BikeBiz quizzes PR and marketing manager James Cornford...
When was Tenn Outdoors set up?
Tenn as a brand was born in 2007, with the owners background in clothing and technical fabrics, as well as several years of sourcing and making cycling products for other companies, the creation of their own brand was the next logical step.
And it serves both the outdoors and cycle markets? Which one came first?
Cycling is our main market, but we have always offered items such as walking jackets, running and gym clothing. We are currently looking at related markets such as triathlon.
Why are you getting into tri now?
We see triathlon as rapidly expanding market that at present doesn’t have many options at the mid-level price point, one of the big philosophies at Tenn is to try and make sport more accessible to the masses, so with that in mind we are launching a full triathlon range at a mid-level price point.
The triathlon range has male and female tri suits, shorts and singlets, along with a tri belt and elastic laces. These will hit these shores in March.
You’re UK based – do you test product over here? If so, does that give your products a UK-focus?
Both myself and Sam Robinson in customer services have ridden or competed in most disciplines and as part of the New Product Development team we always road test (or forest test) items as part of the pre-production process. As the main cyclists in the company we have helped to shape the direction that new products have taken over the past year, often as a result of finding a gap either in our range, or in the market place, based around our experiences and riding needs.
What’s special about Tenn’s products?
We have looked at what the competition are doing and have seen, particularly with the triathlon range, that we can make our own range to the same standard or higher, using better quality zips and our own design, but sell it at a much lower RRP, whilst still giving the IBDs room for a healthy margin.
What is Tenn best known for?
We have received a lot of good reviews for our Espresso Jerseys that are actually made from real coffee, but the product that is our most consistent seller has to be our Viper shorts and with the current temperatures our Cold Weather Gloves.
What new products are coming up?
We have been working hard to develop the higher end of our range and will be introducing a new road bike jersey with meshed side panels, the triathlon range too of course, plus women’s bib shorts to name a few, whilst also adding improved fine detailing across all new items.
How do you balance breathability and waterproofing in your garments?
We are working very hard in this area with a whole new range of jackets being introduced for autumn/winter 2013. For Tenn, the breathability rating relates directly to price point. Currently our Vapor jacket is our flagship in regards to breathability/waterproof qualities, rated at 10K/10K and is undergoing a revamp to improve what is already one of our best selling jackets.
Are you looking to recruit retailers for a wider network?
For 2013 we are looking to build on our network of retailers and try to move our focus towards IBD’s and away from direct selling, giving our customers the opportunity to see and try on their items before they buy. Potential stockists should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via http://trade.tenn-outdoors.co.uk