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Monday, June 16, 2008

Globe (by Specialized), branding comes to bikes

I have an eight-part rant on what the bike brands could do to better appeal to the general public. One of those points is to make better use of different brands for different audiences. The folks at Specialized are obviously on top of it, see below for presser on their new Globe sub-brand for their enhanced lineup of commuter bikes.

Regardless of how the products turn out (and no, I don't know how this new Globe line of commuter bikes differs from the existing Specialized Globe City line), it's good to see that Specialized acknowledges that a big red slasher "S" might not play as well on these downtubes as it does on Tom Boonen's, and that both will be the better for the change.

Stay tuned for bike details, I'm interested to see what they come up with. That little pic down there would suggest something that resembles the existing Globe Centrum, but with 700c wheels. Details should be available at their big dealer shindig in July.

June 5th, 2008

Specialized Launches Improved Globe Line of Bikes
New Bikes are Part of the Wellness, Environment and Fuel Price Solution
“We believe that bikes can be a significant part of solution for the biggest challenges we face – wellness, global warming and souring fuel costs.” States Mike Sinyard, President and Founder of Specialized. “That's why we have been advocating for bikes as a transportation for years." This support is evidenced by being a founding member and continuous supporter of organizations like Bikes Belong. As part of their focus on change, Specialized launched the Innovate or Die Contest in 2007 in cooperation with Google and Goodby Silverstein & Partners - Specialized's agency of record and creator of the "Got Milk" campaign - to stimulate the use of pedal power and to introduce the Globe bike concept.
To get more people out of their cars and on bikes more often, Specialized has been innovating and investing significantly over the past year to develop a complete Globe bike line focused on commuting, transportation and casual riding. "We know Globes will be a classic example of doing well while doing good," say a confident John Thompson, Specialized National Sales Manager. "The new Globes will not only contribute to the greater good, they will also mean a boom in business for our dealers and for Specialized."

To aid in the development of Globe bikes and marketing, Specialized worked all year with a group of dealers who have achieved great success in the transportation and utility bicycle segments. These dealers clearly communicated what their consumers were asking for and what Specialized could do to help them sell bikes like these. “Dealer focus groups and other research informed us that commute and utilitarian riders have different sensibilities and motivators than enthusiast riders”, says Ben Capron, Specialized Director of Global Marketing. “We created the Globe line with distinct branding to connect with this different rider group, similar to the way BMW redeveloped the Mini Cooper or when Apple developed the IPod branding. The result is a diversified line of Globes built around clean design, high functionality, great durability, light weight and tires with puncture resistance technology like Armadillo."

Because there are different types of commutes and utilitarian purposes for bikes, Specialized has developed four families of Globe bikes, each named after a city that typifies that form of riding. These bikes will begin shipping to dealers in early July.

All four families are very light for their class and feature appropriate geometry for the application, along with ergonomic contact points everywhere the body touches the bike.

Later this summer, Specialized will launch a several-pronged promotional effort around the Globe to drive consumer awareness and demand. Efforts will include cooperation with local advocacy groups, extensive PR, a stand-along Globe catalog and partnerships with dealers through SBCU education and full in-store promotions, including window display, floor display and other unique pieces.

"This is the right solution for wellness, the environment and the fuel crisis, but this will also be a huge factor in the future health of our industry, " Sinyard concludes. "First it was the mountain bike, then the road bike, and now transportation bikes will be the third wave to stimulate growth in our industry over the coming years."

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