I’m not sure if I totally agree on Merida’s marketing strategy.
For those (few) who don’t know Merida, it’s not just the name of the main character from Brave, but one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) bike manufacturer in the world. If you never heard of it, it doesn’t really matter: chances are you’re riding a bike that has the frame made by Merida, and you don’t even know it.
Merida has grown from a frame-maker to a bike-maker, and they currently own 49% of Specialized.
I’ve always been interested in their bikes, and since this year I’m planning to buy a new one I was thrilled when I found that Merida became the sponsor of the team Lampre (which is now called Lampre-Merida), not for the sponsoring itself (couldn’t care less) but because the resulting bikes are nothing short of spectacular:
THAT STUFF AIN’T EVEN LEGAL: that’s right, it’s SO LIGHT that team Lampre needs to add some dead weight or it would be TOO LIGHT to be used in international competitions.
And I find the color pattern incredibly beautiful. The price unfortunately is out of my league (full Dura Ace Di2 groupset ? Not in this life).
So I spent a good amount of time drooling in front of my screen when I found that even the bikes for common people will receive the same treatment:
For the lower end of its line Merida has prepared the usual combinations of Tiagra, 105, Ultegra etc, combined with a new frame design and the striking color pattern of Team Lampre-Merida. Which is to me an amazing idea: not only does it look cool, but people can immediately recognize a bike that they’ve just seen on tv or on a sport website. You can recognize a Merida bike with the Lampre colors even from faraway, and in terms of advertisemente and brand recognition it’s amazing. Big win!
BUY THEY DONE GOOFED.
Why on earth would Merida have the idea of developing normal people bikes with the same color patterne as the professional team Lampre-Merida (awesome), pack them with great specs (way to go), offer them at a very cheap price (check two similarly specced bikes from Merida and any other manufacturer for the lolz), AND THEN DECIDE TO MAKE THOSE BIKES AVAILABLE ONLY LATER ON, and start by showing and selling bikes with the old (boring?) color pattern? What’s the point?
Only some of their bikes are already available with the new Lampre-Merida color scheme, most of them can only be bought with the regular white/black/whatever colors. Which, to me, is a fairly poor marketing strategy, especially because one of the models I want to try (and very likely buy) is not available yet.
Or maybe I’m just upset because I cannot have right now and I’m looking forward to the next couple of months, when they’ll hopefully become available.
On second thought, I think it’s not about marketing: they’re trolling me.