QOTD: Enticed by Two-wheeled Branding?
People who make more money and go on far more vacations than yours truly tell me it’s important to never drive. Lower your carbon footprint by hopping on a bike, they say. Yes, even in January — it’s popular and the people who do it, well, they love it!
While I’ve no qualms with pedalling on a nice warm day, toss in snow and ice and face-paralyzing cold and I’ll politely tell these cheerleaders, “No thanks, I’d sooner be dead.”
But what if ditching four wheels, crumple zones, 10 airbags, and a heater meant not having to give up on my beloved automotive brand?
You read yesterday about Jeep’s collaborative effort to bring a fat-tired electric e-bike to market emblazoned with the brand’s go-anywhere badge. Jeep is hardly the first automaker to lend its name to a bike. It’s a growing movement, with numerous auto manufacturers collaborating with bike makers or bikeshare startups as they chase that great mobility pie, eager for a fat slice.
Will it pay off? Meh, if done correctly, with little expenditure, it might be good for a revenue trickle. For now, fleets of real vehicles bought by real retail and fleet customers are what butters an automaker’s bread.
A bike that does some of the work is an appealing proposition for the non-hardcore rider; paired with a do-anything vehicle, the urge to hit the trails in a Jeep-branded bike only grows. Manufacturers are counting on that emotional connection to spur sales.
Question is, are you feeling that emotional connection? Would you be more likely to buy, or possible spend more on, a bike — even an electric mountain bike — if it came wearing a certain badge?
[Image: Fiat Chrysler]