It’s a problem faced by college students (and all bike riders) everywhere – a stolen bike! We spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars on bicycles that are depended on to get us to places on time. But, the very thing that makes bikes beautiful and useful – their portability and accessibility – also makes them a prime target for thieves.
Luckily, Dutch manufacturer VanMoof has developed a smart solution using technology to help keep our bikes exactly where we left them. The new product, named SmartBike, is designed to thwart thieves, and even if it is stolen, the bike can be tracked and found. In fact, VanMoof is so confident that the bike can be found that if it is stolen, the company will spend up to two weeks tracking it, and if it can’t be found, the company will replace the bike. Nice.
There are a lot of additional features on the bike. It’s connected to your smart phone so that you are the only person who can unlock it. Anti-theft parts include a keyless lock built into the frame and tracked using GSM and Bluetooth technology. It has integrated automatic lights, an enclosed drive-chain, and can even be purchased with an electric-assisted motor to make commutes easier.
Go ahead thieves, just try to steal this bike!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: How many have bikes? Depend on bikes for transportation? Have had a bike stolen?
- Show a video of the Smart Bike: https://youtu.be/RcrLLooXgSY
- Show the VanMoof Web site:
- Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
- For this product, what is the target market?
- Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
- Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
- Debrief the exercise.
Source: Manufacturing Business Technology, The Verge