Roger will guide us through a reflection to the 2017 Sail America Industry Conference where Thom Dammrich, President, NMMA,
shared his data on the emerging markets/demographics and the exciting new opportunities that lay ahead for the boating industry. But the same methods, the same story was no longer going to work to attract this audience.
How have you changed your approach over the last few years to attract new markets? Have you changed your approach at all?
Research shows that the idealized, fantasy home for most people is a house on a hill over water that extends beyond the horizon. The siren song of the open sea calls to us all. Over the last century, sailing has progressed in North America from a merchant class profession to a luxury sport, enjoyed by the few with enough time, access and wealth to invest on the water.
In the US, that means sailing is the privilege of the few. Scan the docks. Sailors remain wealthier, whiter, and more male than almost any other pastime, with the possible exception of polo. That makes sailing, by definition, “exclusive”. It excludes the vast majority of our friends and colleagues who would love to venture onto the sea. And our marketing efforts, our communications, our vernacular, even the pictures we use to portray the sport, are all exclusive scenes that may as well be locked in time, black and white images of John & Jackie Kennedy playing the Nantucket Sound
This romantic image fails us. It fails our fellow citizens. It fails our aspirations to connect everyone to the love of the sea. And it limits our industry to a small and shrinking portion of our populace.
We have a choice. We can remain “exclusive” and live in a small, coddled class of privileged club members, in a shrinking vestige of the past. Or we can adopt the path taken by tennis, another exclusive sport of white-clad privilege. And we can welcome new heroes, and new opportunities for all of us to enjoy this rite of passage, this gift of nature, and this marvel of craftsmanship.
Say goodbye to the closed doors and closed minds of exclusion. Welcome to the future of sailing. Welcome to inclusion.
Roger inspires innovators to “make better”.
As co-founder and Managing Partner of Ampersand, Roger continues his quest to promote free markets, to produce uncommon growth using uncommon means.
After an early career on the launch teams for the IBM Personal Computer and Accenture‘s Change Management practice, Roger co-founded VIA and built a global strategy firm. He met his future partners at VIA, where they first practiced the principles of transformative innovation and purpose-led organization design.
Roger guided growth strategy and new service design for EY, and formulated business designs for former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s consulting and investment firm. He led global accounts for innovation strategy firm Doblin (Monitor/Deloitte), and led commercial strategy for Fahrenheit 212 (CapGemini).
He served as interim Global Chief Marketing Officer of Subway, the world’s largest restaurant franchise. Reporting integrated digital marketing, reorganized leadership and agency representation. The leadership team successfully turned around the business to return to growth worldwide.
His clients have included AC Nielsen, Advocate Aurora Health, American Airlines, A+I, Baxter Healthcare, Boston Scientific, BP, Bridgewater Hedge Funds, Cardinal Health, Citi, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford Europe, Grant Thornton, Groupe Schneider, The Hartford, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, KPMG, Kraft, Lenovo, MasterLock, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, SC Johnson, Siemens, Singapore Airlines, Subway, and Southern Company.
Roger teaches Strategic Innovation in the Interaction Design masters program at the School of Visual Arts near his home in Manhattan.
He serves as lead faculty for the Rutgers University and University of California Design Thinking programs. He is the Industry Chair for the Digital Marketing program, University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
You can read his mind at rogermader.com, and contribute to the research for his current book, working title “The Da Vinci Co“, an investigation into the uncommon mix of capabilities that will differentiate the winning organizations of the future.