In February 2016, French ski brand Rossignol will bring out its first connected device: a sensor that’s fitted into the strap of a ski boot. The aim of the device is to give skiers detailed information on their activity – and Rossignol, meanwhile, can collect precious client data. This ultra-personalised data is then entered into the company’s CRM software in order to “convert all this data into business.”
Rossignol specialises in manufacturing ski equipment – not an area one would immediately associate with digital technologies. For its first foray into IoT, the company chose to team up with PIQ. Founded in 2015, this Swiss startup – which has already raised €5.5 million – creates digital platforms and sensors for sports brands. It has previously worked with tennis racket manufacturer Babolat to launch some wrist-worn tennis wearables that measure performance. As PIQ’s Chairman and Co-founder Cédric Mangaud explains:
“These days, no one runs anymore without smart devices or apps. Tomorrow it’ll be the same thing with skiing.”
An INNOVATIVE project
In an interview in Usine Digitale, Damien Hars, Rossignol’s Head of Digital and eCommerce, talked about the partnership:
“Electronics and sensors require specific expertise that we don’t have. It wasn’t a gamble as a result of meeting PIQ, but part of a structured digital strategy focusing on the end-user experience of our products.”
It’s not the first time that Rossignol has turned to the startup ecosystem: in November 2015, it joined forces with a young Parisian outfit called Move4More to launch Skiing Heroes, a platform designed to motivate and reward skiers. Rossignol is also working with the Grenoble Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) and Samsung to invent the “skiing of the future” and develop video and augmented reality products.
>>> Also on our blog: #Openinno: what are the keys to successful innovation? <<<
CUSTOMER-ORIENTED digital strategy
Time spent in the air, steepness, speed: the data gathered via the sensors created with PIQ is available in Ski Pursuit, Rossignol’s app. Ski thus goes social and connected.
For Damian Hars, the benefit of the app is two-fold: it enhances both the customer experience and Rossignol’s database:
“It gives us detailed information about our clients, so we can offer them the products that best suit their needs. Our basic strategy involves generating data to improve sales. We’re definitely moving into big data.”
The next step will be predictive maintenance: Hars has already set up some focus groups on the matter.
Rossignol’s connected sensor is on sale on PIQ’s website for €149.
Also on our blog: