The changing face of our urban streets

The face of urban transport is going through massive disruption. We are seeing more & more bikes on our street as commuter’s swap to cycling as their main form of transport, & in all weathers not just in fair weather.

Cycling really upped its game following successes from Sir Chris Hoy  & team GB in London 2012.  Hoy, Froome & Wiggins are now household names & they have played an important role in creating a true cycling movement.

Cycling in London is the fastest growing mode of transport, indexing at 240, with an increase of 145% in the last 10 years. This explosion in cycle usage is not confined to the UK, we are seeing an urban global movement

In addition to getting from A to B, & anywhere in between, cycling is proven to have many health benefits. Not only does cycling promote both mental wellbeing & physically health - there nothing better than building your exercise regime into your day, rather than post work having to trudge off to the gym- there’s the public transport ££ savings, as well as individual contribution into carbon footprint reduction.

The UK government has also recognised the importance of cycling by investing £1.2 billion to adapt & remodel key pathways to encourage more bikes, & foot power, onto our streets.*  Likewise, they are only too aware of the catastrophe cities are facing with air pollution and the challenges with increased traffic congestion.

Disappointingly, London exceeded its ANNUAL air pollution limit by February this year, & the Citys limit of 18 breaches of air quality regulations was used up in January, so anything that helps offset carbon is welcomed with open arms.

Simultaneously, many companies recognise the value in motivating both customers & their employees in activities that protect health & wellbeing. Equally, they are exploring new platforms to demonstrate their commitment to their corporate social responsibility.

The take up of cycling is predominately the millennial generation & above, who as we know are, curious by nature, they need to know the reason for doing a task before they do it; a generation of immediate gains; a discerning, socially conscientious ‘group’ who are early adopters and naturally competitive. They are Digital Natives, who have shaped the technology revolution & intriguingly, are less interested in ownership & material objects, but they have a thirst for experiences. They have a social conscience & look to make their individual contributions. However, the challenges for brands is that they are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional communication platforms.

We also know that they buy into brands that share their values & beliefs, & are quick to dismiss those who don’t.

The TfL cycling scheme, now sponsored by Santander, has been hugely successful in giving all access to bikes, mainly for part journeys or for tourists. Though the bubble has burst a bit on the cycle to work scheme as the barriers remain, you still need to go through the pain of choosing a bike & sorting all the kit, and asking for a significant ££ commitment before they know they’re going to like, even when spread over a number of months but the tax benefit is not to be sniffed at.

Two very smart UK chaps, Andy Nunn, an avid cyclist, & Tom Hares a marketeer, have recognised what’s really needed is a subscription scheme, no contract, where riders have a permanent bike & kit, plus where maintenance & insurance are all taken care of. They then connect the rider to the bike through an app which recorded journeys, activity, carbon offset, calories, ££ saved on public transport & can connect to other riders to compete on leaderboards & gain rewards.

Welcome to Buzzbike, the scheme of now & the future. Their dream is to inspire a new generation of cyclists, and create a movement that could help make cycling the dominant mode of transport

 A brilliant idea, & one that embraces the values of the Millennial generation & opens the gateway for brands to connect on both a 1-2-1 & the wider community, through a fully branded bike & white labelled app achieving brand ubiquity, whilst promoting health & wellbeing & demonstrate their commitment in actioning their corporate social responsibility.

This kind of partnership is the future of connecting to those hard to reach audiences. We know, the richer the experience, the deeper the brand integration is cemented into the memory, & the greater the long-term connection, creating a lifetime association & loyalty.

Feel free to make contact me for more information

Source Tfl; The Guardian; Buzzbike; Fiona FitzGibbon