The Best Beats the Rest

To be the best you have to beat the rest, and for one New Zealand sports company, it’s that ethos that has set them apart. OBO makes protective gear for hockey goalies (for our North American friends, that’s field hockey – the third most popular sport). As they like to say, they’re a company from the “arse end of the world,” but that hasn’t stopped them. In 1992, OBO decided they could make a better product than anyone else. So they did just that. Now they have 60% of the world market. Nearly every goalie at the Olympic Games is wearing their kit.

OBO’s business plan is simple. Just be the best. When it’s your job to put your body in the way of a solid plastic ball rocketing at 90mph, you need to know you’re going to get up again. So OBO talked to the goalies. What could they do to not just protect them from danger, but have them laughing at it? OBO researched, innovated and delivered. More agility. More protection. Better performance.

Unlike many companies whose dream is to be a part of the current zeitgeist, OBO set out on a different path. It isn’t enough to just be in the game; they want to lead it. If their product fails, they fail. Their marketing plan is equally as simple. Tell it how it is. Be direct and honest. And stand out. OBO’s tagline is “Good sh*t that really works”. You know OBO when you see it. It doesn’t matter how small you are or where you start out. To be the best, beat the rest. Just like OBO.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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