• Giuseppe Crinò

BIKE SHOP, ITS BRAND COMMUNITY AND BIKE TOUR. WHICH CONNECTIONS?

Can a bike tour help consolidate the brand community of a bike shop?


We know how important it is for a business to have its own BRAND COMMUNITY, that is, the community of brand supporters who establish an affective and emotional relationship with it. The bond is such that they become ambassadors of the brand and promote it without any return, if not the pleasure of sharing its sense of belonging.


Incidentally, the concept of brand is not limited only to large companies but can also be extended to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well explained by Marco De Veglia in his “Zero Competitors”.


A bike shop is interested in creating a strong brand community, in the same way as any other company would.

The community that recognizes itself around the brand of your bike shop is the heart of your business, it will be the community that will talk about it, acting as a sounding board for the name and the products / services you offer.


Those who become part of a brand community do so because they are inspired by the company's communication, philosophy, service, quality and message.

A strong brand inspires its community and builds loyalty, thus being able to dispense with the price battle with the competition.


CREATE A RELATIONSHIP OF AFFECTION AND TRUST WITH YOUR BRAND, STIMULATES A SENSE OF BELONGING.

SOCIALS ARE NOT ENOUGH!


If it is true that the connection via social media is already a community itself, it is equally true that direct experience further strengthens the sense of union between the components and belonging to the brand. We are human and as such we need physicality!

To remain in the cycling field, thanks to the experience gained in over twenty years in organizing bicycle tours, I am able to affirm that already only 3 days by bike can convey all those emotions that allow you to consolidate the group.


Bringing all this back to the theme of this post, it is easy to see how a close-knit group of bikers who recognize themselves in the brand that organized the event naturally have a privileged relationship with it.


THE SOUL OF THE GROUP

Everything that the bike shop builds with the professionalism of the relationship in the shop, Sunday rides and / or social networks is not enough to create a solid brand community!


The multi-day bike experience is very powerful. There are many groups of guests who, unknown to each other on the first day of the tour, begin to break the ice after the first ride and are friends already on the second day.

The cycling experience is transversal and unites thanks to the sharing of the situation lived together. The group enters a unique dimension, a sort of bubble, and as the days pass it acquires its own identity, its own unique history and with it the various participants who take part in it.


BRAND COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC FEEDBACK


We have seen how a cycling experience can strengthen the group and how this, in the case of an organizing brand, can identify with it.

For a bike shop, selling a bike experience is also an opportunity to earn; since the customers are yours, why let other organizers make money by selling them the bike tour to your customers?


Those who have a passion for cycling naturally also have the pleasure of using it, safely, away from traffic, together with other people with whom they share the same passion.


So… could – should - a bike shop sell bike tours to its customers?


A CHANGE OF PARADIGM


If proposing bike tours seems little in line with the business model of a bike shop, try to follow me in this reasoning:


What does a bike shop traditionally sell? Bicycles and equipment.

What happens after the sale? The customer leaves and can follow one or more of the following options:


• will use the bike for some time and, once the "novelty" effect is over, will leave it in a corner of the garage

• will use it for short walks in his free time

• the bike could be a training tool and therefore be used more consistently

• The bike has changed his life and now he also wants to take a vacation.


The list could go on, the combinations are different.

The bottom line is that the bike is just the pivot of other purchases that gravitate around it

THE BIKE ONLY IS THE TOOL, WHILE THE JOURNEY, THE HOLIDAY, IS THE INSPIRATION FOR ITS USE.


The cycling holiday fuels your customer's enthusiasm by increasing the motivation to purchase additional equipment and, in perspective, a change of the bike itself.


WHY LEAVE OTHERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO SATISFY YOUR CUSTOMER WITH THE SALE OF A SERVICE THAT YOU COULD SELL?


By including the bike holiday offer, the bike shop "hooks up" the playful, fun part of its business. Selling bicycles means selling tools for pleasure, relaxation, fun and adventure.

So, offering, together with the instrument, also the opportunity for use is like completing a black and white drawing with colors.

The cycling experience is to the bike in equal measure to how technical clothing relates to it.


Technical clothing is functional to the bicycle, without it you can go by bike, but in an uncomfortable way; just as a multi-day experience on a bike is a full way of experiencing the bicycle.

Can you do without it? Yes, however, a multi-day bike experience with a close-knit group, on a selected itinerary, with overnight stays in comfortable hotels and accompanied by expert guides, enhances the sense of buying a bicycle.


Entering this order of ideas is for a bike shop a sort of upgrade of its business model! Therefore, not only the sale, but also concrete opportunities for use with the consequent formation of a community that, thanks to the experience of cycling itself, recognizes itself in the brand of your bike shop.



HOW CAN BIKE ITALY SUPPORT A BIKE SHOP TO CREATE ITS COMMUNITY?


We have been a tour operator specializing in bike tours in Italy for over twenty years, we organize the entire package by providing the study of the best route in safety, the choice of accommodation facilities, any additional services such as stops at wineries or massages at the end of the day in hotel and we can support you in the implementation of road services with van and expert guides together with the group.


The event could become an annual date for your community, able to team up while having fun all together. The name of your company will thus also be connected to a fun activity, lived on a bicycle, integrating work on social networks and increasing traffic due to the countless posts by the participants in the experience.


Certainly, creating a brand community helps to support the name of your company and connect its name to the experiential element. All this, however, only works if the experience we build around is unforgettable, safe and cared for in every detail in order to give unique emotions.


As I see it this is a situation where everyone wins:

the bike shop increases its visibility, the strength with which its customers perceive it, becoming “THE” bike shop and breaking down the competition that today is played with clicks!


The customer has the opportunity to access a unique and unforgettable experience

Bike Italy increases its customer base by providing its experience as a tour operator specializing in the organization of bicycle tours.


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