One Good marketing Plan is all we need

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teslanv
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One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 20, 2015 6:01 pm

If the success of the Storm campaign has taught me anything, it's that the US ebike market is just one good marketing campaign away from an LEV revolution.

The Storm is nothing but a kit bike, with some cheap, but clean looking cover panels.

We can do much better than this.

I think ES needs to assemble a "Dream Team" of sorts, launch a real Kickstarter campaign and blow this market wide open.

Who's with me?
I build custom ebikes.
http://www.westcoastelectrics.com
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by slacker » Feb 20, 2015 7:11 pm

I believe that you have a great idea and wish you well with your plan. I also believe in the adage that you are only as smart as the people you surround yourself with. good luck and godspeed. :D

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by slacker » Feb 20, 2015 7:12 pm

oh and forgot to mention i will be your first backer on kickstarter. :D

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by Jason27 » Feb 20, 2015 7:42 pm

How do you plan to beat out big ebike companies like Pedego or Prodeco?
My ebike:
Diamondback with WE 800 watt hub motor with AllCell 48V 20AH Lithium Manganese battery pack.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 20, 2015 9:12 pm

We need something like a Speed channel special on LEV's.

Something to spark the interest of the general public, and show them what an electric bike can really be.
I build custom ebikes.
http://www.westcoastelectrics.com
West Coast Electric Cycles
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by Jason27 » Feb 20, 2015 9:41 pm

With gas at $2 its a hard sell.

When gas is $4+ more people will consider an ebike. That's why I built my ebike.
My ebike:
Diamondback with WE 800 watt hub motor with AllCell 48V 20AH Lithium Manganese battery pack.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 20, 2015 9:48 pm

For me, it's not about the gas. If that were the case, I would just get a motorcycle.

I think there is something special about the performance of an electric vehicle. The silent acceleration it provides is just thrilling. It's just more fun to ride, and this is the message we need to relay to the unsuspecting public.
I build custom ebikes.
http://www.westcoastelectrics.com
West Coast Electric Cycles
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by 100volts+ » Feb 20, 2015 9:59 pm

If you assemble 20 guys in this forum there will be 20 different plans on the perfect ebike. What I am saying is that ES members make their bike for their needs. A mass market bike is an exercise in compromise. A bike that tries to fit everyone's need fits nobody's needs.
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by Jason27 » Feb 20, 2015 10:12 pm

Good point. That's why I built my own ebike. I've had minimal issues for the past 4 years. I built it to last long term. Best $1500 I ever spent.
My ebike:
Diamondback with WE 800 watt hub motor with AllCell 48V 20AH Lithium Manganese battery pack.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by friendly1uk » Feb 21, 2015 12:09 am

Certain goals are known. For instance few people want the 25kmh limit that dominates globally. 20mph is very acceptable though. Polls prove it. Weight is also never too little. Like comfort. I could poll on range... I think commuters are the most likely to buy. People that simply see the bike as transport. Sports riders certainly won't want the work doing for them, and the expense of an ebike keeps weekend sight seers off them. Commuters with hills want them. They just need telling. By the old people that actually do buy ebikes. The existing market.
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by Scotty T » Feb 21, 2015 2:49 am

I'd agree that no one size fits all, and that will be the failure of the Storm for anyone thinking they would actually ride it 20mi. It's a toy, not a serious bike for serious transport. It's a matter of what you want the e-bike for.

I think finding a good build from China and doing a bulk buy with a campaign mostly involving members could work because those who want that type of bike would go in on it.

But I actually think for the mass market, even for the n00b enthusiast like me, providing info on the excellent kits and whole bike vendors is really important. Cheap builds have cheap batteries and that's what you avoid with a reputable seller.

Established companies do kickstarter projects too. Dillenger has a $400 folder project with a mid mount chain drive. Wife has a folding bike bought for a 2km ride from free parking where she worked, if you're a cyclist they are rubbish. If you just need to get somewhere and not go too far they are fine. Because it's Dillenger I think you can be pretty well assured they'll deliver what they are proposing.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by lbz5mc12 » Feb 21, 2015 6:59 am

That's so weird, I was thinking of the exact same thing. After having read through the responses on this thread, I'm a little disappointed. You guys jumped right to the negative aspects of the idea. In reality the negatives are the positives. Sure we all build our bikes to suit our needs but somewhere in all of this there is a commonality to our builds. It's the common ground that we could base an affordable and a suited for many build around. We need to create a collective list of ideas, not for the perfect e-bike, but for the affordable/functional e-bike.

For myself I personally have found that the best solution is a front DD hub kit run at 36-48V on a mountain bike frame. I have my main/big pack situated in the middle of my frame and the smaller pack mounted on a rear carrier. I have the controller inside the rear carrier; it's a carrier for a currie kit and the controller just happens to fit. My bike, without me on it, is pretty well balanced with good weight distribution.

I'm currently using one of e-bikekits discontinued DD hub kits that comes with the monitor and the long, skinny, waterproof controller.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 21, 2015 9:30 am

It is quite true that there is no one perfect bike for everyone. My ideal commuter is my BBS02 hardtail and a small/light LiPo battery.

I guess the important concept is that we need a campaign to convince the public that Electric bicycles are a fun, enjoyable and meaningful mode of transportation. Get many more people excited about them like we all are. So the industry as a whole can flourish.
I build custom ebikes.
http://www.westcoastelectrics.com
West Coast Electric Cycles
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by scouttster » Feb 21, 2015 11:06 am

it's imperative that you be honest about the demographic with regards to who actually will use an ebike. first of all, there is the safety issue. Lots of automobiles out on the roads and certain people do not want to put their lives at risk riding an electric bicycle. For the most part older and elderly people are out - they are not interested an riding electric bicycle. Many many women are out as well. Then you have the people that will not change. They love the comfort and drivability that goes hand in hand with a gas-powered automobile. You are up against a lot if you want to change the way people commute. One way to move forward is to identify your demographic. Then move forward with a campaign towards ending or reducing CO2 levels. Make said demographic sign a pledge to use their e-bike for the next five years, etc. Title: the North American pledge to reduce co2 levels through the use of Ebike.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 21, 2015 11:23 am

Actually the 50+ crowd is probably the largest demographic of ebikes, but my gut tells me they generally prefer PAS/pedelec systems, and sticking to bike trails and less busy roads. They will be the easiest demographic to sway. They also have the financial means to buy what they want for the most part.

The commuting crowd is definitely the harder nut to crack, especially those commuters nestled safely in their steel cages. - However, if electric bikes could be viewed similarly to motorcycles, I think we could gain a respectable following. Being able to keep up with traffic and also to creatively and legally avoid it, when the opportunity presents itself is key.

Urban sprawl is another factor to consider. While many commuters would never consider riding a standard bicycle 20 miles each way to work, with an electric bicycle, this feat becomes much more manageable. - In some instances, the commute may be shorter on an ebike than in a car. - For this group, cost is crucial.

The Primary demographic I am trying to hit is the performance market - Dirt Bike riders, Thrill seekers. People who really enjoy the feel of acceleration, power and speed. - This Demographic seems pretty small at the moment, and heavily concentrated on Endless-Sphere. I hope to grow this demographic substantially, as they are our most vocal supporters.
I build custom ebikes.
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West Coast Electric Cycles
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by lester12483 » Feb 21, 2015 2:18 pm

The more people live in cities, and the more bike lanes are created, the more we will see ebikes on American roads.
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by windtrader » Feb 21, 2015 2:29 pm

I'm very optimistic about the coming few years as the ebike industry has finally been embraced fully by the global bike manufacturers and marketeers. This coming year we will see the first major batch of integrated ebike motor/transmissions from most all major players. Until now, various models and companies have entered the market but nothing has stuck.

I am not experienced in this commercial market niche at all so won't speculate what has changed but for all the major players to jump in now tells me that their collective wisdom sees that this is finally the right time that there is a large enough market to make the investments that will offer sufficient financial returns.

If I were part of this effort, I would be toasting the viral breakout of Storm as it is clear real world marketing test and response that there hunches were right and there is huge demand for inexpensive ebikes albeit the submarket Storm has attracted represents a fairly small percentage of the larger share of general ebike buyers.

Teslav is going after the DIY market, a niche market. His project will never scale as the numbers are not there. However, within the DIY space, there is plenty untapped opportunity as most DIY folks are far more inclined to put a "kit" together than do all the heavy lifting that many do here. In fact, one could characterize ES as more a hobby/enthusiast market, a sister niche to DIY.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by 999zip999 » Feb 21, 2015 2:51 pm

Stay away from batteries. Iet somebody else deal with that end. Look at pedago and it's battery problems. On low c~rate batteries.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by 2old » Feb 21, 2015 4:03 pm

The off road market won't grow in socal (IMO) as long as "motorized" vehicles aren't allowed in any parks (city, county, state or national) except on roads where cars and motorcycles are allowed. Someone may point out a classification of ebikes that couple them with a pedal only bikes, but tell that to the gendarme who just handed you a ticket and confiscated your bike. Also, socal had 60 bicyclists killed by vehicles last year, so converting individuals could be a challenge. However, Felt has five ebikes available to the US market this year, Haibike already has a presence, Trek has a pilot program rumored to start in June with a Shimano Steps system and Raleigh has a bike (also Shimano Steps); it will be interesting to see how things are sorted out.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by windtrader » Feb 21, 2015 4:06 pm

If the project goal is to as supply as much as as turnkey DIY build kit then battery options have to be clearly defined. Whether this is a link to a partner site to purchase the tested options or sold directly is influenced by other factors such as working capital, inventory levels, liability, etc.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by windtrader » Feb 21, 2015 4:12 pm

The Teslaav project is not designed for urban commuting or 50+ users or anything of the sort. It clearly blows out any definition of 750watt max in California. You might be talk your way past a random officer but if you take the same roads with regularity at clearly greater than what 750 watts delivered sooner or later you will be going home with a yellow piece of paper.

And has been mentioned, the laws are in transition to how to interpret what a motorized vehicle is. Clearly, the simple answer is a bicycle with an electric motor falls under this category. Will just have to wait and see as the number of incidents rise and are tested in more local and state courts.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by friendly1uk » Feb 21, 2015 4:29 pm

I thought the best marketing plan would be one where you lend bikes out. People who are not at all interested can be swayed by actually trying one. Find companies that don't mind you leaving a loan bike with them for staff to play on at lunch. It just takes one person to come back from break all pumped up to get everyone's attention. It cost more than a few leaflets, but getting someone in the office ranting about how much fun it was is worth so much more than leaflets. a leaflet may bring a sale, but the owner won't let everyone play on their expensive toy. We need bums on seats to really gather interest.

Here we have a local cycling organisation that loans out bikes and has 2nd sunday meets on the 'park&ride' sites. Here people can try many bikes. On secure sites. So getting people to try is really not that hard.

We know samples work. Supermarkets have been doing it for years. You reel in otherwise uninterested customers with the offer of something free. They like it, and with a 10% off coupon in hand, they buy it. Lots of them. That is why it's been going on since time began.


It's a good few quid on samples though. Perhaps the tax man could advise me how I might get some of that back.
bmsbattery sent me broken and incorrect stuff, and won't even talk to me about it.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by Drunkskunk » Feb 21, 2015 5:19 pm

Basically,

1. Build a bike.
2. ???????
3. Profit.

The Storm isn't that interesting, as a bike. Truly, I think we could all think of some very unflattering things to say about it if we tried. Other than it's fat tires, it doesn't have anything going for it's self. Where it succeeded was in the marketing.

If you have a brilliant marketing campaign, you don't need talent, quality, or value in your product at all. You only need to stir up the public's passions until they believe they need your product. It's that kind of marketing that has made the Kardashians so famous. I mean seriously, can you name anything any of them have done that actually makes them noteworthy?

If you want to bring a well made and useful product to the market, great. But it's intrinsic quality is irrelevant in it's success, with a sufficiently crafted marketing campaign.
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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by windtrader » Feb 21, 2015 8:13 pm

But it's intrinsic quality is irrelevant in it's success, with a sufficiently crafted marketing campaign.
I'm dating myself but long ago some marketing genius put a rock in a box and sold millions as the must have "pet rock". If that does not show the power of marketing over anything of substance or value, I don't know what will.

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Re: One Good marketing Plan is all we need

Post by teslanv » Feb 21, 2015 8:22 pm

A buddy from my college days started a company making and selling gourmet salt. He literally goes to the ocean with 5 gallon buckets, brings seawater back to his shop and boils it down to salt.
The rest is marketing.
Here is his company:
http://jacobsensalt.com/
I build custom ebikes.
http://www.westcoastelectrics.com
West Coast Electric Cycles
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