Bottoms up

OE saddle maker Velo Enterprise of Taiwan is to ramp up its PR and marketing in an effort to increase its share of global after-market saddle sales. The company has hired a Germany-based PR company as the first part of its brand communication drive.
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Stella Yu, Velo's founder, owner and president, wants better brand recognition for Velo, its saddles and handlebar grips and tapes. Her company makes 1.2m saddles a month.

"2003 has been a difficult year for the global economy generally and the bicycle industry specifically, so we looked for new directions in adding value to both our products and the Velo brand," said Yu, Velo President.

"As the general price war continues to put pressure on us as well as on any other supplier, and many bike manufacturers are looking for the cheapest supplier, a vast number of companies in China and other countries are doing their thing to supply those needs with millions of low-end, low-tech saddles and other products. Currently our sales direction is 80 percent towards the OE-market; we want to grow our after-market share to 35-40 percent within our targeted mid-term timing goal."

Velo has appointed Uwe Weissflog's as PR and Marketing Communications agency.

As well as PR into trade and consumer titles, Weissflog will be creating IBD sales promotion programmes, including free saddle test kits and in store POS displays.

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