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I came across an interesting article on the blog, Copenhagenize today. The post focuses on a new bicycle company based in Minnesota that has a specific section of their website dedicated to appropriate cycling clothing. But the blog article isn't really about bike gear, it's about how to market bicycling. Here's a key point:
"Urban cycling is a product and products should be sold properly. If you want people to buy a product, it is generally not a good idea to overcomplicate it."
Then the author compares the marketing of bicycling to that of shampoo:
The offending outfit.
"When you buy shampoo, you usually assume that you'll just have to squirt some in your hands and lather it into your hair. You may not choose to buy a shampoo that comes complete with two bottles that require you to mix two carefully-measured liquids together [measuring spoons included] with a custom-made mixing apparatus [batteries not included] after which you insert the completed mixture into the Shampoo Application Tool © [please use protective glasses!] that applies the shampoo onto your scalp. Pay $30 extra and get the newly improved Lather Removal Kit!"
The message? Marketing should entice, not explain every painstaking detail (and therefore drive consumers away). Think about the last car ad you saw on TV. Did it mention the oil changes? The scheduled repairs? The cost of tires? Insurance?
Obviously, cycling is different than shampoo (and cars). And most of us are not in the business of selling bikes. But it's an interesting phenomenon. Do you think bicycles, and therefore bicycling, are marketed effectively?
Finally, what do you think about this new TV commercial for bikes?