01 July 2015
Written by inEvidence
Download PDF Case Study
Watch the video
There are cycling enthusiasts, there are anti-cyclists. Between these two extremes sit the majority: people who would quite like to cycle but find something puts them off. For some, it’s safety. For others, it’s the risk of their bike being stolen. Whatever the excuse, if transport chiefs and urban planners are to unlock city gridlock, more commuters need to be encouraged to swap the car for the bike. A young, ambitious company from Amsterdam may have the solution.
Firstly, include only the functionality the rider needs – anything extra adds weight and complexity. Secondly, maintain a minimalist design. Third: “Make it appealing,” says Bark. “The bike is a status symbol. People have to want it.” Finally, it has to be affordable. “€2,000 is not a price most people can afford. We needed something nearer the €600 mark,” explains Bark. Six years on and Vanmoof bikes can be found worldwide, from Japan to the US. They are sold globally in bike shops and online, as well as through Vanmoof’s website.
The company plans to open its own branded retail outlets. “I think we’ve created a new market segment,” says Bark, “the urban commuter bike.” Its latest target is the electric-bike market. “E-bikes are traditionally sold to ‘granddads’,” says Bark. “Our challenge was to bring this technology to a whole new market. To do that, we wanted to hide the technology – make an electric bike that didn’t look like an electric bike.”