White Brothers refocuses on performance products and performance-oriented dealers

Catering to the off-road motorcycle, ATV and American Cruiser markets, and building on management and warehousing changes that occurred in 2002, White Brothers spent the past year re-positioning brand image, expanding product offerings and tightening up its resource talent.
To attain a better understanding of the changes taking place,Powersports Business recently spoke with White Brothers’ Brad Karstens, who supplied an update on the 28-year-old distribution business located in Yorba Linda, Calif.
“Many distributors carry a plethora of ‘general’ merchandise, from duck tape to zip ties, to funnels and small trinkets,” Karstens explained. “The White Brothers catalog in 2004 will be tightly focused on products we feel directly effect the performance of a machine, compliment a performance product we carry, or directly relate to the lifestyle of the performance minded enthusiast.
“What we’ve done is take a look at what is truly our core business. First, to produce core performance related products that will increase the performance of a consumer’s machine; and second, to distribute to dealers those items the company feels are related to performance but that are manufactured by other companies.”
Two of the most recent house-labeled products are the White Brothers Carbon Pro and Race Series off-road exhaust systems, which join the firm’s recently acquired line of ATV bumpers, nerf bars and body armor.
Plus, the distributor’s most recent acquisition, of Alloy MX, will result in increased offerings of off-road related apparel – pants, jerseys, gloves, belts and protection devices. Other hot off-road items include goods from Pro Circuit, Yoshimura, Durablue, Talon, Moto Tassinari, Renthal and BBR.
cruiser accessories expanded
While it may be best known for its off-road offerings, White Brothers also carries cruiser parts and accessories. Recently, the firm decided to reposition its cruiser product under two brand names: Porker Performance and Burly.
“When we reviewed our overall product offering as it has stood for the last few years, one main issue stood out: we were marketing to two very different consumers categories – Off-Road/ATV vs. American Cruiser – under the White Brothers name,” Karstens explained.
“The White Brothers name began as a brand offering performance-based products to the off-road consumer, then carried over without much effort into the ATV market.
“But the American Cruiser market breeds a very different kind of consumer, so we felt that the products we had branded under White Brothers in the cruiser market were done an almost injustice in being tied by name to the dirt bike industry. What we wanted to do was grow each area, giving each its own brand identity.”
Porker Performance represents White brothers’ line of performance systems whereas the Burly Brand represents a line of accessories – including handlebars, front and rear lowering kits, brake pads, easy shift clutch kits and side stands, among other items.
new management adds experience
As previously reported, a new management team took over at White Brothers in 2002. Since then, Karstens says, the firm has sought to bring in employees with strong powersports knowledge who also have experience with successful companies exhibiting proven growth. The new direction, he says, is obvious.
“The new team in White Brothers has taken a look at every angle of the business, from product offerings to brand positioning to dealer relationships, packaging and internal processes,” Karstens said.
“White Brothers is now offering dealers a product package superior to what it was five years ago, and we are now poised, more than ever before in our company’s history, to provide cutting edge product, in-store merchandising and superior dealer support to our customers,” according to Karstens.
Diversified expansion plans
“Our focus moving into the coming year will be to continue to expand our line of products for the off-road category, to strengthen our ATV focus, and to place additional focus on the growing super moto and mini moto segments.
“Of course, the American cruiser market also will benefit from additional product under the Porker Performance and Burly Brand lines.”

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