The Crystal Ski Industry Report 2012 was released today.  The disappointing headline news is that the market has fallen for a fourth consecutive year.

But after falls of 13%, 10% and 5%, a decrease of just 1.8% seems like a success. The UK’s economic recovery is still to come, and we can only hope that next winter season will see the ski industry rebound.

Moi?
The report (which you can read here) is valuable to the industry, and it’s great that Crystal take the time to compile it.  However, while Crystal Ski claim the report is ‘balanced and accurate’, we need to remember that it is a marketing tool.

 

Look at this blog post you’re reading right now: we have two links to the company, have mentioned their name half a dozen times and included their logo three times.  Multiply that by Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere and print and that’s a lot of valuable media mentions.
The report also has a key subtext – Crystal Ski is great!
This is a lovely graph.  It shows how Crystal Ski are not just the number 1 ski company, but that in a market that fell 1.8%, they increased their numbers by 5%.  Pretty cool, right?

 

Look! Did you notice we’re the biggest company? And we’re getting bigger…

Not only that, but the TUI group (Crystal Ski, Thomson Ski and First Choice Ski) also beat the market, growing by 2% when their main competitors Hotelplan (Inghams, Esprit, Total) and Neilson Holidays fell 3.7% and 6% respectively.

 

You might even want to ask if a 41% share of the market is too big

 

Look! And TUI beat the market…

Oh, and the Crystal Ski share of the student market increased to 59%. And they won the Varsity contract. And BUSC (an event not run by them) is getting smaller. You can almost read the smirk between the lines.

Look! We won the Varsity contract…

 

You have to admire TUI for keeping focus and ensuring the maximum marketing return, for the time invested in creating the report.  In some senses it’s a mastery of Newspeak.

The Crystal Ski Industry Report is a valuable document that is useful to everyone in the industry.  It’s just important to remember why it’s there.  And it’s not altruism…

By Iain Martin