The next in our series of insightful client features, this article looks at luxury brand Condor Cycles and how they approach marketing to engage their audience online and off, and promote a personalised user experience.
How well do you know your customers? For example, do you know their favourite cake? Condor Cycles does. They make it their business to know.
London based Condor, a high-end bespoke bicycle manufacturer, have a very clear idea of who their customers are and what they like. In fact they spend a great deal of time putting themselves in their customers’ shoes, as keen cycling enthusiasts themselves, and trying to understand them in ever-greater detail. They want to know everything about them; where they go, how they get there and what they wear. It’s clear that this isn’t about paying lip service to your customers, this is an obsession, as five minutes in the company of Condor’s Marketing Manager Claire Beaumont will attest. The conversation quickly turns to their customers. “Did you know...”, she asks, “that cakes are very important to cyclists and all of them have their favourites? It’s just a thing about cyclists, so when someone registers for our newsletter, we ask them what their favourite cake is and send them one.”
Condor’s experience has shown that cakes are important to cyclists of all types, from the committed to the recreational – as the National Trust café at the top of Box Hill (where one of the Olympic races was held) can confirm. Towards the end of a bike ride, cyclists regularly inundate the café for a coffee and a cake, which sells out fast.
It’s this level of attention to detail that marks out Condor as a truly unique brand. Not only are the bikes they produce custom-built to the very highest standards, but their marketing strategy is built upon the same quality foundation, with the website communicating a visually strong brand steeped in heritage and centred on their customers.
“It is essential that we know our customers, so that we can produce products that satisfy their needs and can communicate on a level that interests them. Our passion is their passion," says Claire.
By knowing her market so well Claire can take her customers on journeys that conclude with them buying a customised Condor bike costing upwards of £2,500. Any conversation with Claire will inevitably turn to the nature of their market – cyclists. This is not a homogeneous group, but Claire is clear about the market Condor Cycles serves and who they are – they understand design, they are likely to be creative people, they understand cycling, and they want only the highest quality.
Claire confirms; “You can’t be sloppy with a discerning audience – every Twitter post has to be 100% accurate, there is literally no room for error, and the same applies to every bike we make.”
Condor bikes are designed and assembled in London and built in Italy, but each bike is assembled according to the specific requirements of the individual customer. From the frame, to the wheels, tyres, handlebars and the seat itself – each one is hand assembled in the workshops in London. This attention to detail doesn’t come cheap but it is what their customers want and it is how Condor has managed to grow year-on-year since the business started in 1948.
Claire continues; “We do all the communications ourselves as we really can’t afford to get anything wrong – our market doesn’t let us get away with anything. Our philosophy is that our website content helps us to underline our unique proposition in terms our customers understand.
“It’s taken a long time to get where we are today. But our new website and digital strategy, and particularly the bespoke Bike Builder feature (developed by After Digital), as well as our ‘How To’ articles, ensure that our customers like what we do. The next stage is to provide our customers with the ability to purchase some of our products online.”
It’s unlikely however that Condor will actually sell their bikes online – each one is so unique to the customer that it’s imperative that there’s a personal ‘fitting’ before the bike is assembled. However, in order to facilitate the user journey and purchase process, as well as reducing telephone enquiries, the company employed After Digital to build its new website complete with the unique ‘Bike Builder’ feature – a hugely complex undertaking, but one that has been a key turning point for the company.
Anyone can use the Bike Builder feature on the Condor website to build their own bike from scratch. This innovative digital feature takes customers on a journey, which allows them to specify exactly what features they wish their bike to have and then provides a holistic breakdown of all the functionality and specifications chosen, along with an estimated build price. Users can then contact Condor to arrange a fitting and take the specification document into the store and, with a few suggested changes, have it built for them.
Claire continues; “This is all part of the Condor experience and aligns perfectly with our values. We don’t want customers to spec out their own bike, only to find out that it doesn’t suit them, that’s why you have to come into Condor, or one of our worldwide retailers, and have it checked, built and tested for you. We want it to be a highly personal and individual experience from start to finish.
“After Digital has been our perfect digital partner over the last couple of years, bringing the creative skills, combined with advanced technical capability, to create a website and Bike Builder that have helped us to increase sales and remain at the forefront of our industry.”
And what is Claire’s favourite cake? Carrot Cake of course, who wouldn’t want that after a hard day’s bike riding in the Cotswolds?