Every now and then I’ll stumble across a retailer who really has to be credited with having thought way outside of the box.
On this very site last month we touched on an electric bike retail and rental specialist that had linked with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage – a television famous venue that hosts cookery tutoring, among other things.
£70 all in for a slap up two course meal following on from a two hour guided jaunt into the Devonshire countryside on supplied electric bikes. What’s not to like about that deal?
From the retailer’s point of view, a portion of that £70 goes in the till. The customer, who otherwise may never have thought about bicycle hire, gets a day out that, by the sounds of it, will market itself through word of mouth. There’s no excuses for those afraid of two hours in the saddle either, much thanks to a little electric assistance, everyone's invited.
From a marketing point of view it’s a huge win for both parties. As much as we in the press get countless emails about celebrities cycling, few involve business. In this case the two firms involved here are bouncing off each other’s popularity. Cycling, touted in all press releases as being “more popular than ever”, is a draw, but pair that with the chance to eat food from a celeb chef’s academy and you’re onto a winner.
In the cycling world it’s far too easy to get sucked into our own industry calendar and become complacent when it comes to dreaming up unique ideas to drive trade.
I wrote this article originally for the magazine, with four days remaining until Valentine’s Day and seven until Shrove Tuesday. At the time I had yet to hear of any events involving romantic countryside tandem tours or post ride pancakes back at the shop – and I’m disappointed. If you wanted you could even cook up some pancakes on the trail with a portable gas stove.
These kind of events would generate a buzz and are thus easy to market, whether that’s via local press, who in my experience are always desperate for quirky stories, or via the shop window.
Heading into next month I expect to receive numerous press releases from BikeBiz readers detailing trailside Easter Egg hunts by bike. Fun for all the family and easy as pie to turn a profit on. “Earn an Easter treat, guilt free”, your sign could read.