UPDATED: Halfords/Bikehut just wants to be loved

Win a Kona Stinky Dee Lux runs the button on MBUK.com. Fill in a survey to win the bike, promises the blurb. It turns out to be a survey sponsored by Halfords/Bikehut and aims to find out what enthusiast cyclists think of the multiple retailer aiming to be as trick and cuddly as top IBDs. Read on for which IBDs Halfords/Bikehut considers to be bigtime competitors...
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Market survey company New Media House is currently compiling an online survey for Halfords/Bikehut via MBUK.com. Survey respodents aren't told the research is being conducted for Halfords/Bikehut but the weighting on the later questions makes it clear who has paid for the survey to go online.

The survey asks a multitude of increasingly personal questions as well as digging for what enthusiast cyclists think about Halfords/Bikehut and its latest sponsorship and marketing campaigns.

When asking respondents whether they knew which promotions Halfords/Bikehut was involved in, the survey spewed out:

"In fact, Halfords Bikehut sponsors quite a few things in mountain biking, including the Halfords Bikehut Schwinn Team, BSX and the British Dirt Riders Association and the Grime Time section of MBUK magazine."

Is all this spend worth it, wonders the survey. Of course, we'll probably never get to find out the results but it's intesting to find out which IBDs and other outlets Halfords/Bikehut considers to be nameable rivals.

The survey prompts respondents to tick where they buy their bikes and bits.

"J E James; M&P Cycles; Evans; Halfords; Edinburgh Bikes; Leisure Lakes;YHA; Local independent (please specify); Mail order; The Internet."

The survey is annoying many readers of bikemagic.com (although that's not stopping them gunning for the free bike). Follow this link for access to the bikemagic bulletin board: http://www.bikemagic.com/.../forummessages.asp?URN=3&UTN=17405

Dave Evans, PR manager for Halfords, said you can't please everybody all the time and is dismissive of chat-room banter. However, he believes data capture is a neglected field in the bike industry:

"All serious businesses should know that evaluation is one of the most important elements of any commercial initiative. Only by measuring performance can a company move forward.

"It is also worth noting (before anyone attempts to sabotage the results) that Halfords is probably the only company increasing its sponsorship spend in this arena. Research has proved that sponsorship is achieving its objective of raising the profile of

Bikehut as an enthusiast's bike shop.

"How many bike specific chat rooms are full of riders moaning about the state of British racing, and at the same time criticising Halfords for getting involved with what is traditionally seen as the realm of the independent bike dealer?

"Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face."

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