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How do you sell bikes to people who aren’t cyclists?

Are you a bike brand looking to connect with the 60 million people in the UK who don’t currently ride or own a bike, let alone call themselves ‘cyclists’?

Cycling Industry News asked an award-winning marketing professional for her take on creating brand growth, developing new buy-out trails for people who aren’t cycling yet and certainly wouldn’t consider themselves cyclists if they did….

Let me introduce myself to you: I’m Joe Rigby – a potential new customer for your bike brand – someone looking to cut the £1,000 I pay each year on travel.

I’m also a marketing specialist, and serve as Head of Agency and Media Partnerships at Zappi, the leading consumer insights platform. We give businesses digital data to build the things people love – whether it’s brands, ads, or innovative new products.

With the cost of living crisis encouraging people to look for cheaper ways to get from A to B, my question for you is, “Have you revised your marketing strategy to fully explore this opportunity?”

“Give me an example of your work,” I hear you say.

We were integral to the creative development of the recent #BikeIsBest campaign, working with Fusion Media to deliver a message that tangibly engaged a clearly defined target audience.

Who is this new audience and what does it look like?

They don’t look like your current target audience. They are not cyclists. They probably haven’t owned a bike since they were in elementary school. Buying a bike is something they probably only do for their kids.

If consumers find a new category confusing or complex, they respond by delaying purchase. I want to help you as brand owners make this consumer journey that much simpler to increase sales and grow your business.

I’m going to start by sharing my way of buying, as someone who is currently delaying buying a bike.

Understand the needs of this new audience.

So far, I’ve owned three bikes in my life. On my fourth birthday, Santa Claus left me a four-year-old green budgie bike, on my 10th birthday, my parents upgraded this bike to a Doose gold folding bike, and when I was elected as a Labor Council member, he gifted me a little blue bike. I’m now in the market for a new bike as I’ve applied to bike seven miles to work and want something a little lighter. I will make the next purchase based on how the bike works with my personal style. I have a great yellow suit and am thinking of using a yellow roller to make a cool effect. Then again, a red bike would also work with my mint green suit. If only I could have one of each color!

Avoid forcing this new audience into your existing marketing personas.

The priorities I mentioned above are not just mine. There is an untapped market for millions of people who will choose a bike the same way they make their decisions about which sofa to buy – does it fit my personal brand? These are the people who will never recognize that they are cyclists, not within the current framework of what is a cyclist. If we achieve a future case of a return to cycling as a form of mass transportation, many people will not consider themselves cyclists. We’ll be people who sometimes use a bike to take some trips, like going to the shops, visiting a friend across town, maybe commuting. Some may even go further and add a tour around country roads or further afield. But we wouldn’t be cyclists, in the same way that my Nana generation weren’t called cyclists, they just used the bike to commute in their community.

The term “cyclist”, as a contemporary term, has emerged and is often used in a negative way, with the decline in the number of people using the bicycle. The small percentage of UK residents who continue to use the bike are categorized as cyclists to indicate that they are in the minority, and we are all familiar with the many metaphors that accompany “cyclist”. A consequence of this other is that it creates a reluctance to try cycling, it’s something other people do.

I’ve developed friendships on Twitter with other women who don’t consider themselves cyclists but use the bike to get around. By reading their posts I decided to give it a try in the way I dress when I bike to work. I swapped out my Sweaty Betty leggings for the yellow and green suits mentioned above. I also added dresses and skirts. The clothes I used to walk around in baskets to change into at work became the clothes I wore for my bike ride. I tend to go all the way at top speeds of 13mph and my sweat levels don’t require a change of clothes. This experience changed my cycling experience. I notice that the drivers are less aggressive, and are more likely to slow down when I turn on them in the other direction. I even had nice conversations with London taxi drivers at the traffic lights.

I am in no way suggesting that people should not wear cycling gear. Wear whatever you want to feel safe and comfortable. I notice that the experience of dressing ‘naturally’ has pushed me away from getting to know my bike. I look forward to a time when, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, we just became people in all kinds of clothes using the bike to get to all kinds of places.

We are very far from this reality. We have millions of people to convince that they can also use a bike.

Social media isn’t a one-way digital billboard for traffic – conversations have power

Women in the Twitter cycling community understand the impact they emphasize when they show up on the road. We are often the only female in a group of cyclists in the spotlight on their commute to central London. We know that just by being on the road we do more than just ride a bike, we’re showing that people like us can use a bike. I admire these women so much, like @Auntiekay28,cyclinginaskirt and carlafrancome, who ride their bikes with the goal of changing society.

We often feel like a small group of missionaries. And we take our ways online from those mad at cyclists, people who have stopped seeing us only as women on bikes, in celebration of the freedom it gives us.

It’s time for a seismic change in how bikes are advertised

To approach an era when cycling is no longer any different, we need the bicycle industry to adapt. In many ways, the bicycle industry has been where the automobile industry has been for several decades. Cars for men were marketed as vehicles of absolute power, status, and masculinity. A purchase that makes you faster, more successful, and increases your dexterity. I worked in advertising at that era. Working in a car account has been the dream of every male account manager. There has never been a higher connection than playing with a limited limited line to collect new belt lines about how much heat it would be if you were driving this car. It took several decades for the industry to take notice of the data that women were involved in the car buying decision that, for goodness sake, women were actually buying their own cars. Suddenly, the auto industry had to change quickly, and in the early days, in very clumsy ways, to market it to women. Think Paula Hamilton in the Volkswagen Golf ad.

Create ambitious lifestyle ads

The advertisement for the bike mirrors the advertisement for vintage classic cars. The car appears seated majestically against a backdrop of mountains or backlit in a city environment devoid of other traffic or signs of human life. Information about how the car was built or what type of engine will always be added to the copy. The car ads are now seeking to bring a lifestyle – the father spending quality time with his daughter as he drives her to school, creating happy memories when the family spent quality time together on that scenic, traffic-free drive to the south of France. These ads speak to the millions of people who don’t care about what’s under the hood, and in the same way I don’t care about bike gear, they’re buying something that amplifies their personal brand. The choice of color is just as important – how will I look in this car?

How Zappi helped connect the idea of ​​cycling to people who don’t cycle

It’s time for the bicycle industry to move forward with the way you advertise your bikes. If the goal is to sell more bikes, we need to consider more than one audience.

Currently, the majority of bike advertisements are aimed at cyclists.

#BikeIsBest recently launched a great campaign targeting people who weren’t cyclists. Some of the women I mentioned earlier appeared. He showed them commuting on a bike, mainly in everyday wear. Fusion Media, which created the ad, worked with Zappi, to help make a belt line that would appeal to those who aren’t cyclists. Three different belt lines were tested against a non-cyclist audience. The data helped Fusion Media develop a font that resonated more with this audience. The phrase “If We Can, You Can” appeared in the final campaign, a beautiful call to action for the nation.

The shift to marketing bikes that appeal to a wider range of lifestyles will bring in new consumers. Our entry level bike may always be the same, just in different colours. We may never buy that 21-speed bike. But we bring the volume There are millions of us waiting to be told that we need a bike if we want to enjoy our lives to the fullest, it did so well in the automobile industry.

“My dream in the bike industry is that a bike account is the thing that attracts advertising talent to move the agency.”

“On that day, the Cannes Lion Grand Prix will be handed over to an ecstatic team of creative agencies for their campaign that has prompted millions of people to buy bikes they never knew they needed.”

Don’t just take my word for it, here’s bike industry veteran Laurens van Rooijen talking about advertising freight bikes for sale at car dealerships in France: “Okay, that’s huge! Talk about reaching the 80% of the population who doesn’t ride bikes yet rather than 20 % already on board. Great movement by DOUZE Cycles and Toyota France.”

So, if you’re a bike brand owner, or distributor, and are wondering how you got to the “80% of the population that doesn’t cycle yet,” consider me your target customer:

The only brand I see talking to me right now is Bobbin Bikes. In the same way that my dad spent ten years visiting the Mercedes website and measuring salespeople, I often visit the Bobbin Instagram feed to ponder whether yellow is really my color.

Do you want to win my business, to lure me (and millions like me) away from a tube or car, or even a Bobbin bike, and win a world prize for doing so?

Let’s start the golden age of great cycling campaigns targeting people who don’t ride a bike!

Image credits: Zappi.io

@oscar.eckel



#sell #bikes #people #arent #cyclists

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