April 14th, 2011 By Jack Morton
The huge biking trend has big possibilities for brands. Doubters, take note: furniture retailer CB2 is selling a bike. Then there’s the amazing David Byrne and his Bicycle Diaries, the earnest Alex Bogusky and his enthusiasm for Common Cycles, and cities like New York, where hundreds of miles of new bike lanes have made biking not only friendlier but a fashion statement.
Now the biking trend may seem an oddity to those living outside big cities, but arguably several factors will inexorably drive broader adoption: rising oil costs… increased attention on health and saving money on treatment costs by staying healthy… generalized cultural desire for engagement in the community (whether that community is urban, suburban or rural)… and a design renaissance that has brought cool and craft factor to lots of products, including bikes!
The bike trend is at that point—just shy of a tipping point—where savvy brands can still get in with their own on-brand bike experiences. For example..
— What if a QSR brand dedicated a special “drive through” lane and outdoor eating area just for bikers?
— What if Sonic—“America’s drive-in,” which those of us who live in cities like New York can’t currently enjoy because we don’t drive anywhere in cars—developed an urban restaurant concept just for bikers?
— What if a retail brand established a special valet parking service for bikers, with bags (re-usable of course) designed just for bikers?
— What if a consumer electronics brand developed products and apps just for bikers?
— What if a fashion brand developed cool bike-friendly clothes, obviating the need for pant clips, shiny spandex or those horrible shorts?
— What if a car brand partnered with a bike brand to co-brand a foldable bike to fit perfectly in its trunk?
Worst case scenario, brands win kudos with latte-swilling urban types. Best case scenario, they get in early with experiences that are unique to their brand, add new revenue streams, and oh yeah, inspire consumers to be healthier and help save the planet.
So come on, let’s roll!