The story of the stringbike started after the regime change in the early nineties, when a group of Budapest Technical University students became interested in designing a chainless bicycle. After years of work in 2010 they introduced the first prototype of the chainless bike to the public at a trade fair in Italy. But despite, the positive feedback from the general public retail sales remained slow, hungarianambiance.com reports.
There are several reasons for this said the company’s Marketing Manager János Podonyi. To focus on retail sales both in domestic and foreign markets was clearly a failed strategy. Potential customers that plan to buy a new bike in retail shops, in general, have preconceived ideas – they already know what they want before going to the store. It is difficult to change cutomers’ minds in the store especially, if they encounter with an unfamiliar product Podonyi explained.
Another challenge is the price – the basic model costs one thousand euros (310 thousand forints) plus taxes.. Due to the high manufacturing costs, the various models cost between 1800 – 3000 euros that most people can’t afford.
The high price is due to low sales volume, which has not yet reached the ideal, self-sustaining level; last year, for example, only one hundred stringbikes were sold, 75-80 percent of them abroad.
As a result, the company has decided to develop a new sales strategy. Our prices are high, but we have a really unique product. The new sales strategy will focus on emphasizing the luxurious experience that stringbike offers; it targets those customers that are receptive to innovation, and beauty Podonyi explained. Among other things we emphasize the luxury of dynamic, vibration-free ride, lubrication free design, and ease of transportation – due to the special design both wheels of the stringbike can be easily removed, and it can be transported on the back seat of a passenger car.
As part of the shift toward exclusivity the manufacturer plans to cooperate with fashion designers and already started working on limited editions of various models.
Very soon, two new limited editions will be introduced which are designed by collaboration with motorcycle racers, and fashion designers.
The company has also started producing wheelchairs for people with disabilities. A special wheelchair version of the technology is already available.
Recently, we have launched a web-based sales and marketing system; the primary focus remains on foreign markets mostly, on the US market, but all developed countries are targeted said Podonyi.