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Could Leatherman end up going down the same road as Victorinox?

gb Offline greenbear

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Mindful of the recent YouTube video from Jon Gadget (and the thread on the subject here on MTO) has anybody got any thoughts nn whether Leatherman may end up going down the same route as Victorinix?

There is no evidence of it yet, but the market is a fickle thing (especially in Europe). The ARC seems to be a much refined product from Leatherman (I won't be buying one yet, if at all, as I have a BNIB Charge+ in the draw here that has never seen use, so not a good investment for me).

I was thinking about the Skeletooll based knives which are something of nothing, if intriguing.

Will be get a Leatherman scent range?

Who knows.........


us Offline SteveC

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Maybe you can elaborate on what you mean ?

Not sure I'm following you. What had Vic done ?


gb Offline greenbear

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRMDpSIvjxs

Here is the video. Basically the backlash in Europe towards pocket knives has caused something of an issue for Victorinox so they have embarked on widening their range to include scents and small series of new models that are strange to say the least, with course that represent various things. The video makes it clearer than I can.


us Offline IMR4198

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   I understand your question, Bear.  I am surprised that Leatherman hasn't branched out more to capitalize on their name.  Leatherman nail aprons, Leatherman boots, Leatherman back packs.  They sell some caps and T-shirts and that's about it.  They have tried just about every sort of thing they could think of in the pocket tool arena now.  Witness some of the short-lived one piece tools of a few years back. 
   In ways Leatherman is under more stress than Victorinox.  Ibach has the SAK market pretty much all to themselves.  Leatherman has lots of foreign competition.  And they are getting better, not to mention cheaper.  Leatherman has another minus.  Their lineup of PBMTs don't suit even some of the most hardened Leatherman fanatics.  Witness the remarks here about quality and price changes. 
    Will they come out with a line of bottled fragrances?  Or luggage?  I doubt it.  I would think it likely that they will have to seek another marketable item sooner or later.  It will never be 1989 for Leatherman or any of us again.  Good?  Bad?  Could go either way.  Best wishes.  G
 :D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2024, 07:23:25 PM by IMR4198 »


us Offline powernoodle

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There is a maxim that a business must grow or die.  What I believe it means is that a business must innovate or die.  While I'm not qualified to comment on the veracity of that claim, we rarely see a successful business remain static over the long term.  And we have seen many who tried to retain the status quo and perished - Blockbuster, Blackberry, Polaroid etc.

So Leatherman, Victorinox and all of the rest are going to change over time.  The only question is how.  Leatherman is doing it by paring back their product line (bye bye Juice, Squirt, etc.) and apparently focusing on fewer units at higher margins (i.e., a $229 MT).  Victorinox has not done much of anything innovative in the past few years, but is branching out into to cologne, backpacks, etc.

I don't care for either of those changes, because I want new and interesting MTs and SAKs at reasonable prices.  But those days are long gone, and others will step into that void.  One example is the myriad of high quality, Chinese clones costing $20 - $40 on Amazon or Ali Express.  My last several purchases have all been those clones, since neither Leatherman nor Victorinox is giving us much to be excited about.  I don't consider charging $229 for a slightly modified P4 to be innovative, but at least it was something new.  And Leatherman gets credit for the magnetic "Free" concept, so I'll give them that.

 :salute:


The Rocktol 19 in 1 - a Leatherman Wave clone - is very good quality for $45 on Amazon.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2024, 07:00:27 PM by powernoodle »
:doggy: :doggy: :doggy:


no Online Vidar

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If I remember correctly Leatherman did try a garden tool spin-off at some point?

From an owners viewpoint I think there is always a question of spending any available funds on expanding the business, or invest the same funds elsewhere with a potential higher payoff. (And diversifying by being less exposed to a single market).

If Leatherman does go down the Victorinox route with licensing the brand name I certainly hope they do it while maintaining standards and relevance. Too many companies have just tried to cash out the brand name by selling their brand name to any random thingy in order flog cheap stuff at quality prices.

Victorinox is a 140 year or so old company - extremely few companies manages that. Leatherman can likely do far worse than pull a Victorinox.

"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


us Online ThundahBeagle

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Selfishly, I would like to see Leatherman get into the domestic hand tool sector.  Specifically mechanic tools. Made in USA. Of good quality.  Pick up where Craftsmaneft off.  Yes. Someone else bought Craftsman but where are they made now?

They could start with simple 4 regular sized screwdriver sets.  Or 3/8 inch ratchet and socket sets.  Maybe a full size, non multitool, dedicated plyers.  Nothing too major at first and see where it goes.

Better than cologne


au Online ReamerPunch

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Leatherman sells lots of non-tool things in their Portland shop. Hats, bags, sunglasses cases, pouches... why not expand that? They released a tool pouch a while ago. I have a bunch of Maxpedition pouches. I would not mind having Leatherman pouches.
They could also take a page out of Olight's book, and start releasing all sorts of things. Leatherman owns Led Lenser, PocketTool X, they can make pens, lights, pen lights, light pens, funky OPTs, folding knives. Olight has been killing it with exposure, they've released a ton of interesting things lately.


fr Online Frenchephaistos

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Yeah ! Why should Knipex have all the fun ? If LM stayed in tools, they have the experience and savoir-faire… But I imagine if they go down that route here in Europe a LM screwdriver would cost $50…
It must be noted they know there is already very fierce competition in the tool area, same with all EDC items knives, pens, OHT, etc. LM's claim to fame is to have invented the plier-based multi-tool. That victorinox —a company unable to innovate in the MT area because they flooded the SAK market and something so simple cannot really evolve, that's the beauty of it— would have copied them says a lot. I like the Spirit, but I'll never be able to forget it's only a copy… Just a very shiny (and efficient) one  :facepalm: Because of that,  I'll always have a LM PST in my inventory.
I cry out "Bring out a PST3, same size just better quality, for $50 and I'll buy several ". Or the Juice line. Or a new mini-tool, with better tools. Those old innovations would still unique on the market even today. But I guess only people here on MTO would buy them. If there still was a market for them, I'm sure LM has considered reselling them.


fr Online Frenchephaistos

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Leatherman sells lots of non-tool things in their Portland shop. Hats, bags, sunglasses cases, pouches... why not expand that? They released a tool pouch a while ago. I have a bunch of Maxpedition pouches. I would not mind having Leatherman pouches.
They could also take a page out of Olight's book, and start releasing all sorts of things. Leatherman owns Led Lenser, PocketTool X, they can make pens, lights, pen lights, light pens, funky OPTs, folding knives. Olight has been killing it with exposure, they've released a ton of interesting things lately.
One thing that has not been explored is the wallet-MT synergy. I have a VERY good aftermarket one, but it was a hassle buying and hoping my favorite MT would fit. Make a good light and a good pen that would fit beside it and you can sell all of those items together as a bundle. Of course that would mean many wallets, as there are many MT sizes, and I know people can be picky about what they want in a wallet.


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Depends who their customer actually is.

If leatherman (for example) has a 10 year contract with the United States armed forces to sell Waves to the Coast Guard, Surges to the Navy, Supertools to the Army, MUTs to the USMC and Micras to the Air Force, they probably don't need to worry a great deal about whether you buy a skeletool this year or next.

I'm not saying that is the case, it's just a thought.

Harley Davidson has had to increase their offerings from conventional cruisers to include off road adventure bikes and an electric model to "Stay relevant" (and they've always sold branded accessories and fashion items) - will it be enough to continue in an increasingly globalised world, where Chinese manufacturers are now offering a reasonable quality product at a much more accessible price point?


A lot of it is up to the consumer....


 

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