Gareth Richards bridging the gap between outdoor industry professionals, brands and specialty retailers
Episode Highlights: By sticking to their original business model, Outdoor Prolink offers exclusive membership to active industry professionals Hear how guides are the original influencers bridging the gap between brands and consumers With a database of over 130,000 members, Outdoor Prolink still provides a customized experience for their members Description: For specialty brands and businesses, referrals and recommendations from industry pros are a make it or break it tool and ultimately, a channel in and of itself. I invited Gareth Richards, CEO of Outdoor Prolink on the podcast for this episode to offer insight into the Outdoor Prolink membership, and how the members continue to drive the relationship between brands, specialty retail stores and consumers. Outdoor Prolink was created to connect outdoor industry professionals directly with brands. Through a handbuilt approach for accepting applicants and monitoring members, they’ve grown immensely over the years and now have a database of over 130,000 industry professionals. They have never wavered from their original business model and still require proof of employment and annual verification to continue membership. Influencer marketing has existed since the dawn of time, though it hasn’t always been known as it is today. Guides, along with specialty retail associates, were the original influencers offering advice for newcomers in the sport on which gear and equipment they used and put full trust in to keep them safe. What Outdoor Prolink does is continue to build the relationship between brands and outdoor industry professionals through a tech driven platform, which eventually drives consumers to independently owned retailers. With a quickly changing landscape, brands and retailers should be focused on consumer centricity now more than ever. The members of Outdoor Prolink offering third-party testimonials continue to drive consumers directly to retail and master their channel. Gareth Richards is CEO and owner of Outdoor ProLink. He has a demonstrated history of working in the sporting goods industry and is skilled in retail, sales, event management, team building, and sporting goods. He is a strong business development professional with a MA focused in Experiential Education from University of Colorado at Boulder.