BUSINESS MATTERS: TRION:Z

Trion:Z is a Carlsbad, CA based manufacturer of ionic/magnetic bracelets, necklaces, and accessories that incorporate negative-ions and magnets for athletes and people with active lifestyles. Trion:Z products are worn by hundreds of professional athletes in athletics, badminton, baseball, cricket, football, basketball, NASCAR, squash, tennis, volleyball, and over 250 professionals on the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, and Champions Tour.
 
How many products are there in the Trion:Z range?
We currently have a number of different bracelets and necklaces in a large colour palette designed to appeal to various sport and lifestyle uses. These include the Dual Loop, Broadband, Active and Mag Titan bracelets and the single loop necklace. The new ranges allow us to reach beyond the traditional golfing and sports markets into a younger and more extreme demographic.
 
Can you tell us a little about your range and the technology behind it?
Trion:Z technology is unique, by combining the therapeutic properties of magnets and minus ions together to form the most powerful product of its type on the market today. Trion:Z bracelets and necklaces are made with a unique material called “STAYERS” which has minus ion-producing minerals woven into the fabric to counteract the positive ion build-up which leads to excess fatigue, heightened sensitivity to pain, and reduced focus and concentration. The twin 1000 gauss magnets are positioned in a patented Alternating North-South Polarity Orientation (ANSPO) to increase penetration and magnetic field flow.
 
What is the current best selling product and why?
The best selling product is the Dual Loop bracelet which was the first bracelet we developed and launched in 2007. This is the bracelet that has been embraced by many athletes and sports stars, and gains highly visible TV and press coverage.
 
What are the timescales that a new product goes from concept to retail?
With a product like Trion:Z the scientific principle has taken many years to develop and refinement is an ongoing process. In terms of delivering this to the end user the styles and designs are launched typically on a two year life cycle although colours are introduced more frequently in response to trends and fashions.
 
When designing a new product, what is the process that goes into it?
The product development cycle starts with research that identifies a market requirement, or target market. Our design team then work with the technical research team to combine the technical material content with materials that are appealing and practical to the target market in terms of style and aesthetics. Prototypes are then produced and market tested. If successful production is scheduled, packaging developed and the finished product brought to the market. The key factor with new products is that it must work so great efforts go into this.
 
How much input do your consumers have in the R&D for new technologies and product design?
Testing with existing and potential consumers is critical. Much of our development relies on market research as proved by our recent survey of three hundred customers who had purchased a product over the last twelve months. We asked them a number of questions about Trion:Z, the results were quite staggering and without question proved that Trion:Z really does work!. 94% of customers are still wearing their Trion:Z bracelet and 89% said that they found a noticeable benefit.
 
How much input do professional players have in the R&D for new product development?
Much like our consumers the view of our professional athletes is also critical, they scrutinise the product hard in extreme environments. A good example of this is the Broadband developed in response to feedback from tennis star Ivan Lendl who wanted a more sweatband type design. Active was developed to meet the needs of water athletes, triathletes and swimmers.
 
What does having professional players using your products mean to the brand and its identity?
The key benefit is credibility which is even more powerful when they wear Trion:Z through choice rather than paid commercial endorsement. If you watch cricket and see Stuart Broad or James Anderson wearing Trion:Z you notice the distinctive design and want to know more. The same can be said in very sport from golf to speedway. Most sales of Trion:Z are generated from existing user referral so the more high profile stars wearing the product enhances this process.
 
What new technology has been introduced to products this year?
The basic technology has remained consistent of the last twelve months, news styles and colours have been introduced such as Active and Broadband.
 
How much more development is there going to be in 2009?
2009 will be an exciting year. We expect sales to grow in new markets and have new concepts progressing through the development cycle. One area we are looking into is applying the technology to compression garments, a concept already being widely used in both professional and amateur sport. We think that the combination could be both beneficial to the athlete and also hugely exciting as a product in its own right.
 
What are the long and short term benefits of the products?
The benefits of Trion:Z do vary depending on the individual as do the timeframes for feeling a benefit. Everyone has unique reasons for wearing the product, our recent survey answers this question well
94% of customers are still wearing their Trion:Z bracelet
Reasons for purchasing Trion:Z:
Pain relief – 29%
Stress and tension relief – 11%
To improve performance in sport – 28%
General health and well being – 32%
Fashion – 0%
 
Customers finding a noticeable difference: Yes 89%, No 11%
Main benefit listed
Pain relief
More relaxed and less stressed
Improved performance
Improved health
Improved sleep patterns
 
Proof it works:
88% said that they bought to relieve pain and said that it had done so
90% had bought to improve sport performance and reported noticeable results
 
Tell us more about a specific product?
I think a nice product to mention is where Trion:Z has been able to support a good charitable cause as was the case with our Pink Ribbon bracelet where a portion of sales being donated to The Darren Clarke Foundation to be used for cancer research. From each sale £1 was donated. It is estimated that 182,460 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and over 40,000 will succumb to the deadly disease. Unfortunately Darren Clarke, lost his wife Heather to breast cancer in 2006 at the young age of thirty-nine so were keen to try and make a difference.
 
How does a potential buyer go about purchasing products?
Trion:Z is available to purchase through selected retail outlets or online at www.trionz.co.uk. Often we attend major sporting events to get in and amongst our customers which is hugely successful. An example of this was the recent Flora London Marathon Expo and the London Golf Show.
 
Do you notice a marked increase in sales when players using your products win major events?
Without question, a major tournament win in golf, a strong performance in a test match and the rate of demand does increase. Its not just limited to professional athletes either, recently Editor of Running Fitness Magazine David Castle tried Trion:Z and enjoyed a huge benefit. He wrote an article in his magazine and the enquires from the running sector sky rocketed.
 
Do you have a product which would suit every sports person?
We would like to think that with our Necklaces, Dual Loop, Active, Broadband and Mag Titan Bracelets we certainly meet a wide and diverse sector of the market. Additionally the colour options offered cater for more personal tastes for both men and women. We will be trying to extend our offering in the future though.

What is the history behind Trion:Z?
Trion:Z is the global company that distributes its Magnetic/Ion products on behalf of the Japanese manufacturer Colantotte International.