Who is Xprezo?
To work for Xprezo, a mountain bike company founded in Quebec, you have to be passionate! Founded by a former racer, the company’s philosophy is to build bikes for racers, those who want to rip, and need a bike that is dependable. Hugo Bardou, founder, that Exprezo is his second bike company.
Hugo started his first bike company, Balfa with some partners, in 1995. They specialized in downhill bikes, and in 2003, he launched Xprezo. With the launch of Xprezo, he began to focus on creating a cross country bike, something which he is intimately familiar with as he used to race cross country. This was when the WUUU was built. And then the cyclocross HOP followed. After that the freeride bike – Furax came out after 2 years of development. And in 2010, a hardtail, and an endurance bike is in the works. Xprezo definitely has a high cost to them. Xprezo maintains that this is because they were locally built, they can focus on quality control and make immediate adjustments to the models while they are being tested by the team.
But how can a small company stand against the larger multinationals? Having a chat with Hugo at the Mont Bromont Nissan UCI World Cup, he mentions that he’s not worried about generating publicity. “Our marketing plan revolves around the success of out team riders. They are the face of our company, and they provide us with a lot of visbility nationally and internationally,” explains Hugo. “We don’t spend money on large advertising campaigns.”
It seems to have been working, as they sell a lot of bikes in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. They are also actively looking at expanding to England and WEstern Canada.
What can be done better?
Xprezo as a company has achieved quite a bit of headway with their marketing strategy revolving entirely around races and their team. However, they can do more to increase their exposure within their target audience.
1. Team Blogs
As the company marketing strategy revolves around their riders, they can focus on providing a human face to the team. What do they like, why are their bikes good? What do they hate? What have they changed on the bikes? The more information that is available about the team riders, the better is it for fans to build relationships with the company. Of course, having the team available after races to chat with the fans and then keep in touch either through Facebook or on the team website blog would be helpful.
One of the best ways to create your own blog is to use Facebook. It has a built in audience and is easily marketed to all your fans. I would highly recommend the company to create their own Facebook page and link to the team blogs. They can then create multiple fan pages for each of their riders, by making them admin, the riders can upload own content.
Check out Gary Fisher and the 29ercrew who are using blogs to their best advantage.
Nothing creates more excitement than a multi-sensory experience with the product! Online videos are the closest thing that a reader or a fan can get to actually experiencing your brand. Companies like RedBull, Kona, Roxy, QuikSilver, Billabong, The North Face and others all use video to best effect. They all realize that it’s not the features that sell products, but emotions. Especially when it’s related to B2C sales. So, if you want to convey excitement, do it through an online video. Check out our other article on how to use YouTube to your best advantage.
3. Online PR
An underrated strategy which involves creating media releases for online distribution, creating discussion groups on various forums and social media sites revolving around your brand, making comments and creating a dialogue on various off-brand blogs and websites. This is a multi-pronged approach whose goal is to create brand exposure amongst your key audiences – which in this case are dealers and consumers.
A large part of sales come from dealers in the MTB industry. You have to build relationships with these dealers as they have strong relationships with their local communities. By working with dealers, such as RubbersideDown (http://www.rubbersidedownsales.com/products.html) who exclusively deal with Xprezo bikes, Xprezo can have a local meet and greet with their riders and do bike demos. This can be then videotaped and posted online for all to see… An easy way to create great content at low cost!
Some ideas for dealer events can be:
Now contests can be both online and offline. You can create a contest that is offline and managed online. In creating contests, you’re only limited by your imagination. Here are things you have to be aware of in order to run a successful contest: