Comment: Can being a pioneer really go wrong?

Play your marketing strategy right and brand exposure from taking a gamble can make it all worthwhile...
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There’s something to be said for being the ‘first’ to market with a product or an idea. By taking a pioneering step and perhaps a big risk in doing so, you’re almost guaranteed attention, whether positive or otherwise. 

When we revealed the Essax Shark saddle online back in February it quickly went viral. Despite the tounge-in-cheek jokes about white not being the best colour in which to launch a saddle with a central fin, the brand went on to find a UK distributor and appear on numerous cycle and mainstream websites. Whether or not the Shark goes on to be a sales success, the exposure generated for Essax will have been invaluable. 

Similarly, when an email landed in my inbox about the launch of Bella Velo – claiming to be the UK’s first High Street bicycle shop just for women – I immediately thought of all the readers who would be delighted to read about the industry first. [Editor’s note: we are aware that this claim is a hotly contested one]. At the very same time I was left feeling like this particular piece of news should have come a heck of a lot sooner.

As it’s been put to me several times over the years; “half the market has long been ignored”. It’s been the industry’s loss not to have more women cycling and that’s something I’m convinced will be proven in the years to come.

Though they’re by no means alone in now catering adequately for female cyclists, I have to commend Giant for the launch of its sub brand LIV. It’s long needed one of the A-team to be bolder in backing women’s cycling and at grass roots level, with support and encouragement for its retail partners. The retail environment LIV has created looks well thought out too. How inviting is yours?

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