Million Dollar Challenge.

How did they do it?

Setting objectives.

As technology advances within the consumer electronics industry, a daunting challenge facing technology companies is to communicate various technical features in an engaging manner. The challenge for GoPro was to promote awareness and boost demand for the newest cameras that have so many new features.

Katie Marylander, GroPro’s global social marketing manager, mentioned that the objective was to deploy a social media marketing campaign that will generate conversation while simultaneously educating (technical) and inspiring (the UGC campaign) their consumers.

The three-stage strategy

Stage 1: creating social buzz.

Two-and-a-half weeks prior to the launch day, the company released three teaser videos hint at the new cameras and its key features. Thanks to GoPro’s extensive digital marketing channels, the videos were able to create excitement, anticipation and buzz among GoPro community members and the press which perfectly set the stage for the next strategy. 

View this post on Instagram 10.01.19 #ThisIsAction A post shared by GoPro (@gopro) on Sep 30, 2019 at 6:05am PDT

Stage 2: The Feature Thrillers

The “Feature Thrillers” refers to a series of video GoPro released on the launching event and consequently on their channels. The series includes two videos, one for each product that is educational and product-focused but with energetic and thrilling characteristics. This type of video is traditionally released for every new GoPro flagship product which pleases the longtime GoPro fans.

View this post on Instagram 📷 Meet #GoProHERO8 Black, the most versatile + unshakable HERO camera ever. ✔ Streamlined design ✔ Modular Accessories ✔ HyperSmooth 2.0️ ✔ TimeWarp 2.0 ✔ Digital Lenses ✔ Capture Presets ✔ On-Screen Shortcuts ✔ LiveBurst + more. • Get your hands on a #GoProHERO8 Black. Tag a friend 👇 for the opportunity to snag VIP bundles. • Pre-order now. Tap the product tag in post or link in our bio. #ThisIsAction #GoPro #HyperSmooth #TimeWarp #SuperPhoto #LiveBurst A post shared by GoPro (@gopro) on Oct 1, 2019 at 6:00am PDT

Stage 3: The Million Dollar Challenge

Days after letting the community enjoy and engage with the educational thrillers, the finale came. The Million Dollar Challenge is a user-generated content initiative inviting HERO8 users to submit their videos for a chance of splitting $1,000,000 using the new GoPro cameras. Moreover, the winners’ clip will also be featured on the next promoting video which will be seen by people from around the world. 

Result Analysis

Over 4 months, 42,000 clips were submitted and by creators from 170 countries. The 45 winners were awarded last month. For a multi-billion dollar company like GoPro, this UGC was extremely successful as it benefited the company in many folds.

Firstly, it directly boosts the sale as participants were required to buy the new camera to shoot the video. 

Secondly, the winning clips were put together to create a product promotion video that won a Shorty Award for Best User-Generated Content. The video has been translated into more than 10 languages reaching people worldwide and exceeded three million views in over a month. 

Thirdly, the press covered both the launch and the innovative UGC campaign for free. Ironically, the fact that a university student from Thailand writing a blog post about it is another proof of its success.

Lastly, many participants, some are the top influencer in their field, upload youtube vlogs and social media posts about their journey of creating the video with the GoPro camera. As a result, GoPro was able to directly reach filmmakers, photographers and extreme sports athletes and adventure-seekers which are all target customer for the product. “How I won the GoPro Million Dollar Challenge” is one of the videos which itself alone reaches more than 2 million views. (See below)

Looking from the metrics-based result, this was the most successful product launch for GoPro. The social response was positive:

  • The whole campaign reaches more than 857 million people evoked 70 million engagements. The engagement rate is 8.1 per cent making it the highest record.
  • The UGC video has been shared more than 57,000 times.
  • A user journey analysis shows that the social media campaign has made more sales conversions than any previous one. (did not specify how much)
  • With a total of 42,000 videos submitted, it shows that the campaign successfully called for GoPro community engagement.

The key takeaways

One thing that appears consistently in every good eWOM marketing case is planning. In this case, the evidence of planning was obvious right from the objective setting. Even if it was not written explicitly, the complex three-stage strategy of this campaign could be an even better proof of a plan. Another key takeaway is the importance of performance tracking. The metric-based results show that the whole marketing campaign was monitored in meaningful ways. Tracking the results also helps diagnose of negative eWOM early, hence a better chance of limiting its effects. (Kirby, Marsden 2006)

Click here to learn how to plan for digital marketing campaigns using SOSTAC. (Chaffey and Smith, 2013)

gopro innovation case study

(Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004) 

Stage 1 and 2, despite being a typical branded content marketing campaign, were included in this UGC blog post because they demonstrate that in real life, eWOM campaigns can be implemented with other marketing strategies. Firstly, stage 1 helped build up anticipation and also allow GoPro to test the waters. Stage 1 gives enough time for the product news to reach people. Without it, this campaign risks not getting enough attention.

Secondly, stage 2 ensures the success of the final UGC campaign. The obvious is that it educates people about the new features which are important for any buyers not only the ones that will participate in the UGC campaign. The less obvious is that the tradition is when GoPro launches new products, it always releases a top-notch promoting video which the long-time fans are expecting. Without the videos from stage 2, the fans might feel neglected which will generate negative social sentiment setting off stage 3 on a bad note. See “ Work From Hawaii ” case where an advertisement helped kick-started a successful UGC campaign. 

Looking at the case from a macro point of view, GoPro certainly understands the risks of eWOM very well. For example, lie behind the exciting surface of a challenge invitation a tight term and conditions mitigating legal risks occurred in the case of Chang v. Virgin Mobile. (2009).

Finally, GoPro seems to recognize the fundamental of eWOM that, at the end of the day, the best strategy to generate positive and limit negative WOM derive from the product, the company practice and the customer experience. If you provide something that exceeds customers’ expectations and share-worthy, you will naturally generate WOM. On the contrary, if your customers feel like they just got ripped off, no marketing campaigns would help. They are only going to make the matter worse.

You can learn more about other risks from the following studies:

  • Restricted control over the negative WOM (Lomax, Stokes 2002)
  • Fast spreading and highly influential ability of negative WOM (De Pelsmacker et al. 2007; Kirby, Marsden 2006)
  • Fake online identities and WOM (Litvin, Goldsmith and Pan, 2008) (Dellarocas 2003) (Cavazza and Guidetti, 2014)

Cavazza, N. and Guidetti, M. (2014). Fake online reviews: A study on eWOM influence when suspicions arise. PSICOLOGIA SOCIAL, 9(1), pp.71-82.

Chaffey, D. and PR Smith (2013). Emarketing Excellence: Planning and Optimizing your Digital Marketing. [ebook] Taylor & Francis Group. Available at: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ubrighton/detail.action?docID=114376 [Accessed 5 Feb. 2020].

Chang v. VIRGIN MOBILE USA, LLC, Civil Action No. 3: 07-CV-1767-D (N.D. Tex. Jan. 16, 2009).

Dellarocas, C. (2003). The Digitization of Word-of-Mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms. SSRN Electronic Journal.

De Pelsmacker, P., Geuens, M. and Van den Bergh, J., 2007. Marketing communications: A European perspective. Pearson education.

Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K., Walsh, G. and Gremler, D. (2004). Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: What motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet?. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(1), pp.38-52.

Kirby, J. and Marsden, P. eds., 2006. Connected marketing: the viral, buzz and word of mouth revolution. Elsevier.

Litvin, S.W., Goldsmith, R.E. and Pan, B., 2008. Electronic word-of-mouth in hospitality and tourism management. Tourism management, 29(3), pp.458-468.

Stokes, D. and Lomax, W. (2002). Taking control of word of mouth marketing: the case of an entrepreneurial hotelier. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 9(4), pp.349-357.

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GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

By: Rishi Dwesar, Geeta Singh

GoPro, Inc. was an American action camera and software manufacturer founded in 2002 by a young entrepreneur. The company introduced innovative action cameras and became a successful brand with the…

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  • Publication Date: Jul 30, 2018
  • Discipline: Marketing
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GoPro, Inc. was an American action camera and software manufacturer founded in 2002 by a young entrepreneur. The company introduced innovative action cameras and became a successful brand with the help of content marketing. It continued its innovative spree for more than a decade and was the market leader in the industry. However, in March 2017, the company faced challenges due to product failures and increased competition, and the introduction of new products in the market. GoPro's stock price dropped as a result of a loss of confidence by both consumers and investors. What strategies could the company adopt to regain its competitive strength and revive confidence in its brand? What could it do to be more innovative and successful, and in doing so, fend off the low-cost competition?

Rishi Dwesar is affiliated with ICFAI Business School-Hyderabad.

Learning Objectives

This case is appropriate for graduate and postgraduate courses in innovation management, product management, marketing innovation, business strategy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. After completing the case, students will be able to understand the importance for technology companies of introducing innovative and relevant products in a timely fashion; recognize the challenges and risks of launching innovative products; appreciate how companies can leverage content marketing to decrease their reliance on paid advertising; and suggest a course of action for a struggling technology manufacturing company based on current internal and external factors.

Jul 30, 2018

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gopro innovation case study

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GoPro: Brand Extension

In early 2017, camera manufacturer GoPro stunned investors by reporting its first recorded annual profit loss and a revenue forecast that sharply missed analyst estimates. What had once been widely heralded as one of the biggest initial public offerings of 2014, tripling in price in just over three months following the June IPO, the stock had tumbled 90.7 percent by the end of 2016. A series of camera pricing mistakes, altered product release schedules, and lower marketing spend, set against a backdrop of relative market saturation, negatively impacted demand for GoPro cameras. In fiscal year 2016 alone, units shipped and revenues both declined by nearly 30 percent, a remarkable reversal from the early days, when revenues more than doubled each year following the company’s 2004 launch.

While sales of GoPro cameras declined, its brand remained one of the most revered in the world. As a result, Tony Bates, director and former president of GoPro, mulled over ideas for leveraging the brand beyond the camera. For Bates, this meant potentially launching a new product using the existing GoPro brand in a different category. While it seemed easy enough, GoPro had to consider where to extend the business in a way that made sense for the company’s core demographic. GoPro also had to determine whether to license the brand to others or partner with another company. Given the consumer-centric roots of the company and the evolution of the brand, there was a lot to consider.

This case examines the challenges facing GoPro in the face of falling sales, and how best to leverage its increasingly popular brand. It provides a brief background of the company, the evolution of the brand, a description of early attempts to grow the brand, models for licensing the brand, how best to implement a licensing model, the need to protect the brand, as well as two case studies using Red Bull and Virgin Group as examples of successful brand extensions.

Learning Objective

gopro innovation case study

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Home » Video Gear » The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of the Illustrious GoPro

The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of the Illustrious GoPro

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The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of the Illustrious GoPro

Julian Mitchell

As GoPro celebrates the launch of their tenth product, it’s time to look back at the rollercoaster ride of their last twenty years.

If you picture a Californian tech entrepreneur, you might think of Steve Jobs of Apple or Jim Jannard of RED cameras , but would you think of Nicholas Woodman, founder of GoPro? He actually started the company in 2002 with a typical California backstory and a loan from Mum and Dad. 

GoPro Black Hero10

Woodman took the company to their IPO in 2014 when annual revenues topped nearly 1.5 billion dollars. But, a number of unsound investments in drone technology with their Karma product, virtual reality with their purchase of a French VR company, and chasing the 3D market maybe took their eye off selling the basic GoPro camera product.

Woodman was also a big fan of refreshing his entire product line—he did it twice. But, ultimately, sales began to slide even though innovation within the product was constant.

Were the lifestyle or action videographers turning their back on the brand that started it all off? Was the smartphone just too damn smart and ubiquitous?

2020 wasn’t a good year for anybody, but especially a brand that essentially needed you to go outside to use it. Revenue was down 25% from 2019 at $891,925.

However, a complete restructuring of the business has now turned GoPro into a direct-to-consumer retailer and it’s paying dividends.

The Surfer Businessman

In a nutshell, the story of the camera was actually the story of a camera strap to start with. Woodman was a surfer dude complete with his VW bus, but frustrated with the lack of photography tools for his passion. He wanted the “hero” action shots out on the ocean where the drama was. He also harbored ambitions of turning pro and was buoyed by his surfer friends’ encouragement to find a solution.

His first photographic product wasn’t actually a camera, but a wrist strap for a camera. It would attach to the camera, then hinge up when you wanted to take a photograph. You just pushed it back onto your wrist when you were finished.

Woodman’s initial thought was to rely on customers to use their own camera, but was soon in negotiations with Chinese manufacturers to make one for him. It was to be a basic 35mm film model, with a strap in a waterproofed plastic case as a package. (You can still buy the package on eBay today).

Not a Great Camera But a Great Concept

GoPro HERO3 Black

He sold the first GoPros in 2004 and ended the year with revenues of $150,000, the next year was $350,000 after he started selling on the QVC shopping channel.

Through the next few years, after finally launching a digital video camera, the GoPro HERO3 became the standard for capturing action sports.

In fact, according to IDC data, in the first half of 2012, GoPro was responsible for 21.5% of digital camcorders in the U.S., up from 6% the previous year. At the time, GoPro was America’s fastest-growing company.

GoPro 3

No wonder by 2013 Woodman had reached billionaire status and became the darling of Silicon Valley, with investors clamoring to buy a piece for themselves—they didn’t have long to wait.

But, the fact was that the first few GoPro cameras weren’t great products. The concept of owning your own action camera, however, was a game-changer. People bought them in multiples and the sports-action genre exploded. Nobody seemed to mind that the quality of the cameras weren’t the best, they were too busy having fun and recording it on the slopes.

The first ones looked like a compact stills camera housed in a waterproof plastic housing. It was claimed to work down to 60m. Once in the housing, you couldn’t use the audio inputs or the HDMI output. Also, there were only two buttons—one a power/mode button and the other a select/record button.

The colorimetry of the HERO2, for example, wasn’t something you’d call cutting edge. But, GoPro had doubled the resolution from the HERO1 with an 11MP sensor from the 5MP of the first model. Of course, image quality wasn’t really why people bought these cameras. Everyone bought in to the lifestyle that Woodman was peddling and sales rocketed.

Going Public

GoPro HERO4 Black

In the third quarter of 2014, GoPro went public. They posted revenue in the third quarter of 2014 of $280 million, up 45.7% compared to the $192.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2013. They’d introduced GoPro 4 earlier in the year with a 4K resolution and a 2.7K option at 50 and 60p. But, going into 2015, sales started to dip.

GoPro’s answer was to refresh the product line with the HERO4 Black as the ultimate model, but below would be cheaper versions down to the HERO at only $129.99. The HERO4 Black retailed for $499.99. 

The headline figures saw a 31% drop in sales for the last quarter of the year—the all important Xmas holiday season. From the company’s point of view, there were reasons for the difference in revenue, like the trimming of the product range and the tooling charges involved with that. They also had excess inventory of the models that they’d dispensed with. 

There were no real worries about the market performance as the next year would see the arrival of their drone—Karma was on the way.

The Value of Karma

2016 saw a continuation of slipping sales, but worse was to come. After a triumphant launch, their much-vaunted new Karma drone was recalled , all 2,500 of them. Apparently, in a small number of cases, Karma units lost power during operation. All units sold were sent back for full refunds. “Shipments of Karma would resume as soon as the issue is resolved,” commented GoPro.

But, come 2017, Karma was canned even though it made a re-appearance in February of that year. The official line was: “The product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market.” The unofficial line was— DJI . The company also went through a restructuring, losing over 200 employees.

But, HERO cameras kept coming with two in 2018. An entry-level HERO for $199 and the HERO7 was launched with the first appearance of HyperSmooth stabilization and the TimeWarp stabilized time-lapse function. Revenue was down over the year but was blamed on the costs for killing Karma.

Perhaps the most interesting figure in the investor’s media pack was that the website, gopro .com , now represented more than 10% of revenue in Q4 2018, growing more than 50% year-on-year.

Setting up Shop

GoPro 6

In 2019, GoPro enhanced their PLUS subscription model and the service became integrated in the checkout experience. For $4.99 a month, you now received damaged camera replacement, unlimited cloud storage, and 50% off mounts and accessories.

In an investment statement, you could almost hear Woodman licking his lips at the site’s potential. “We continue to see consistent global PLUS subscriber growth, and by giving our customers the ability to subscribe to PLUS when buying a camera at gopro.com, we expect to accelerate that growth,” he said to investors.

In fact, he made the company’s transition to a direct-to-consumer model official in May 2020. It gave the company a substantially reduced operating expense model, improved gross margin, and provided “a significantly lower threshold to profitability.”

By the end of the first quarter of 2020, there were 355,000 paid subscribers. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, GoPro subscribers were up 211% to 1,160,000. Overall revenue was up by 86% with gopro.com earning 35% of that with $88 million.

Pandemic Bounce

You can now tell that all marketing efforts from GoPro are targeted at cultivating even more subscriptions. If you buy the new HERO10 Black camera at gopro.com, it’ll cost $399.98 and include a one-year GoPro Subscription. If you don’t want the subscription, you pay $499.99. Basically a no-brainer purchase as you can cancel the subscription after the free year and still save $100.

So, for all you GoPro owners, the good news is that the company seems to be operating on firmer ground. The new camera has followed the drip-feed of new innovation that’s been the hallmark since the early 2000s.

GoPro certainly pivoted in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and their recent figures show a certain bounce due to lockdowns and continuing high infection rates. However, GoPro is on the rise again, and we salute them for it.

A few more inspiring articles for you:

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  • Royalty Free Music and Video Assets for GoPro Videos
  • DJI Releases the New Mini SE Drone for Under $300
  • DJI Announces New Smaller Air 2S Drone That Shoots 5.4K Video

Cover image via GoPro .

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The GoPro Rollercoaster -The Rise, The Fall, and a Resurgence!

Once a role model of entrepreneurship, GoPro hasn't had a perfect picture over the last few years. The rise and fall and the resurgence being attempted teach us invaluable lessons of resilience.

Chander Nagpal

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The GoPro story started in 2002 when an avid surfer Nick Woodman went on a surfing trip and quickly realized that there was no way to film himself while in the water. While most photographers shooting surfing images usually used DSLRs with long tele lenses from the beaches, buying these lenses and equipment and hiring photographers was an expensive affair.

This led to the birth of the desire to shoot professional images in dire situations and adventure sports. To help people capture and share their lives' most meaningful experiences in immersive and exciting ways.

Nick wanted the “hero” action shots out on the ocean where the drama was. He also harbored ambitions of turning pro and was buoyed by his surfer friends’ encouragement to find a solution. And that led him first to develop and launch a wrist strap in 2003. It was designed to be attached to a regular digital camera, then hinge up when you wanted to take a photograph. You just pushed it back onto your wrist when you were finished.

But while testing his first makeshift models on a surf trip to Australia and Indonesia, Nick realized that he would have to manufacture the camera, its housing, and the strap altogether. Woodman, after saving up money with his wife by selling seashell jewelry and belts out of their old Volkswagen van in California, together with $235,000 that he borrowed from his mom and dad, started the camera company - Woodman Labs (only to be renamed GoPro later on).

In 2004, GoPro started selling its first-ever camera, named HERO. A small, handy 35 mm compact film camera inside a waterproof plastic housing with a hand-sewn wrist strap. There were only two buttons - a power/mode and a select/record button. What set the GoPro 35mm Hero apart from the rest of the point-and-shoot cameras was its ruggedness. Priced at just $20, it was an outstanding deal for photo enthusiasts and families.

GoPro ended the year with revenues of $150,000 and the following year in 2005 with $350,000 after Nick started selling on the QVC shopping channel. From QVC, Nick managed to get the product into Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) — one of America’s largest outdoor recreation retail groups. The product then took off as extreme athletes such as racecar drivers, skydivers and skateboarders purchased the cameras for filming themselves. Point-of-view videos shot by GoPro cameras attached to surfboards, ski helmets, bike frames, and pets suddenly became ubiquitous and viral on YouTube. Nobody had ever seen footage like this; it was a new, dizzyingly personal, and mesmerizing art form. At the same time, Go Pro finally made it into the ‘mainstream’ when it landed on the shelves of Best Buy.

The concept of owning your action camera was a game-changer. People bought them in multiples, and the sports-action genre exploded. Everyone bought into the lifestyle that Woodman was peddling and the sales rocketed. Things started ramping up with GoPro in 2006 when the first-ever Digital Go Pro Hero was introduced, and revenues hit over $800,000. The year after, 2007 saw a massive revenue leap, with GoPro hitting the $3.4 million mark.

GoPro continued to launch new variants through incremental refinements in features and functionalities such as digital, video resolution, sensor size, durability, etc. As time passed, the world around changed, and so did GoPro. It kept on improving and innovating its product line . These technological advancements, along with some savvy marketing and social media strategy, enabled GoPro to build an engaged community of users - a recipe for fostering a virtuous growth cycle.

Over the years,  GoPro became the standard for capturing action sports. Just as the word Xerox had become synonymous with Photocopier machines after the inventors named and trademarked their process under that name, action cameras were at one point known as GoPros.

It grew phenomenally, riding on the wave of its popularity. Revenues skyrocketed to $234 million in 2011, then grew to $526 million in 2012, $986 million in 2013, and $1.4 billion in 2014. GoPro was the talk of the town, one of the fastest growing companies.

And this growth coincided with Foxconn, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, buying a $200 million stake in GoPro for roughly 9% of the company in 2013. Then, GoPro made its public debut in the third quarter of 2014 to raise $427 million at a $2.96 billion valuation, the biggest consumer electronics IPO in about 20 years. This reflected its strong position as a popular product segment even as smartphones continued to decimate the camera industry at large.

And the stock surged more than four fold to $98 within three months of its debut.

The purpose-driven and customer experience-centric business model and the stellar business performance of GoPro also attracted Salim Ismail and others who were researching several startups, scaleups, and incumbents through the lenses of the Exponential Organization (ExO) success formula. And GoPro got featured in the list of Top100 ExOs released in 2015.

However, the love affair with the market (customers and shareholders) and the success story GoPro experienced in the first decade of its existence between 2004 and 2014 started falling apart. After peaking at $1.62 billion in 2015, revenues dropped to $1.16 billion in 2016 and then plateaued at $1.17 billion in 2017 and $1.14 billion in 2018.

gopro innovation case study

WHAT WENT WRONG?

The Dwindling Core - In its core camera business, the HERO - GoPro started feeling the heat from mobile phones and cheaper alternatives. With a smartphone, everyone had a camera in their pocket, and GoPro’s USP of being handy and powerful was becoming redundant. And then, smartphones also became waterproof and much more rugged. GoPro's unique selling propositions – ruggedness and being small and handy- were not ‘unique’ anymore.

Also, the GoPro product segment, after gaining immense popularity, started seeing competition from Chinese players giving the same functionality as the GoPro albeit at a lower price. GoPro's most significant challenge perhaps came when Google entered the wearable camera market with a $249 wireless smart camera (compared to GoPro's equivalent offerings, which were priced around $400 upwards). Google Clips used artificial intelligence to automatically capture several-second motion clips when its algorithms detect something photo-worthy. Unlike GoPro cameras, which require dedicated mounts to affix to a helmet, bicycle, or body, Google’s camera was designed so one could clip it to the shirt, a stroller handle, or wherever else one might be able to clip something.

Further, GoPro's pricing strategy (indicating that it perhaps misjudged the market and its brand appeal) ended up seeing the company slashing the prices of its new cameras almost by half within a few weeks of launch on a fairly regular basis. This led to confusion and disengagement in the minds of its customers and even cannibalization instead of growth.

Lastly, while GoPro had started as a niche catering to adventurers, surfers, and travelers, over time, its primary customer base had emerged as skaters, skiers, holidaymakers, and just about any average person. So, while GoPro promoted its products using professional athletes and adventure sports enthusiasts, it didn't focus on showcasing how an ordinary family man or woman could use their product, too, creating a disconnect with the mainstream market. While GoPro had a stronghold among adventurers and extreme sports enthusiasts, other cameras targeted the mainstream. They soon gained momentum, challenging the leadership and iconic position of GoPro that it had established over the years.

GoPro had to expand its horizons and create new verticals for financial stability and growth. But, it wasn't meant to be.

The Pivoting that went Sour - In late 2014, GoPro started transforming itself from being only a camera seller into a media entity, from a hardware to a software company. GoPro's strategy made sense in 2014. Videos from GoPro users dangling off helicopters or diving with sharks racked up millions of views on YouTube. Amazon and Netflix had recently begun their original content push. Even Red Bull, a brand closely associated with GoPro, had just introduced an Apple TV channel. For GoPro, it also meant proving to Wall Street that its business had the potential to be more than just selling cameras to a niche audience of sports enthusiasts.

To kickstart those efforts, it launched an Xbox Live channel and made a deal with Virgin America for in-air entertainment. Its website also acted as a media portal, collecting top photos and videos. The entertainment unit, led by former Skype CEO Tony Bates, initially focused on gaining followers on YouTube and other social media platforms. The sporty hardware company made a series of high-profile hires to bolster its entertainment division in 2015, including the former head of Hulu Originals programming Charlotte Koh, and HBO sports executive Bill McCullough. It briefly produced original content and created a licensing and revenue-sharing platform for content creators.

But, the high-profile efforts were undermined by costly productions amid the tough tradeoffs of a company trying to salvage its core business. The newly formed content team at the entertainment division began spending more and more on their video shoots and production. Budgets went from $10,000 a shoot to $100,000 a shoot. It wanted to come across as a series player, not wanting to cut any corners. It perhaps crossed the line and ended up splurging. The entertainment division developed over 30 TV series and had ideas for releasing their streaming platform. But, most of the shows never made it out of production, and the streaming platform was never launched.

With the core business dwindling and no signs of the entertainment division becoming a profit center on its own, the entire unit was eventually shut down in November 2016. It was not the only tech company that had gotten excited about Media but ended up having a painful exit. Yahoo took a $42 million write-down in 2015 for its investment in shows like Community. The difference was that GoPro didn't have the deep pockets to afford the misadventure.

The Drone Disaster - In September 2016, just in time for the festive season, GoPro made a triumphant launch of its drone, Karma with a dedicated slot for the Hero action cameras. Karma was an outcome of a project initially announced in December 2014 after noticing the success of DJI's drone, the Phantom. But, the project Karma got marred with delays amid a shift from a joint venture with the specialist 3D Robotics to an in-house start-from-scratch research & development effort costing almost $96 million.

But, it soon found competition within a week when DJI launched its line of compact Mavic Pro and Spark drones with more robust features, smaller designs, and lower prices. And to add to the challenge, within three weeks after the Karma devices went on sale, some owners complained about losing power mid-flight, causing the GoPro drone to plummet uncontrollably to the ground. GoPro had to announce a complete recall and take the product off the shelves when it was discovered that the device was losing power during operation. And this was the beginning of the end of Karma. While it relaunched the product in February 2017, it had lost the holiday season opportunity and the momentum and could never recover. GoPro announced the shutdown of Karma in January 2018.

The Organization and Culture - Before the IPO, GoPro had been a relatively simple operation, with sales, marketing, engineering, and design teams working on the company's products. But after the IPO, as GoPro tried to build new businesses, the company unconsciously shifted to a more siloed structure, where multiple divisions - software, hardware, media - ran as separate business units. Individual teams began to embrace tools that worked best for them. Because each team used its arsenal of tools, organization-wide cross-team communication, collaboration, and visibility started becoming challenging and bred bureaucracy.

Previously, GoPro had held quarterly all-hands pep rallies, called hangs, but as it grew in size and geographically, the company moved towards what can be considered a more subdued monthly affair, with Nick Woodman and the other senior leaders giving a speech in front of a few hundred employees (while the rest watched online).

The Leadership! - While paradoxical, Nick, who was undoubtedly the central brain and the hustler behind GoPro's stellar growth, also potentially ended up becoming a bottleneck.

In the early years of GoPro, Nick is known to have driven up and down California’s beaches selling his necklaces from his 1971 Volkswagen to make the cash he needed to pursue his passion. And, when not selling necklaces from a VW, he would work on a sewing machine borrowed from his mother. He would design different straps and test what worked best. At night he would stay up late to speak with factories in China regarding camera parts. He was hustling and working up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for months.

Fast-forward 10 years. After the successful IPO in 2014, Nick became an instant billionaire. In a matter of months, his wealth had hit the $3 billion mark, and he had become the highest-paid CEO in America. Over the years, while amassing his wealth, Nick bought a 180-foot yacht, a Gulfstream G5 jet, homes in Montana and Hawaii, and a fleet of vintage sports cars over the years. And, somewhere, GoPro as a company had been adopting its founder's flashy lifestyle.

While hindsight is always 20:20, Nick admitted during an interview with Inc magazine in late 2018 that " We went from being thrifty and scrappy and efficient and wildly innovative to being bloated and–what’s the opposite of thrifty? It was deconstructing everything we had built. "

A RESURGENCE IN PROGRESS!

GoPro's Founder and CEO Nick Woodman, during an interview with the Inc magazine in 2018 said "When things are going well, you can be lured into thinking that everything’s easier than it is. Just because you’re a World Series-winning pitcher doesn’t mean you can go play quarterback."

After nearly four years of struggling performance after its IPO - GoPro pivoted once again in 2018 and shifted gears to focus on profitable growth and declared that it would go back to what it does best and feels strongly about - action cameras.

In 2018, GoPro announced many upgrades to its Hero camera and also the launch of a new spherical camera called Fusion, which could pull out any still or moving image from the spherical footage - a feature called OverCapture that essentially made it possible to shoot in multiple directions at once and frame one's photo or video after shooting. This was undoubtedly considered by the technology pundits and the market as a true innovation and potentially the beginning of the company coming back on track. GoPro has kept introducing innovations and an improved range of products and accessories over the last four years and has been acknowledged in the form of different awards, including CES Innovation Awards Honoree, CHIP Photo Awards, PCMag Best of the Year, amongst others.

GoPro's innovations have also been targeted toward shifting the product mix to the high-end premium camera segment. Its>$400 average selling price cameras account for nearly 80% of the revenues in Q2 2022 compared to only 40% in 2018. Think iPhone!

Also, GoPro has been expanding its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business and its footprint in emerging markets while scaling up its customer relationship management and engagement efforts with frequent new product launches acting as tailwinds. So, while retail used to account for nearly 90% of its sales in the pre-2018 era, now it accounts for only 60%, with DTC accounting for 40% of its latest reported financial numbers, also helping improve margins from low 30% to nearly 40% now.

The company also re-launched its subscription and service model GoPro PLUS. The service provides subscribers with significant savings on cameras and accessories, an assured replacement for damaged cameras, but more significantly, unlimited cloud storage, the capacity to upload footage to the cloud directly from GoPro cameras, premium editing tools in the Quick App, and a private streaming platform to enable storytelling and immersive sharing - going back to its roots and its purpose.

gopro innovation case study

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, GoPro subscribers were up from a small 355,000 in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.16 million, and in the recently announced results for Q2 2022, these had increased further by 71% to 1.91 million.

On the internal organizational front as well, GoPro has been investing in building a collaborative environment. Earlier, the internal beta testing at GoPro was typically done for small groups of people closest to the product, and the feedback loop was primarily between just the testers and the product team. Now, the company has extended the reach of the feedback loop, increasing engagement for a broad set of employees and even building internal hype around the new product introduction efforts. Further, GoPro has been leveraging technology to empower and capture the collective personal retail experiences of its global workforce to report on the status of more than 27,000 global POP (point of purchase) retail displays, to choose what questions management will address at all-hands meetings, and for myriad other ways that help the GoPro workforce feel connected, empowered and prideful for what they represent to the global community of GoPro users.

gopro innovation case study

These revival efforts have perhaps arrested the decline GoPro had started experiencing between 2015 and 2018, with GoPro delivering revenues of $1.16 billion in 2021 but certainly better profitability with adjusted EBIDTA standing at $168 million compared to only $22 million in 2018. However, the street doesn't seem to be convinced yet. From the peak market capitalization of $11.8 billion in September 2014, GoPro is valued at a paltry $900 million as of the beginning of September 2022.

GoPro aspires to be a force for positivity, celebrating all things awesome while inspiring people to pursue their passions. It has an opportunity to leverage its purpose, values, brand-appeal and social media reach to sustain the momentum it has garnered over the last few years.

Will it be able to regain the glory of the first decade of its existence? Will it be able to bounce back and deliver sustainable and profitable growth? We will be watching closely.

This article on GoPro is part of a SPOTLIGHT series on some of the TOP100 Exponential Organizations to map their journey over the last eight odd years since the list was initially published in 2015.

To get insights from the successes and debacles, read the stories of other ventures which have thrived, but also some which didn't

DUOLINGO https://insight.openexo.com/startup-success-the-duolingo-way/

3D HUBS https://insight.openexo.com/dont-just-be-part-of-the-change-pioneer-the-future-the-3d-hubs-success-story/

TUMBLR https://insight.openexo.com/why-tumblr-tumbled/

gopro innovation case study

Chander Nagpal

With more than 25 years of experience in driving transformation initiatives, Chander is pronounced with a passion for delivering sustainable 10X impact through inspiring, engaging & enabling people.

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GoPro's Journey to $0.63 Billion Valuation: How Strategic Word-Of-Mouth and Brand Visuals Drove Growth

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In the realm of action cameras, one name stands out prominently: GoPro. A brand that has become almost synonymous with adventure and high-octane experiences, GoPro has carved a niche for itself in the hearts of adrenaline junkies and everyday users alike. 

But what is it about GoPro that has made it such a dominant force in the market? This article delves into the brand's journey, its content strategies, and the reasons behind its unparalleled success.

GoPro: The brand and product

GoPro is a wearable camera and accessory company that specializes in high-quality athletic photography. The brand, synonymous with adventure, has seen significant growth over the years. From a humble beginning where Nick Woodman, the founder, envisioned a tool to capture "hero" action shots, GoPro has become a technological giant in the action camera industry. By 2021, it held an 89% market share in this sector.

Reasons Every GoPro marketing strategy works well

GoPro's content strategy is a blend of user-generated content, emotional storytelling , high-quality visuals, and innovative marketing. This combination ensures that their content resonates with a wide audience and effectively promotes their brand and products.

1. User-generated Content 

One of GoPro's most significant strategies is leveraging UGC. Many GoPro users share their adventures, stunts, and experiences captured using GoPro cameras. This not only provides authentic content but also showcases the camera's capabilities in real-world scenarios.

GoPro initiated the "GoPro Awards" where they incentivized users to submit their best photos, raw clips, and video edits for the chance to win cash rewards. This campaign generated a massive amount of UGC and showcased the camera's capabilities through its users.

Instagram post by a GoPro user

Also read: 6 Memorable Marketing Campaign Examples to Inspire You - Artwork Flow

2. High-quality visuals

GoPro cameras are known for their ability to capture high-quality, stable, and clear footage, even in challenging conditions. This results in visually stunning content that grabs attention.

If you check out the brand’s Instagram page, you’ll see that it regularly releases reels showcasing the capabilities of its HERO camera line, capturing everything from underwater scenes to aerial shots in stunning clarity.

Cycling captured in GoPro

3. Emotional storytelling

GoPro videos often tell compelling stories, whether it's an adrenaline-pumping adventure, a touching family moment, or a unique perspective on a common activity. This emotional connection resonates with viewers and makes the content memorable.

The “Be a HERO” campaign showcased everyday heroes, from firefighters to teachers, capturing their stories and the impact they make, all filmed on a GoPro.

A heard of sheep captured in GoPro

4. Partnerships

GoPro collaborates with renowned brands to cover a vast spectrum of activities, from extreme sports to everyday moments. Such partnerships amplify GoPro's reach and reinforce the brand's commitment to adventure and high-octane experiences.

For instance, the brand partnered with Red Bull, a brand synonymous with extreme sports. This partnership resulted in content ranging from skydiving to downhill mountain biking, appealing to a wide range of adventure enthusiasts.

GoPro partnered with Red Bull

5. Contests

Through contests and awards, GoPro has cultivated a robust community of enthusiasts and professionals. These initiatives motivate users to share their content, bolstering community engagement and producing an abundance of authentic content for the brand.

In the recent challenge, GoPro users were challenged to create the best video content using their newest camera. The contest runs for 100 days and winners will stand a chance to win $100,000.

A surfer

6. Tutorials

GoPro also produces content that educates users on how to get the most out of their cameras, which not only helps users but also promotes the versatility and capabilities of their products.

7. Brand consistency

Despite the diverse range of content, there's a consistent brand message about adventure, capturing moments, and sharing experiences. This consistency reinforces brand identity and trust.

8. Adaptability

GoPro has shown adaptability in its content strategy. As new social media platforms emerge or trends change, GoPro has been quick to adapt and leverage these new avenues. When TikTok launched, GoPro engaged with TikTok influencers and created content tailored to the platform's short-form video format.

Also read: Facebook Ad Sizes and Specs for 2023

Wrapping up

GoPro's meteoric rise in the action camera industry is no accident. It's a result of a well-thought-out content strategy, consistent brand messaging, and an unwavering commitment to its community. From leveraging user-generated content to forming strategic partnerships, GoPro has showcased how a brand can resonate with its audience on multiple levels.

As we've seen, it's not just about the product; it's about the stories, the experiences, and the emotions that the product can evoke. As the world of content and social media continues to evolve, one can only anticipate the innovative ways GoPro will continue to engage and inspire its global community.

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gopro innovation case study

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GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges ^ W18458

GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

gopro innovation case study

GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges ^ W18458

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Product Description

Publication Date: July 30, 2018

Industry: Telecom

Source: Ivey Publishing

GoPro, Inc. was an American action camera and software manufacturer founded in 2002 by a young entrepreneur. The company introduced innovative action cameras and became a successful brand with the help of content marketing. It continued its innovative spree for more than a decade and was the market leader in the industry. However, in March 2017, the company faced challenges due to product failures and increased competition, and the introduction of new products in the market. GoPro's stock price dropped as a result of a loss of confidence by both consumers and investors. What strategies could the company adopt to regain its competitive strength and revive confidence in its brand? What could it do to be more innovative and successful, and in doing so, fend off the low-cost competition? Rishi Dwesar is affiliated with ICFAI Business School-Hyderabad.

gopro innovation case study

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Inspiring action with Workplace Groups

Founded in 2002, GoPro has grown into an innovative brand known around the world for it’s versatile and enabling products, and has over 1,000 employees.

gopro innovation case study

Why Workplace?

GoPro’s management team wanted to invest in a single solution that would not only fulfill the needs of every team in the company, but also bring the entire organization closer together.

As GoPro grew to more than 1,000 employees, individual teams began to embrace tools that worked best for them. Because each team used its own arsenal of tools, organization-wide cross-team collaboration and visibility was challenging.

“Workplace has brought the people of GoPro closer together, fostering global dialogue, cross-departmental collaboration and organizational efficiency. From implementation to optimization, Workplace is an impressively logical platform that is easy for users to understand and requires little to no onboard training. As we grow with Workplace, we look forward to unlocking and utilizing the feature-rich offerings to better connect our workforce.”

gopro innovation case study

Building a collaborative environment

GoPro decided to implement Workplace to foster collaboration across the entire organization. Before adopting Workplace, internal beta testing at GoPro was typically done for small groups of people closest to the product, and the feedback loop was primarily between just the testers and the product team. In recent beta tests, Workplace has extended the reach of the feedback loop, increasing engagement for a broad set of employees who now share feedback in a collaborative environment.

gopro innovation case study

Bringing people together with Groups

As the team working on GoPro’s mobile applications prepared to launch the beta version of a new automated editing feature called QuikStories, they decided to create a QuikStories Feedback Group on Workplace and encouraged employees to use and share their thoughts on the new mobile experience. During the six-week campaign, employees from every department across the organization offered suggestions for improving the app: from redesigning the home screen, to extending the content lookback window to 72 hours, and reordering the way photos and videos are copied to the app. Workplace quickly emerged as an effective platform for gathering and sharing this type of feedback.

gopro innovation case study

Creating awareness and enthusiams for new products

“This Group made our internal feedback loop incredibly important to the success of QuikStories,” says GoPro program manager Ashley Solmose. “We used Workplace to solicit feedback and build internal hype around this new product, and were able to launch a public product that the entire organization is proud of.”

gopro innovation case study

Empowering individuals and enhancing culture

GoPro also utilizes Workplace groups to empower its enthusiastic employee-base to share general feedback on all products, to leverage the collective personal retail experiences of its global workforce to report on the status of more than 27,000 global POP (point of purchase) retail displays, to choose what questions management will address at all-hands meetings, and for myriad other ways that help the GoPro workforce feel connected, empowered and prideful for what they represent to the global community of GoPro users. It is also a great platform to showcase the fun and amazing culture that makes GoPro a great place to work.

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GoPro Case Analysis

GoPro, Inc. (marketed as GoPro and sometimes stylised as GoPRO) is an American technology company founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman. It manufactures eponymous action cameras and develops its own mobile apps and video-editing software. Founded as Woodman Labs, Inc, the company eventually focused on the connected sports genre, developing its line of action cameras and, later, video editing software.

It developed a quadcopter drone, Karma, released in October 2016. In January 2018, Karma was discontinued and the company hired JPMorgan Chase to pursue options of selling the company. However, a month later, the CEO denied this. Gopro has continued it’s business in manufacturing action cameras.

GoPro Case Study

Gopro Case Study Examples

Gopro innovation case study.

Californian native and keen surfer, Invented the GOP after a surf trip to Australia in 2002. It is small and non-descriptor looking, deceptive really, however is a wearable camera and camcorder. Its size means it can be mounted almost anywhere with ease, whilst also having the capacity to shoot videos and stills in full HAD. […]

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Marketing Process Analysis

Segmentation, targeting, positioning, marketing strategic planning, marketing 5 concepts analysis, swot analysis & matrix, porter five forces analysis, pestel / pest / step analysis, cage distance analysis international marketing analysis leadership, organizational resilience analysis, bcg matrix / growth share matrix analysis, block chain supply chain management, paei management roles, leadership with empathy & compassion, triple bottom line analysis, mckinsey 7s analysis, smart analysis, vuca analysis ai ethics analysis analytics, gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges pestel / pest / step analysis & solution / mba resources.

  • GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges
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Definition of PESTEL / PEST / STEP Analysis

What is PESTEL / PEST / STEP Analysis? How you can use PESTEL Analysis for GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

At EMBA PRO , we specialize at providing professional PESTEL analysis & other strategic management MBA resources. GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges case study PESTEL analysis includes macro environment factors that impact the overall business environment – Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors. GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges case study (referred as “Gopro Confidence” for purpose of this article) is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study covering topics such as Sales & Marketing and strategic management. It is written by Rishi Dwesar, Geeta Singh and shed light on critical areas in field of Sales & Marketing, Financial management, Innovation that the protagonist in the case study is facing. Managers at Gopro Confidence need to examine three inter-related environments in order to come up with an effective strategy. The three inter-related environments are – industry environment in which the company operates in, the geographic market or country in which company operates, and wider socio economic / macro environment. PESTEL analysis is mainly the assessment of macro environment factors.

Case Description of GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges Case Study

GoPro, Inc. was an American action camera and software manufacturer founded in 2002 by a young entrepreneur. The company introduced innovative action cameras and became a successful brand with the help of content marketing. It continued its innovative spree for more than a decade and was the market leader in the industry. However, in March 2017, the company faced challenges due to product failures and increased competition, and the introduction of new products in the market. GoPro's stock price dropped as a result of a loss of confidence by both consumers and investors. What strategies could the company adopt to regain its competitive strength and revive confidence in its brand? What could it do to be more innovative and successful, and in doing so, fend off the low-cost competition? Rishi Dwesar is affiliated with ICFAI Business School-Hyderabad.

Case Authors : Rishi Dwesar, Geeta Singh

Topic : sales & marketing, related areas : financial management, innovation, case study solution & analysis of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, swot analysis of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, urgent - 12hr.

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Importance of PESTEL Analysis in Strategy Management & Planning Process

Strategy planning process often requires five steps – 1. Choosing the vision, mission and the reason of existence for Gopro Confidence. 2. Analyze the Gopro Confidence external competitive environment to identify opportunities and threats. PESTEL analysis is critical to understand the external threats & opportunities arising because of the macro environment developments. Changes in macro environment forces can impact the Porter Five Forces & industry attractiveness. Thus significantly impacting the ability of Gopro Confidence to build sustainable competitive advantage 3. Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses of Gopro Confidence. 4. Developing strategies that can capitalize on Gopro Confidence strengths and help mitigate weaknesses and impact of threats of macro-environment. 5. Execution of the strategy and building a feedback loop, using which managers at Gopro Confidence can fine tune processes and strategies going forward. The Industrial Organization (I/O) approach advocates that for sustainable competitive advantage external factors are as important as internal factors of the Gopro Confidence. According to Michael Porter organizational performance is to large extend determined by various industry forces.

What are Political Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

The political factors play a huge role in not only investment decision by transnational corporations but also by companies such as – Gopro Confidence. Political environment and other factors not only impact the cost of doing business but also long term sustainability. Some of the political factors are – governance system, democracy & institutions, military coup chances, probability of armed conflict, law and order in market etc.

Political Factors that Impact GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- International Trade & Other Treaties – The country has a good record of adhering to international treaties it has done with various global partners. The government of each party has adhered to the treaties done by previous governments, so there is a consistency in both rule of law and regulations.

- Unrest within the Country & Chances of Civil Unrest – We don’t think that Gopro Confidence business operations are facing any dangers from any kind of civil unrest or internal militant operations in the country.

- Government Regulations and Deregulations – The government is adhering to all the rules and regulations under World Trade Organization norms. There is consistency in both policy making and implementations of those policies.

- Role Local Governments Play – Local governments are highly influential in the policy making process and implementation as most of the policies and regulations are implemented by the local government as enforcement agencies mostly report to local government in their own states regarding various laws.

- Likelihood of Entering into an Armed Conflict – From the information in the GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges case study, I don’t think there is a likelihood of country entering into an armed conflict with a neighboring country.

- Segregation of Political Responsibilities between Different Government Agencies – There are numerous government agencies which reduces the risk of overwhelming pressure by one agency. But on the flip side it does increases both time and cost of doing business and getting certifications and clearances.

- Role of Non-Government Organization, Civil Society & Protest Groups – The country has a vibrant civil society community and Gopro Confidence should build bridges with them and seek out areas of co-operations. Civil society groups are influential not only in policy making but also in building a society wide narrative.

- Political Governance System – Based on the information provided in the GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges case study, it seems that the country have a stable political system. Gopro Confidence can make strategies based on the stable political environment.

What are Economic Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

Economic factors of a country and region have a direct impact on the potential attractiveness of a given market. Some of the economic factors that Gopro Confidence should evaluate both in the present market and one in which it wants to enter are – inflation rate, GDP growth rate, disposable income level etc.

Economic Factors that Impact GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- Inflation Rate – The inflation rate can impact the demand of Gopro Confidence products. Higher inflation may require Gopro Confidence to continuously increase prices in line of inflation which could lead to lower levels brand loyalty and constant endeavors to manage costs. Cost Based Pricing could be a bad strategy under such conditions.

- Inequality Index / Ranking on Gini Index – Gini Index and level of inequality are a great barometer for harmony and development of a society. If there is huge income inequality in the society then the likelihood of conflict and crime increases. It can lead to uncertainty and suppression of consumption in both short term and long term.

- Level of Household Income and Savings Rate – Increasing consumption and stagnant household income in United States had led to credit binge consumption. It has decimated the culture of savings as people don’t have enough to save. Gopro Confidence needs to be careful about building marketing strategy that is dependent on “Purchase on Credit” consumer behavior.

- Government Spending – As mentioned in the political factors, government of the country is running deficit budgets. The implication for Gopro Confidence is that it can boost sales of its product in short run but also expose Gopro Confidence to medium term forex and currency depreciation risks.

- Consumer Disposable Income – The household income of the country has increased constantly in the last decade and half, compare to the USA market where household income is still below 2007 levels and not increased in real terms since early 1980’s. Gopro Confidence can leverage this trend to expand the market beyond its traditional customers by employing a differentiated marketing campaign.

- Fiscal and Monetary Policies – The Republican government tax break culture has increased the deficit and it can lead to fiscal trouble for the economy in coming years.

- GDP Trend & Rate of Economic Growth – The higher GDP growth rate signals growing demand in the economy. Gopro Confidence can leverage this trend by expanding its product range and targeting new customers. One way to start is by closely mapping the changes in – consumer buying behavior and emerging value proposition.

What are Social Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

Social factors such as demography trends, power structure in the society, women participation in workforce etc have immense impact over not only the country's economy but also on workforce talent availability and level of consumer demand.

Social Factors that Impact- GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- Societal Norms and Hierarchy – What sort of hierarchy and norms are acceptable in society also influence the types and level of consumption in a society. In highly hierarchical societies the power of decision making often reside at the top

- Level of Social Concerns & Awareness in Society – Higher level of social concerns in the society often result higher consumer activism and pressure from non-governmental organizations, & pressure groups.

- Gender Composition in Labor Market Gopro Confidence can use gender composition of labor market to understand the level of liberal nature of the society, women rights, and women’s say in matter of societal issues and consumption decisions. The gender composition of labor market is a good indicator of disposal income of household, priorities of the households, and related needs.

- Attitude towards Savings – The culture of saving in US and China is totally different where savings rate in China is around 30% , it is well below 15% in United States. This culture of consumption and savings impact both type of consumption and magnitude of consumption.

- Types of Immigration & Attitude towards Immigrants – Given the latest developments such as Brexit and Immigrant detention on Southern border of United States. Attitude towards immigration has come under sharp focus. Gopro Confidence should have capabilities to navigate under this hyper sensitive environment.

- Education Level in Society – Education level of the society impacts both the quality of jobs and level of income. High level of education often results in better jobs, higher income and higher spending on complex and aspirational products.

- Attitude towards Authority – Various cultures in different part of the world have different attitude towards authority. In Asia authority is respected while in west it is something to rebel against. Gopro Confidence should carefully analyze the attitude towards authority before launching a marketing campaign for its products and services.

- Immigration Policies and Level of Immigration – What are the immigration policies of the country, what is the level of immigration, and in which sectors immigration is encouraged. This will enable the Gopro Confidence to determine – if required can it hire talent globally to work in that particular market.

What are Technological Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

Technology is fast disrupting business models across various industries. Some of the technology trends that are impacting the macro environment are – developments in artificial intelligence, use of machine learning and big data analytics to predict consumer behavior, growing importance of platforms over service providers etc.

Technological Factors that Impact GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- Mobile Phone & Internet Penetration – Gopro Confidence should assess the level of internet and mobile phone penetration in the country as it will it in building a requisite business model based on local needs and realities.

- Cost of Production and Trends – Gopro Confidence should assess - What are the cost of production trends in the economy and level of automatization. We at EMBA Pro believe that in near future the sector most disrupted by technological innovation is manufacturing and production.

- Acceptance of Mobile Payments and Fintech Services – One of the areas where US are lacking behind China is Mobile Payments. Gopro Confidence should assess what are preferred choice of mobile payments in local economy and chose the business model based on it.

- Technology transfer and licensing issues for Gopro Confidence – laws and culture of licensing of IPR and other digital assets should be analyzed carefully so that Gopro Confidence can avoid shakedowns and IPR thefts.

- E-Commerce & Related Infrastructure Development – As E-Commerce is critical for Gopro Confidence business model. It should evaluate the e-commerce infrastructure, technology infrastructure etc before entering a new market.

- Integration of Technology into Society & Business Processes – Uber failed in China because it tried to enter before smartphone were widespread in China. Gopro Confidence should build a strategy that can integrate societal values, infrastructure, and Gopro Confidence business model.

- Level of Acceptance of Technology in the Society – Gopro Confidence has to figure out the level of technology acceptance in the society before launching new products. Often companies enter the arena without requisite infrastructure to support the technology oriented model.

- Likelihood of Technology Disruption – If the country is hub of technology companies then there is a high chance of technology disruption among various industries. Gopro Confidence has to assess whether it can live with the fast pace of technology disruption in its industry.

What are Environmental Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

Environmental factors are fast gaining traction not only among consumers but also among regulators and policy makers. Climate change and changing ecosystem is leading to the extinction of more than 20% of species on the planet by the turn of this century.

Environmental Factors that Impact GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- Focus & Spending on Renewable Technologies – How much of the budget is spend on renewable energy sources and how Gopro Confidence can make this investment as part of its competitive strategy.

- Corporate Social Responsibilities Culture – Are Gopro Confidence present CSR efforts applicable in the new market or does it needs to have new initiative to cater to the prospective market.

- Paris Climate Agreement and Commitment of National Government under the Agreement – What are the commitments of the country under the Paris Agreement and what is the general level of consensus regarding Paris Climate Agreement in the country. For example Trump not standing by US commitments created an environment of uncertainty.

- Waste Management – What is the policy of waste management in the prospective market and how Gopro Confidence can adhere to the waste management requirements in that market.

- Environmental Regulation Impacting Absolute Cost Advantage Dynamics in the Industry.

- Influence of Climate Change – How climate change will impact Gopro Confidence business model and supply chain. For example if the supply chain is not flexible it can lead to bottlenecks if shipments from one part of the world are delayed because of sudden climate shift.

- Influence and Effectiveness of Environmental Agencies – The role of environment standards enforcement agencies is critical in safeguarding norms. But often in emerging countries these agencies delay the process as a tactic to extract bribes. Gopro Confidence should be aware of presence of such practices in a country.

What are Legal Factors in PESTEL / PEST Analysis

Legal factors often govern – conditions to enter the market, laws to operate in the market, and procedure to resolve any dispute with other stakeholders. If the legal system is not strong then Gopro Confidence can face numerous challenges – from consumer petitions to shakedowns from authorities.

Legal Factors that Impact GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

- Employment Laws – What are the employment laws in the country and are they consistent with the business model of Gopro Confidence. For example Uber employment system is not consistent with French laws and it is facing challenges in the country.

- Data Protection Laws – Gopro Confidence needs to assess what are the data laws in the country and what it needs to do to comply with them. For example most of EU countries now want the EU citizen data to be saved in EU countries only.

- Independence of Judiciary and Relative Influence of Government – The judiciary independence often reflect both strength and credibility of the institutions in the country.

- Transparency in Judiciary System & Processes – Transparency is essential for fair and consistent decision making. If the process is consistent and transparent then Gopro Confidence can plan ahead with greater conviction.

- Consumer Protection Laws – Gopro Confidence needs to know what are the consumer laws, what is the rate of enforcement, what is the attitude of authorities towards consumer protection laws, and what is the role activist groups in enforcement of consumer protection laws.

- Health & Safety Laws – What are the health and safety laws in the country and what Gopro Confidence needs to do to comply with them. Different countries have different attitude towards health and safety so it is better for Gopro Confidence to conduct a thorough research before entering the market.

- Time Taken for Court Proceedings – Even if the country has best of the laws, it doesn’t mean much if they can’t be enforced in a timely manner. Gopro Confidence should do a primary research regarding how much time it often takes to conclude a court case in the country given the sort of legal challenges Gopro Confidence can face.

5C Marketing Analysis of GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges

4p marketing analysis of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, porter five forces analysis and solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, porter value chain analysis and solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, case memo & recommendation memo of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, blue ocean analysis and solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, marketing strategy and analysis gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, vrio /vrin analysis & solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, pestel / step / pest analysis of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, case study solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, swot analysis and solution of gopro: the disruptive innovator faces challenges, references & further readings.

Rishi Dwesar, Geeta Singh (2018) , "GoPro: The Disruptive Innovator Faces Challenges Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.

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GoPro SWOT Analysis: How Innovation Leads to Success

Last Updated: Apr 17, 2023 by Abdul Momin Filed Under: SWOT Analysis , SWOT Examples

If you have a habit of scrolling on social media, you must have seen many videos and pictures shot from a POV angle. I find such content very cool because it helps you connect with what’s happening.

At times it feels like you are experiencing everything that is going on. However, for the longest time, I had no idea how these POV shots were taken until I got aware of the GoPro.

GoPro is a technology company that specializes in making action cameras that are widely used to capture adventurous and action shots. Besides the action cameras, GoPro is also known for providing mobile apps and video-editing software.

GoPro is not one of the pioneers in the camera industry. However, it has made a name for itself as if it was around from the start. GoPro cameras are widely used in sports, trekking, racing, swimming, and other activities.

Since GoPro is considered the pioneer of action cameras, today we have decided to conduct a GoPro SWOT Analysis. However, before we move toward the SWOT analysis, let’s look at the exciting journey of GoPro.

The GoPro traces back to 2002 when a guy named Nick Woodman founded GoPro because he wanted to film himself while surfing. Since Nick indulged in many sporting activities like surfing, skiing, and motorsports. He always felt that no camera could capture what he was experiencing.

To fulfill his wish to film himself in action, he created a company that manufactured action cameras. Unfortunately, it took him two years to sell his first camera. However, as digital cameras hit the camera industry, Gopro shifted its operations and made GoPro’s first all-digital, video-ready product in 2006.

In between, iPhone diverted GoPro’s customers by offering the iPhone 3GS with a good camera quality in 2009. However, a year later, GoPro launched a 1080p wide-angle lens. In 2011, GoPro carried out its first acquisition by acquiring Cineform .

The action camera brand announced going public in 2014. It sold 17.8 million of its shares through IPO. In addition, GoPro acquired a couple more companies in the coming years to increase its market share.

In 2021, GoPro generated $1.16 billion in revenue. However, the brand is experiencing a fall in its sales currently. GoPro reached maximum sales of 6.58 million units in 2015. However, in 2021 GoPro sold only 3.15 million units.

Since GoPro is not experiencing a boom in demand, it has also laid off many employees. The maximum number of employees that GoPro ever hired was 1,552 in 2016 . Whereas currently, it only employs 766 people.

Now that we have discussed the history of GoPro and how it evolved over the years to reach where it is today let’s conduct a GoPro SWOT analysis. However, before doing that, you should know what SWOT analysis is .

A SWOT analysis is a technique professionals use to analyze the internal and external factors that impact an organization’s operations. A SWOT template reflects the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The results of a SWOT analysis help us make future policies by looking at the factors that affect an organization’s operations. Now that you are well aware of what a SWOT analysis is let’s proceed further and carry out a GoPro SWOT analysis.

Strengths of GoPro

Strengths are the strong points of an organization that helps it in competing with other organizations. The success of an organization is dependent upon the number of strengths it possesses. Let’s have a look at what strengths GoPro Possesses.

1. Strong Brand Value

Any brand would try to have a strong brand value because it leads to higher revenue and increased profit margins. However, It is not easy to attain strong brand value.

GoPro is the name that became synonymous with high-action, extreme sports. It was the first company to bring first-person perspective and POV action to viewers across the globe with its near-indestructible mini cameras. This capability and a great marketing strategy ensured that GoPro was featured in many heart-racing scenes.

In 2019, GoPro was the most popular consumer electronics brand in the US, with 93.8 million cross-platform actions on social media brand content, leaving PlayStation behind .

2. Diverse Products

Brands often look to produce diverse products to attract different audiences. This helps them in increasing their customer base, as well as their revenue.

The GoPro range of action cameras is wide and varied. GoPro’s hardware range is extensive, from ruggedly built models capable of submersion in water and being thrown down a rocky cliff to high-tech drone equipment and image stabilizing gear. Its software capabilities are also incredibly powerful.

3. Online Sales

As the world is getting technologically advanced, people are switching from physical shopping to online shopping . Since customers find it more convenient, suppliers have to follow their lead. Looking at this trend, along with many brands, GoPro also established its online store.

Establishing an online store is turning out to be fruitful for GoPro since its revenue through online sales is increasing daily . This will motivate the brand to pay more attention to its online store.

Weaknesses of GoPro

Every brand has some weaknesses that keep it from achieving its true potential. However, weaknesses must be converted into strengths if a brand wants to grow. This section will highlight some of the weaknesses of GoPro.

1. Low Revenue

Businesses are always trying to increase their revenue because it is essential for a business to do financially well to stay in the market in the long term.

Although GoPro has been operating in the market for quite some time now. However, it generates a low revenue. In 2021, the brand generated revenue of $1.16 billion. However, in the same year, its competitor, Nikon, generated revenue worth $4.74 billion .

GoPro needs to increase its revenue by increasing its sales, or it can face serious financial problems.

2. Low R&D Expenditure

Innovation is very important for all businesses because that’s what differentiates the product of one business from the other. However, to innovate, it is essential to spend money on R&D.

GoPro is a technology company that makes products for the action sports industry. Its main differentiator is its technology, which has kept it ahead of competitors. However, to further consolidate its position in the market, GoPro has to increase its R&D expenditure. In 2021, GoPro spent $123 million on R&D.

3. High-Priced Products

Brands try to keep the prices of their products at a reasonable level so that people buy their products. Although it varies from product to product. Some brands target the high-paying class, which is why they keep their price above average.

GoPro is a premium brand with a premium image, meaning it can charge more for its products. This is great for consumers who are willing to pay more for high-quality products, but it doesn’t work so well for consumers who don’t want to spend as much money on their cameras.

Opportunities Present For GoPro

Every business gets opportunities from the market to expand and grow its operations. Some businesses act timely and make the most out of such opportunities. While others fail to grab them and struggle in the future. Let’s take a look at what opportunities are present for GoPro.

1. Start Manufacturing Smartphones

The smartphone market is growing at a daily pace. In 2020, the revenue generated from the global sales of smartphones was $409.1 billion . On the other hand, GoPro is operating in the camera industry, where its sales revenue is constantly falling.

Since GoPro has experience in technology and manufacturing, it can try its luck by launching a smartphone. Moreover, GoPro has a lot of experience in the camera space. With its existing offerings, GoPro should be able to compete in the smartphone industry. This will give GoPro an advantage over other smartphone manufacturers.

2. Increase The R&D Expenditure

To make their place in the market, every brand must innovate. However, innovation can only be done by spending on R&D. GoPro currently spends an insignificant amount of money on R&D.

However, it now has an opportunity to increase its R&D expenditure. This will help the brand in innovating and increase its revenue.

3. Expand Operations To Developing Economies

Businesses move their operations to develop economies to cut down their operating costs. By doing so, they manage to enjoy high profits. Since GoPro is observing a fall in sales and looking for ways to cut down its expenses, this is an excellent opportunity for GoPro to shift its operations in a developing economy.

Operation in a developing economy will cut down the costs of GoPro. As a result, the brand will experience higher profits.

Threats Faced By GoPro

Threats are the worries through which businesses have to deal . The threats received by a business are from the external environment. This section will analyze some of the threats faced by GoPro.

1. Global Recession

After the pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the world is expected to experience a global recession. Recessions are always painful for businesses. It lowers people’s living standards, and the sales of businesses fall. 

If a recession occurs anytime soon, GoPro may have to exit the market because the current financial situation of GoPro is already a lot weak.

2. Conflict Between Countries

Business always prospers in political stability. However, if there is political instability and countries are cutting off trade with each other, like recently, many countries have imposed sanctions on Russia. In such cases, businesses suffer.

Since the political temperature has been boiling up after Russia invaded Ukraine, GoPro feels threatened by the current political scenario. In case of political instability, GoPro operations will suffer since it might lose customers from a region.

3. High Competition

Businesses always try to avoid operating in markets with high competition because competition leads to price wars, resulting in the loss of profits. Like any other industry, the camera industry is also very saturated and competitive.

GoPro has to face a lot of competition from all directions. The action camera brand has to compete with brands like Nikon, Kodak , Sony , etc. While competing, GoPro has to constantly innovate, or else the rival brands can snatch GoPros market share.

GoPro SWOT Analysis: Final Word

Today’s article would have been a treat for our tech-savvy and camera-lover readers because, in today’s article, we talked about one of the most innovative action camera brands, GoPro.

This action camera brand joined the industry 20 years ago, and today it’s competing with some of the giants of the industry. GoPro is known for its various action cameras, video-editing software, and mobile apps.

Recently, the demand for GoPro cameras increased significantly when people realized how cool it looks to record an adventurous video while doing a sport or any other activity. Soon after discussing what GoPro is known for, we learned about the history of GoPro and discussed how it evolved over the years.

Then, we shed light on what SWOT analysis is and the purpose of conducting one. Then, after giving our readers some clarity, we proceeded further and carried out the GoPro SWOT analysis.

Through SWOT analysis, we learned about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by GoPro. Moreover, the SWOT analysis also highlighted some of the internal and external factors that are responsible for impacting the operations of GoPro.

The results obtained from the SWOT analysis can also be represented with the help of a SWOT matrix . Now that we have reached the end of this article, I hope you have enjoyed reading it since this article discussed the operations of GoPro with you and also made you aware of how to conduct a SWOT Analysis .

Although you shouldn’t be confused, if you feel the need to revisit the concept of a SWOT analysis, do look at more examples .

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COMMENTS

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