Do you recognize the feeling that finding your bike in the city depots is like finding a needle in a haystack? Or do you feel like traditional black or grey bikes are just not that cool anymore and you feel the urge that you want to express yourself in any way possible? If the answer is yes, BEICK is maybe the ideal solution for your problem!
Beick is a Dutch company who offers their (potential) customers the possibility to create their own unique bike. From a large offer of different ‘standard bikes’ BIECKS makes is possible to customize your bike to match your own preferences and needs. They want to approach the customer segment that feels that riding a bike is more than a functional activity and/or people who wants to express and share their creativity in every activity they during the day.
How does it work? Beick offers the customers the possibility to customize their bikes by using an online toolkit (based on DPI) on their website which guides the customer through a process to build his own ‘unique’ bike, step-by-step. You start from scratch by choosing the ‘basics’ as the type of gear used in the bike, the colour and size of the tires, the type of seat and so on until you reach a fully operational bike. Assuming that there will be questions raised how changing these functionalities can lead to an assurance that your bike is YOUR bike and that it is unique, Beick has developed step two. This step will be done by deciding which colours are used on the different parts of your bike. After choosing and customizing ‘your’ bike it is possible to finalize your bike by offering a large variety of accessories that will be attached to your bike. Think of different type of bells, baskets or lock that is used on your bike. At the end it should lead to a unique bike, which is according to Beick affordable, durable and delivered with a high quality service. The service on the bike is five years, on the accessories two years and any possible reparations or modifications is done at your home by a qualified bicycle repairer.
The customer input is used actively and they function as co-creators for mass customization of the bikes of Beick. Although the customers mainly benefit themselves from being a co-creator, Beick also shows the last sold customized bikes and the ten most popular ‘standard’ bikes which is also beneficiary for others. They can gather inspiration or even purchase the same bikes as others did before them. Beick has done a good job to minimize process complexity by offering a clear and easy step-by-step method to finalize your bike and not offering too many variations in design. Although this has a positive outcome on the perceived ease-of-use of the online toolkit I think it also hinders the product utility of the bikes of BIECK. It is not possible to choose any possible colour, but only some standard colours. Also the accessories could be more refreshing in terms of creativity. For example they could work together with a company as Veloretti which offers unique accessories to really let your bike stand out a biking country such as the Netherlands.
In my opinion Beick has a big potential in a country as the Netherlands, where 34% of the daily trips shorter than 7.5km is done by making use of a bicycle. Combine this with the current trend of being different and potential high revenues and high premiums. However, the current concept of Beick has some flaws that hinders to reach his full potential. The website is only offered in Dutch, which already cuts a share of the population in the Netherlands, which do not understand the language sufficiently to order a bike at Beick. Assuming that their potential customers mainly live in the bigger cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where extrovertness is more accepted and present, translating the website in different languages will be highly advised for increasing revenue. Furthermore, the customization is not that intensive enough to fully exploit the creativity of the user and warrant the uniqueness of the bike, something that is promised by Beick and is their main value proposition.
Concluding,Beick is a creative way of involving customers in the creation process and offering them mass customization of bikes. However, at the moment the base for selling a unique bike is implemented well, but they should innovate themselves to protectBeick from competition and devaluation of the bikes. When the amount of bikes increases and customers will notice a lot of similarities among bikes, will probably makes them feel less ‘unique’, which is a high risk forBeick and should be handled immediately.