Tuesday, May 06, 2008

An image the industry should aspire to?



Do we need more of this kind of imagery in our marketing? Discuss.

Via the Sartorialist.

Posted by Phil at 2:30 PM

16 Comments

  1. Blogger Donna T. posted at 4:53 PM  
    Great lock in the basket....
  2. Anonymous Mike Wagner posted at 3:00 PM  
    As a total outsider looking in on the industry, my answer is "yes".

    Just like the game industry needed a Wii for a different kind of gamer.

    But that's just me.

    Keep creating,
    Mike
  3. Blogger sasquatch2 posted at 4:41 PM  
    1st- yes, I agree. 2nd- what marketing? if you want to see a bike ad you have to buy a bike magazine, then you probably don't need convincing that biking is cool. the question I ask is WHO should advertise. Governments should do it (yeah I'm a big gov't democrat) and they should switch SUV rebates to bikes too. It's hip to be square!
  4. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 10:41 PM  
    No, it is just a load of Bull Shit and you are really doing a disservice to your potential customers if you aspire toward it.
    How about, you go visit some key cities like Boston, or Berkeley, or Portland, or Amsterdam, ect . . . and meet some people, who have made riding a bike around town simply just apart of their lives.

    I'm not talking about seeking out the Hipster FG crowd, or even people who are all gang busters for a Critical Mass event.

    I am suggesting you go and see the ones who just use a bike to do what they need to do, and how it is simply an extension of themselves.

    - Ryan
  5. Anonymous Wiley Davis posted at 8:12 AM  
    Sort of. The bike industry needs a lot less of the gearhead/spandex/I-know-how-much-wattage-I-produce kind of marketing and a lot more marketing that shows how much plain fun riding a bike as transportation can be. Stay away from the hipster scene, they're too self-referential to be much different than the sporty superhero crowd (at least the superheros buy expensive bikes.) As for fixed gears, those are popular because they're a ton of fun to ride, not because hipsters ride them.

    I agree with Sasquatch that bike magazine ads will, for the most part, fall on the ears of the choir. That's the primary reason we've kept the Practical pedal magazine free, because we want to reach non-cyclists. We try to keep our articles focused on the everyday adventure of cycling. That's where the marketing focus should be because that, in my opinion, is the most powerful appeal of cycling... its fun. Crap-loads of fun. That's why recreational cycling sells well and there's no reason why the same appeal can't be applied to commuting and practical cycling in general. I think the folks at Xtracycle have nailed this. Everyday adventure. f a company with a bit more in the marketing coffers would pull a similar style of campaign, it would work wonders for drawing in new cyclists.
  6. Blogger SiouxGeonz posted at 1:04 PM  
    I b'lieve Sasquatch has hit on a key point: that image isn't going to work in a cycling magazine. Does the industry want to expand the market? Then it needs to reach beyond the cycling-magazine crowd.
    Does it want to expand to a fad market (this is hip today!) or a more persistent one?
    I think Mr. Burke nailed it when he said the industry will have to get into advocacy if it's going to grow. Where I am, *lots* of people are wannabe riders, but they're scared of traffic. We've had recent surveys, etc. for planning that have formally confirmed this. Education and infrastructure improvements aren't the quickest ways to generate bike purchases, but they'll last longer IMO.
  7. Anonymous j.d. kimple posted at 1:18 PM  
    Yeah. If it were, say, 1984 and the subject was going home to watch Miami Vice.
  8. OpenID David LaPlante posted at 3:00 PM  
    Absolutely. There needs to be an aspirational cycling enthusiast image for every type of person. As the cycling industry continues to design bikes that target every walk of life, everyone will eventually have the bicycle ride of their life. Isn't that what we want? Not a person on the planet without a bike? Or three? (Or in my case, 23?)

    That image may not be appropriate for many established cycling brands, however, I'd venture to guess that some new and/or evolutionary brands could really own a segment that speaks to this image and make a killer margin. Meanwhile, the rest of the sausage-suit brand homogenizing police will snicker at it and be content with their thinning margins.
  9. Anonymous James posted at 6:37 AM  
    As everyone has pointed out, Sasquatch is absolutely right. The bicycle industry loves preaching to the choir more than any other industry I have seen. I know a lot of cyclists, some who work in the industry, who just don’t want to share their love of cycling with the general public. Its like they know some secret and they don’t want to let out. It almost seems like some of the people I raced with in the late 80s/ early 90s don’t even like the fact that cycling has become more popular in this country in recent years. They would rather it stay a fringe activity for some reason. I just don’t get that attitude, but it does exist.

    I have said a million times on my blog that the industry needs to do a much better job of reaching out to new customers. People like me, who own many different types of bikes, are already loyal customers. I am not saying that bike companies should give up on high end, race oriented products. Continuing to design and market products for those core customers is smart, but that is not the way to grow the industry as a whole going forward. Panama Jack hats, shawls, and cuffed jeans may not be the answer, but there are plenty of people out there who would ride if they were not intimidated by the image of a cyclist that a lot of marketing folks in the industry continue to portray. Like it or not, people do make product decisions based on “image”, so it is up to bike companies to make their transportation-oriented products seem cool. You can bet that designers and marketing people in the auto industry spend a lot of time thinking about such things.
  10. Blogger HotForWords posted at 7:12 AM  
    I agree that the industry needs to branch out and reach people beyond the bicycle magazines! I like the image you use.. as it's very indicative of what I look like cruising around on my bike!
    I just got a bike a few months ago.. and I live in Beverly Hills.. and my friend thought I was crazy getting the bike.. saying that the only people who bike here are people who do it for long distance training.. etc.. the idea of a girl using her bike to ride to the grocery store was beyond her!

    But I LOVE it! I wish more people would get bikes just for casual riding.. and maybe a marketing push towards that image might help people realize that you can get a bike just for those casual Sunday rides as well!

    Oh.. I did a video on your title "Drink the Kool-Aid"! Seems that the expression has a bit of a mistaken identity attached to it :-) (Drink the Kool-Aid)

    Marina
    Your trusty philologist
  11. Anonymous Manny posted at 7:33 AM  
    Of course! I have been commuting by bike since the age of 7. (that's around 30 years now). None of the mags have ever seemed to focus on helping out anything but the spandex clad.
    I am in the industry and have been running a shop for a while now. You cannot by a "road" bike off the floor, special order only. We have plenty of bikes, rack, bags and other goodies to get you to and from work in style.
    It is the other sect of cycling that makes us money, not the weekend racers.
    Case in point, do you think miss donna t. makes her pay by selling to Team Spandex?
  12. Blogger Tara posted at 10:46 PM  
    Yes. But the bike should be pink.
  13. Anonymous BunE posted at 8:39 AM  
    I think that this is a lovely marketing picture and can have an impact on our urban markets. To be honest though, the industry needs to reach out to all. Perhaps a little love to those of us with 6+ bikes (extreme)back to the kid on the Redline jumper. concentrate on form AND function.
  14. Blogger Drew posted at 4:14 PM  
    Personally, I would prefer imagery that did not appear so solitary. Portray cycling as the family activity it can be, or at least put the cyclist in a community setting. Lose the model... We don't need all the reminders of our egomania.
  15. Blogger brettok posted at 1:31 AM  
    Sure... if you wanna attract more douchebags.
  16. Anonymous Web Designer posted at 10:15 PM  
    Nice bike, i like black color. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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