As some wise Chinese man said: “I wish you lived in the period of changes”. He probably did not mean metal detectors, firstly, because this phrase is pretty old, and secondly, because Chinese obviously suck at making metal detectors. Yet, today we the metal detectorists are stepping into the era of change. In fact, this change is already around the corner.
The very first thing to keep in mind is that on the market of metal detectors, several manufacturers start to re-define the segment of cheap metal detectors. Minelab, Nokta, and Quest companies already started doing that. While all this time, Garrett was actually the leading developer in this segment, now it seems that it will be left far behind.
According to the rumours, Minelab is going to beat Garrett making multifrequency their main feature. Multifrequency in a cheaper metal detector is a bomb. Nokta, the comparatively young manufacturer, pays more attention to water resistancy, and wants to make its cheaper models suitable for underwater search. Quest decided to level up the standards of the budget-friendly machines by adding improved ground balance.
If to think about it, such improvement and redistribution on the market makes sense, because new technologies and new companies appear, the competition increases, plus marketing strategies change as well. However, there are three other aspects to keep in mind, in order to prepare psychologically for changes to come.
- The first aspect is marketing. Ironically, the oldest metal detecting brands that are very good at making detectors (White’s, Fisher, Bounty Hunter and etc.), suddenly find themselves very bad at modern marketing strategies and tools. Inability to use Internet marketing, possibilities of social media, and other similar stuff, makes them unable to actually bring their products to the attention of potential buyer. On the other hand, young and small companies that take to Internet like a duck to water, outstrip the old players, because they are better in their online field.
- The second aspect is change of generations. All the older companies have more or less recently lost their founders, who retired and transitioned the company to hired managers or to private limited companies. However, the problem is that all those old brands have been founded by actual metal detectors; these founders lived and breathed treasure hunting, and they genuinely understood the needs of the customers. Today, these big brands’ strategies are built by businessmen who haven’t got a clue how it feels like to walk with a metal detector in the field – and it shows. In the nearest future, we are likely to see some major failures of the big players.
- The third aspect is stagnation. Unfortunately, expect the Great and Mighty XP Deus, there were no serious breakthroughs in the industry during the last several years. Big brands constantly offer newer series, but nothing really new there.
So, we have to be ready for new opportunities provided by drowning old brands, and innovative young brands. For example, Kellyco has received new management team and some budget for both making a series of detectors, and developing a modern marketing strategy. Garrett works on its new devices, as well – according to rumours, one will be an underwater machine, and another will include some jaw dropping innovation. Plus, companies seem to start sharing technologies; maybe such collaborations will help the industry get out of stagnation with a good kick in the butt.