By Chloe Aiello
Under pressures from a slowing demand and the U.S.-China trade war, GoPro is doubling down on its core audience and engaging its existing customer base with contests and rewards.
On Friday, the camera company announced the results of its HERO7 Black Million Dollar Challenge ー and published a two-minute reel of user-generated content, made up of footage from 56 winners. Each winner was awarded just more than $17,500 for their submission.
"Typically, our internal media team goes and shoots our highlight reel ー they're professionals and they know how to go out and get the right shot," GoPro CEO Nick Woodman told Cheddar on Friday.
"But to really prove how easy HERO7 Black makes it to get stunning footage, we asked our customers to do it ... the resulting video is insane, and I don't think we're going to shoot a highlight reel again internally when our customers can do such an amazing job doing it."
The contest comes just days after GoPro announced it would migrate much of its U.S.-bound production out of China by summer 2019. International-bound production will remain in China. The company said in a statement the move would "mitigate the potential impact of inclusion on any new tariff lists."
Woodman elaborated on Friday, explaining tariffs are "not currently impacting our business but the concern of that happening served as a catalyst for us to consider new approaches to our supply chain ... We determined that tariff or no tariff, there are opportunities for us to produce our products more efficiently."
Tariff concerns cast a shadow on an already-gloomy few years for GoPro. The camera-maker has seen three consecutive years of declining stock value and revenue, The Street reported, which Oppenheimer analysts once theorized could be related to a "shrinking addressable market."
But rather than switch up the business model or diversify, GoPro is embracing its core audience of highly active adventurers. Woodman said he thinks there is still a large, untapped market.
"In the total addressable market that we've identified, we only actually have a little bit more than 50 percent awareness of GoPro among those consumers," he said. "So rather than try to go broad and try to get into different industries, we are more focused on doing a better job of driving awareness and super-serving customers around the world that could benefit from the solutions we provide."
GoPro is projecting a return to profitability in its holiday quarter and second half of the year, bolstered by the Hero7, which had a strong September launch that boosted shares 12 percent in the days that followed. Shares rallied 12 percent in the days after it debuted.
"We're proving that there's significant demand for our products when we've got exciting new products at the right price point," Woodman said.
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