Strida designer Mark Sanders - who received an iF gold design award recently for his latest bike project - gave a presentation to industry figures at the Taipei bicycle trade show. He used the Blue Ocean marketing strategy to point out that the bike trade is marketing to just a small part of the potential market for its product.
Sanders is director of MAS Design Products.
The Blue Ocean Strategy is the title of a business book by W. Chan Kim. It's subtitled 'How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant'.
The blue ocean in Sanders's presentation is the market potential; the bike trade operates in the smaller, 'red ocean' of male, sporty enthusiasts.
Sander says, "I put on the presentation because I believe the industry focuses too much on sporty males - which may put off the vast majority of potential cyclists. It's also about how alternative and universal bike design may be a help in attracting more people to bikes as transport.
"I expected flack from industry leaders, but quite the contrary, they seemed to agree 100 percent. But it seems to be a chicken and egg scenario: manufacturers supply what distributors ask for. The demand comes from grass-roots bike shops, which tend to be run by sporty males. Not focussing on the bigger market matters in the current economic climate."