GoPro Marketing Strategy – Let Your Audience Expresses Itself! – Marketing Case Study #7

Hello marketing aficionados, I hope you are finding great ways to manage your time and invest in your business or yourself during these complicated times.

Earlier, I was thinking about which brand I will be talking about today. Then, I was thinking about purchasing a GoPro Hero 7 to use for my live streaming sessions on Twitch (another story but I am a Gamer and I like to go around Tokyo with my camera and discuss with my followers).
The idea was there: let's talk about the GoPro's success story! But wait, I already talked about Red Bull previously... Isn't it kind of the same type of company? Extreme sports, cool, and focus on brand recognition?

The answer is: Yes and no

It is certainly true to think that Red Bull and GoPro are playing on the same ground (even though they are selling different products), yet the way they reached their target is different.

I'll go as far as to say that GoPro's marketing strategy is closer to Daniel Wellington than to Red Bull.

Let's rewind. First, what is GoPro?

GoPro: Origins

gopro be a hero campaign
Behold! The first GoPro camera!

Our story starts in 2001, with the emergence of mobile technology. During this period Nick Woodman started working on its first prototypes.

The man had no big ambition, he just wanted to develop a wrist strap to tether your camera to your arm in order to take unusual shots...

Well, it didn't go this way for long! During multiple trips to surfing spots in Indonesia and Australia, he realized that its strap would go nowhere. He will need to design a camera fit for action with waterproof housing to be used everywhere.

In the following years, Woodman worked on its first camera.
In 2004, GoPro released its first camera... Believe it or not but their first camera was sold for $30 apiece. Production costs around $3 each, made in China.
A 35mm camera sold in surf shops and appearing on QVC. GoPro made close to $350,000 in sales.

They were doing well in their niche but it is still far from the success we know them for.

gopro strategy analysis
Their first digital camera, the GoPro Hero 1.

Urged by his friends, Woodman jumped to Digital and released the Digital Hero in 2006.
It can shoot in VGA but still has no audio capability.

By 2007, we already got the Digital Hero 3 with video AND audio.

Apple's iPhone broke the camera game

gopro marketing plan
Steve Jobs presented the original iPhone.

In 2009, the market was transformed with the release of the iPhone: the first publicly acclaimed Smartphone with a built-in high-quality camera.

The camcorder market was starting to collapse.

In 2010, GoPro decided to switch its GoPro series to a high-end category type of camera.
Their new GoPro model will record at 1080p and will have a 127° wide-angle lens.

This year ended with $64 million in revenue for GoPro.

Since then, GoPro focused its energy on developing the best high-end sports cameras to be used in any situation.

GoPro Marketing Strategy: User-Made Video Content

Do you remember Daniel Wellington? They beat their biggest competitors with a low ad budget by using their own clients' content on Instagram.

GoPro did the same... with YouTube!

gopro marketing communication
One video you can find on GoPro's YouTube channel

You maybe don't know but it is really hard for a brand to grow on YouTube. In fact, Touchstorm reports that only 2% of the top 5,000 YouTube channels belong to brands.

Yet, GoPro has currently close to 9M subscribers!
With great engagement and a high rate of shares.

We are here in front of a similar strategy from Daniel Wellington. At the beginning of the channel, GoPro recruited extreme athletes to perform complex tricks with the camera.

Users become brand ambassadors by sharing their videos on the GoPro channel.

Little by little, users start submitting similar videos by themselves and since 2013, GoPro starts sharing the best content recorded with GoPro to their channel.

The popularity of the channel rose and the awareness around the brand as well.


GoPro's marketing strategy embraced user-generated content because it allows for free high-quality content but also it helps customers to feel that they are part of a great community of sports enthusiasts.
Nevertheless, it also gave these users the opportunity to have their moment of fame by racking up 1000s of views and shares. "Be a hero".

This reciprocal relationship between GoPro and its customers leads to:

  • customer loyalty
  • retention
  • advocacy

Their own customers become brand ambassadors.

The guitarist records the concert with multiple GoPros!

Nowadays, GoPro went further by reaching other segments like music festivals or wildlife movies.

The next step is already here as, since the GoPro Hero 7 Black, people can directly stream their adventures on YouTube Live, Twitch, or Facebook Live!

It is then up to you to figure out ways to create and engage with your community. Your best sellers might be your own clients!

See you soon for the next marketing case study!

KD team


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