I do not mean to be cynical in this line of thinking. We need the bicycle companies of the world to be successful so that there are bicycles for all of us to use. A competitive industry means choice in what we ride and how much we pay for it. I am simply wondering aloud if there aren't better ways to do it so that the sales are improved through marketing lifestyle vs gear ratios.
On the Specialized web site, there is a section for women. All of the pictures on it are of women either in the mud, on their way to the mud, resting after being in the mud... Please, don't get me wrong, I love riding in the mud! Off road riding is one of my favorite things and I miss being able to do it greatly. What strikes me is the lack of scope the marketing shows.
I think this is brilliant! There is no beating you over the head with "Globe is great!", just a lot of stories about how life is lived on a bicycle. The regular Specialized web site leaves me cold. There is nothing there for me as I know nothing about bike parts, and quite frankly, I am not that interested in them. The people pictured do not represent me, how I live or even how I want to live. The Globe blogs make me want to know more about the company and the bikes they make. The people that ride them look like me and my family and my neighbors.
There are other bits to this thought floating in my head. How women and young people are ignored by the industry as a whole. How a desire to simply live with a bicycle seems to get eclipsed by those who feel that we should all aspire to be fast and muddy. How cyclists are portrayed as incompetent or daredevil (or both) despite the fact that our vehicles do not accelerate out of control or knock down power polls or leak antifreeze that kills animals that drink it.
I guess I'll just keep plugging away with my camera and take pictures of what I think makes cycling attractive to the masses.
It is certainly what attracts me- a 39 year old mother of three with a career and a commute (not so much career / commute these days, but you get my point). My guess is that I was not what came out of the various marketing meetings and focus groups : )