Belly Feelings

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My very random belly feelings about racing and the sportbikes market. “Nothing too serious, more like making ripples on the water” Villasanta 23/01/2014
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Transcript of Belly Feelings

Diapositiva 1

My very random belly feelings about racing and the sportbikes market.

Nothing too serious,more like making ripples on the water

Villasanta 23/01/2014

1

First insight

Almost two months ago a bike show named Eicma opened the gates of the 71th edition. As usual it was a great occasion to meet professionals, see and even "touch" new bikes, sniff the feeling of the industry which is quite important for a marketer as I presume to be.

I was very enthusiastic 'cause I'd have meet few old friends from racing field, which we don't see from too long.Don't worry I'm not getting senile yet ;) This is the introduction to my a big question which is hitting my synapses

Getting hit by a question mark Is it racing, marketing wise and ROI, a locomotive with one wagon only? I mean is racing still a strong marketing options for manufacturers ?

It look like a silly question with obvious replies but I might be to self-confident saying it isnt.

Figures are not very positive, as all we know; the market of sportsbike/superbikes is decreasing constantly in the last 5 years and the trends are not reassuring for the future of this market niche.

( yeah its a niche now, it was a market only few years ago)

Locomotive and one wagonWhen I say that racing is a train with a locomotive and only one wagon its because the other wagons seems irrelevant or even worst, a bad investment for the bike manufacturers ( Ducati is loosing a lot brand image wise with MotoGP defeat): I mean the winner is the locomotive which have a great visibility and return of investment and the wagon is the challenger which is fundamental to give the right feeling of a tough competition among the two and still get good visibility and return of investment even compared with the winner one.

Being and NothingIt seems that Hegel and Fitche were anticipating an hard subject for us as marketers when they philosophize about dialectic of being and nothing.

Sad to say but I do not have a univocal feeling about , depends which are the goals of these racing activities and what the actual target groups are looking for watching races with different media channels ( tv, cable or satellite tv, streaming, live etc)

The reason why people buy a sport bike is the thing to get focused Monsieur Jaques De La Palice would had said.

Troubles for sport bikes manufacturers I want to mention a fact which is causing a lot of troubles for sport bikes manufactures ( yeah its worst for premium brands because of the extra money paid ) , I mean the gap between what the customers think they will do their sports bike (expectations and aspirational skills) and what they really do with their bikes ( real use and skills); clear is this gap cause a deep dissatisfaction because the good the riders bought do not fulfill their aspirational needs.

The problem is clearly about the promise of benefits the customer will get as an experience, matters that companies dislike to study in an appropriate manner.

The thin red line Keep trace of my thin red line, dont get lost.Racing should have a lateral approach which can touch different psychological needs on the top of the old Maslow triangle.

I think sport riders look for an experience which is larger than a life Its not only about riding, braking, cornering with unthinkable angles, its not in the bike performance the key of success its something more related with others elements of their social life.

What Im trying to understand is if the hard and the soft values expressed by the bikes manufacturers are still hitting the riders soul.

Coherence My belly its strongly complaining about that, and my rational thoughts too, even premium brand like Ducati looks like they have some difficulties regarding coherence among brand values and product range.

I propose to my linked contacts some examples without thinking to be complete.

Think about the enormous sociological differences in term consumption needs in the emerging markets and old Europe (nouveau riches life style versus low profiles consumptions );

Trendsetters and Iconic people are promoting very different lifestyle with a precise reference on their target markets ( for example in USA and Europe its almost impossible to see cool people smoking, in far east smoking is still a normal habit ).

Light at the end of the tunnel Laws, taxes, and others limitations are worst in certain countries compared to others.

Social media and virtual communities changed the perception of the meaning of being a sportbikes rider. The Go Pro cameras, the quality level reached by smart phone cameras allow users to do a high quality reportage of their way of interpreting sport bike lifestyle.

Back to the thin red line There is a light at the end of the tunnel I dont know for sure but what I know its quite simple Riders want to participate to something in the etymological meaning, be part of , whatever angle of expression is. If bike manufacturers want to go racing and use their racing as a leverage in order to gain acceptance for their superbikes they should involve their target in a super genuine way.

Only for the braveWeb is loaded by virtual communities managed by big brands but this circumstance should evolve much faster than it happens and those virtual exercises sounds to the most part of the customers big fakes because the motivation to run these communities is not coherent with the actual sociological tendencies.

Id like to describe through some words and verbs how the new marketing for racing could be: Involve, communicate, share, trust, report, explain, teach, be near to, learn, listen to, understand,

Think about a white canvas where you are painting a new perspective with a world of colors.

This is a brave point of view, not for all.

This presentation wants to open a discussion with my very semi serious provocations.My goal was to make people smile and maybe put a seed in their in a fertile ground.Thank you for reading.

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