Episode 82:*Special Episode* Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market

“If our product is innovative and modern and rider-first, we decided we wanted a launch that was the same way.”

– Kate Powlison

To listen to all episodes in this series, click here


Part 2: The Product Launch That Shook Up the Industry

Today’s show is the first in a special Channel Mastery podcast series, Shifting Channels in the Specialty Bicycle Market.

Even if you’re not in the bike business, this podcast is for you. The evolution of the specialty bike market is happening fast. It has to. The learning available to all of us lies in the evolution itself. In bike, we’ve got a front-row seat to discover what’s working, and what isn’t, as an entire established industry works to evolve to meet the needs of today’s connected consumers.

You’re about to meet Kate Powlison, SRAM’s road brand manager. Kate’s on today to talk about the very successful recent launch of the SRAM Red eTap AXS component group. It was an integrated launch like none that I’d seen in my almost 20 years serving the bike industry with Verde.

You want more success stories and more solutions? We’ve got them for you. In the next four to five weeks, I will lead leaders and experts from evolving brick-and-mortar specialty, marketplace, direct-first brands, SaaS providers, and established broad-market global retail in the bicycle and lifestyle space to discern the top five key levers that will drive specialty businesses to success in 2019.

You’ll be hearing from leaders from companies like SRAM, Canyon, GCN, Erik’s Bike and Board, Decathlon, Beeline and other leading companies.

And for more insight to tide you over between episodes, sign up for my Channel Mastery newsletter. Click over here (and scroll down a bit to the “subscribe” prompt).


Kate Powlison, Road Brand Manager at SRAM

Kate Powlison road brand manager at SRAM. Previously, she was the senior marketing and communications manager at PeopleForBikes. She works directly with directly with SRAM’s PR, product development, road sports marketing, and sales teams to develop and execute strategies for brand and product marketing.


Product launch, cycling, bike industry, go-to-market strategy, omnichannel launch, diversity and inclusion, user-generated content


“If our product is innovative and modern and rider-first, we decided we wanted a launch that was the same way.”

“We had to work really hard to change the way that we launched products and it took a lot more coordination. But we knew it was the right thing for the health of the industry, and for the rider. People get frustrated when you launch your product and then they have to wait months to get it and to ride it.”

“It’s not just what we communicate, but it’s getting everyone whose part of the launch up to speed and giving them the materials.”

“One of the surprises and the delights [around the launch] was seeing the product story still be consistent, but be interpreted in so many creative and fun and wonderful ways.”

“One of the things that made the planning for this launch unique was that it wasn’t just on the marketing team. It felt like every department at SRAM was involved, and played a major role in deciding on the launch style and how we would do it.”

“[Diversity inclusion] isn’t something that we should be lauded for. I think it’s the only decision that a bike company or an outdoors company should be making: to show better diversity in their materials.”




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