Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Brompton Merchandising

When I put my Brompton bicycles away last night after a short ride, I stared at the orange suspension block I had fitted to both of my Brompton bicycles. This got me thinking about whether or not Brompton are missing out on a merchandising mountain...

When someone buys a Brompton, most generally keep them a long time. There are several reasons for this but here are a few of my observations:
  • As refinements are made to existing parts, you can invariably buy these new parts (if you choose to) and retrofit them
  • A Brompton is just such a well made bicycle and such fun to use, many just cannot part with their bike
  • They are just so useful, even if you use it now and then 
I go on lots of rides with other Bromptonians and receive roughly 10 x emails a day from Brompton owners/those interested from all over the world. One thing I have noticed is that there is genuine market for aftermarket customisations. For many this is simply kitting your bike with various parts that match the colour of your Brompton. (I wonder if you can guess who might fall into that category)? For others it is finding parts that make the bike lighter. Companies have sprouted up all over the world that cater for this type of Brompton owner.

Why have Brompton not done this? If you consider a bespoke order Brompton already offer a variety that is quite staggering. Adding the complication of hinge clamps, saddles, mudguards, grips etc.., in say orange or various colours would be a logistical nightmare. It is fairly obvious that all of these extra parts would have to be after market. Brompton have already started this with a few colours, perhaps dipping their toes to see whether it needs pursuing.

It would be great if Brompton set up a in house division / sub company that offered all manner of coloured parts or ones made out of titanium. I suspect it would be very lucrative for Brompton. I also know from you out there that you would love to buy a T-shirt, sweatshirt, cycle jersey, hat, gloves etc.., emblazoned with the Brompton logo. Brompton do most of this as 'Brompton World Championships' merchandise, but I suspect there would be huge interest for such items.

Brompton are of course in the business of making bicycles and that has to take centre stage. That being said, I am sure I read somewhere that Ferrari makes larges sums from people buying branded merchandise. The Brompton brand is becoming stronger and stronger and if someone were to sport a Brompton T-shirt going about their daily routine, it would surely provide a degree of marketing?

My business and marketing acumen is next to useless, so what do I know?!! These are just my thoughts and observations from meeting lots of different Brompton owners. Put it like this, if Brompton released mudguards, grips, carrier blocks, hinge clamps, seat clamps, saddles etc.., in orange, yellow or green I know of two other friends who would join me in the stampede to Brompton Junction Covent Garden!!

What do you think? I would love to know whether you would like this sort of stuff too.





5 comments:

  1. There's definitely a market for "extras" and quite probably coloured bits to customise our Bromptons would be popular although that aspect wouldn't interest me personally. As you say others are doing it so why not Brompton too.

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  2. would you consider doing a post on aftermarket brompton resources such as brompfication, bromfoot, vincita, etc.?

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    1. I have done a blog post on the Brompfication hinge clamps in the past but I only write reviews of products I would use.

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  3. I am always eager to see these new products, though I have not thought of buying any add-ons to my machine. Adding new colors are always enjoyable.

    Peace, Mr. O :)

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  4. Certainly considering the 'clothing' market and the free advertising that would be generated there is certainly scope but maybe the Brompton ethos is that the individuals that purchase the bike provide the eccentricty (that sounds like a useful ad slogan itself.....Brompton, powered by Eccentricity!)

    Laurie -

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