Andy Laub

Andy Laub is a designer & developer in the Twin Cities.

Published April 24th, 2007

A Good Way to Kill Your Brand »

Wal-Mart Mongoose vs. Bike Shop Mongoose; nobody wins.

Before you click on the link, have you ever heard of Pacific Cycle? If your answer is yes, chances are it’s because you’ve seen them at Target, or perhaps even bought one. But regardless, a Pacific bike is a department store bike, which in the eyes of an enthusiast is not really a good thing. No problem so far; enthusiasts and recreational riders tend to move in different retail circles.

But if you look at Pacific, you’ll see that they also own Schwinn, Mongoose, and GT, among others. All three of these brands have generally been regarded as makers of decently nice bikes, and the fact that they’re all under the same umbrella isn’t a dealbreaker in my eyes. What bothers me is that Pacific’s acquisition of these brands led to the Schwinn and Mongoose names finding their ways onto the bikes sold at Target and Wal-Mart, and that’s the issue. As soon as people see those brands in the sports department of their local discount stores, much of the brand equity, the engineering, the history, and the time spent to promote the brands as real bike manufacturers becomes for naught.

The thing is, if you’re into bikes, you’re inclined to spend a lot of money on a bike. When you spend a lot of money on a bike, maybe a little more than you initially planned, you want to feel good about your purchase. So if you’ve just spent $1800 on a Mongoose then the last thing you want to see is a bike by the same company sitting on the Wal-Mart rack.

Coda. I am officially intrigued.