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Brand powered cycle scheme

Mobility & Transport

London based Buzzbikes offers cyclists free access to high quality bikes and monitors their behaviour to plan more engaging marketing campaigns.

As cities seek to become greener, municipal cycling infrastructure is increasingly common. And while most existing cycle schemes are already affiliated to brands – London is sponsored by Barclays for example – a logo strapped across the front of the bike is mostly where that sponsorship ends. is changing that. A new, London based cycling scheme, it takes a more integrated approach to brand partnerships.

We wrote about this service in Gothenburg which offers residents access to free bikes with the aim of encouraging a healthier population but Buzzbikes is entirely ‘brand powered’ meaning London based cyclists can use high quality, single speed bikes for free, 24/7. The launch begins with “Tour de Tech”, a competitive race amongst the startup community in London using the Buzzbikes. 50 London companies are competing and will be rewarded the more they cycle. Cyclist’s behaviour is tracked and reward through an accompanying app with prizes ranging from a cappuccino machine to free advertising. The scheme was designed by experiential marketing specialists, Urban Partnerships and Havas Media. And they’ve brought on board online payments firm Braintree, part of PayPal.

The scheme aims to engage audiences with integrated marketing they will enjoy. Havas Media’s “Meaningful Brands” study shows that brands that focus on providing social benefit and making lives easier and healthier receive higher levels of engagement and trust in return. As Christopher Nicola, Head of Urban Partnerships, explains, “The Buzzbike scheme enables us to gain insight into cyclists’ behavioural patterns, which will provide brand partners with valuable consumer data. In turn we can also use this data to create hyper-targeted, interactive and responsive campaigns.”

Braintree is sponsoring the initial launch of 200 Buzzbikes but the expansion of the scheme to 1,500 bicycles is due in spring 2017, with a longer term goal of 6,000 bikes over the next five years. Will we see more of this kind of innovative brand interaction with municipal services?

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