Bike Fixtation: Too Good to Be True

Bike Fixtation is in Rider Oasis’ product/service space—urban, bike-centric vending machines. Founded in 2009, Bike Fixtation “designs, manufactures and sells public use bicycle repair tools and solutions for bicycle infrastructure projects.” The firm also designs and sells cycling-specific vending machines.” Most of Bike Fixtation’s business is for its work stands and pumps. Currently, the firm operates self-service stands in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market.

The product that is most directly in competition with Rider Oasis’s product/service offering is its Vending Machine. It is designed to vend emergency bicycle repair parts and accessories, and machines are designed for indoor and outdoor applications. Bike Fixtation however, is not in the business of servicing this product after its manufacturing. Rather, it will send this Vending Machine, along with its other product lines to customers, including bike shops, cities, cycling organization. The product recipients will be responsible for stocking and monitoring its inventory, paying for electricity, and collecting revenue.

In terms of Bike Fixtation’s online channels the company has chosen to focus on several outlets. Its central online channel is its website, which although not pretty offers a wealth of information on product locations, product offerings, custom work, about the firm, and contact information. It appears that all purchases of Bike Fixtation services/products must go through its website and requires customers to call or email the firm for pricing information.

From its website I found a specific link to its Facebook page (2,703 “likes”) where Bike Fixation posts promotional videos, customer feedback, and bike news. Surprisingly, the company does not have active Twitter or YouTube accounts. With that said, several college students at regional universities posted videos of Bike Fixtation’s installed self-service stands.

Regarding Bike Fixtation’s Positioning and Value Proposition, the firm and its founders identified what they deemed an untapped and neglected service/part infrastructure for bicyclists. Their vision was to “enable everyone to maintain their bikes and make small repairs themselves, and to be able to install the parts they buy from us whenever needed.” Subsequently, the firm has sought to address this vision by creating numerous bike products that it believes will garner sustained business from bike enthusiasts around the Minnesota region. Its products are high quality, American manufactured and can be personalized and delivered to consumers within a matter of weeks. Bike Fixtation prides itself on offering unique, personalized bike part and service offerings that are geared toward mobility. It has sought to realize its Positioning goals through its Facebook page and website. However, besides this very little promotional marketing has been identified.  In all, it does not appear Bike Fixtation is successfully communicating its Value Proposition to its target customer due to a lack of social media exposure, an inconsistent marketing and product value-add message, and a website that is lacking in style and substance

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