Who should we be targeting?
Warning: This is a very mountain bike slanted post.
For any industry to grow you have to get people that aren't using your products or services to start using them.
A very obvious observation I know, however my question for this post is who we should be targeting to sell more mountain bikes to?
Two potential groups immediately come to mind...
First, the casual riders. Those people we all see on the $150 department bikes either on the paved trails or easy singletrack. Often without a helmet and wearing some sort of denim.
Second, the non-bike sports enthusiasts. Your long distance runners, kayakers, hikers/climbers, etc. The people that are already doing "adventure sports" but just haven't thrown a leg over a mountain bike yet.
My first thought was to go after the first group. They already own a bike so maybe getting them to upgrade and get more involved would be a logical next step. Then the devil's advocate in my brain kicks in and asks the questions... "Haven't these people already shown what they think a bike is worth?" and "In general, do these people look like they are into pushing themselves to more dangerous and/or harder stuff?"
That's when I thought of the second group. These people already push themselves into taking on harder sports and many of them understand spending big money on gear to get the stuff that will work long term and take a beating. To me marketing mountain bikes to these people would be a great way to get more people to jump into our sport.
I recently took a trip to the local book store and spent some time flipping through different adventure sports magazines. The general Outside magazine along with hiker, kayaker, runner, etc specific rags and none of them had much, if any, advertising for mountain bikes. So it seems that most of the bike companies are spending their cash in areas that current mountain bikers already exist. In other words, everyone is fighting for a share of the same marketplace.
Am I missing something? Shouldn't some money be spent on getting more people into the sport... especially those people already with an inclination towards adventure sports? What's your thoughts?
Posted by Tim Grahl at 6:53 AM