Social Network for Bikers

My dad is very involved in the biking community. From my discussions with him it seems like biking communities in general are under serviced through technology. So this is an overview of a business idea I’m toying with…

It’s a social network for bikers.

Business overview

This company helps the biking community get the most out of their bike experiences by gamifying the traditional biking experience. This approach is unique because it creates value through both digital and traditional means

The market

There is at least 1000 biking clubs in SA and according to AMID the market is growing.

Audience

This app is for members of any motorcycle club.

I’m working with two key assumptions:

1) When on biking routes, there is currently very little or no use of technology (e.g. a mobile app) to supplement the biking experience.

2) The status of a member within a biking club is important thing e.g. national president, chapter president, vice president, sergeant at arms, road captain, etc. But perhaps most important is your cut…that is your waistcoat with patch on the back and in some instances it can take between 6 months to a year to earn it.

Key audience insight = earning cut badges (status) is what drives behaviour within a biking club / community.

The opportunity then, is to leverage these dynamics within a biking club and scale it through technology by way of a mobile app – in essence, the value that this app would create would be to augment the behaviour that drives status and the acquisition of badges within a club.

In other words, status within a biking club is driven largely by identity – and identity is a key emotive pillar for behaviour within a biking community.

Competitors

While there is an aggregation of biking clubs available online there are no obvious competitors – I’m not worried about this, as I feel that the key insight is a valid one and my sense from talking to bikers is that their community is not being serviced in an innovative and relevant way.

Product

We are going to build a smartphone app for windows, iOS and aAndroid phones.

Here is an executive summary of the application experience:

  • Club / Member Registration

Clubs are registered along with some club specific information e.g. date formed, location, # riders, etc. The club registrar can then add members into the club by inviting them within the app (smartphone app looks up saved numbers in the phone and sends an SMS driving sign-up)

  • Route Planner

Users of the app can then start a ride or view recent activity. Pre-loaded routes are displayed based on the current location of the user (GPS lookup) e.g. Hartbeespoort to JHB or Hout Bay to Franchhoek.

Once the route is loaded, an overview is displayed showing points of interest (POI’s) along the route. These can include restaurants, pubs, B&B’s and relevant user generated content (UGC) which can include pictures of members on specific routes on a particular day and a live commentary feed for that route.

‘Crowd based’ information will also be displayed showing the number of riders on the route, the badge level of specific riders and a ‘route domination’ status – showing which club owns a specific route on a particular day (this drives achievements and the attainment of badges – see below)

  • Achievements and Badges

Users of the app (both clubs and members) are rewarded for specific behaviours.

These behaviours tie into two reward tables namely; one for clubs and one for individual members.

Club achievements are attained by participating in quarterly / monthly club challenges and are incentivised by way of prizes offered by brand sponsors e.g. Harley Davidson, BMW Motorrad, etc. Each quarter / month new challenges are undertaken by clubs.

Challenges can include dominating particular routes for extended periods, riding the most collective km’s, average speed maintained on a route, most check-in at points of interest along a route (all captured by GPS). Clubs can also challenge other clubs to various club specified challenges e.g. most active members in region, etc.

Individual member achievements are attained by increasing their overall Biker Experience Points (BXP). As a member accumulates more BXP, new badges are unlocked. These badges can then by purchased by the member and added to their cut / biker jacket. Note: A member never loses their BXP.

  • Sponsors

Brand / business sponsors can be involved in a number of ways:

– Sponsoring particular routes (BMW Motorrad Hout Bay to Franchoek route).

– Restaurants and pubs pay a premium to have their point of interest highlited on a particular route

– New bike product offers listed directly in app with link to test drive

– Free accessories (e.g. biker jackets, helmets, etc) offered to members who achieve specific badge status

Business model

The model for this business is a multi-sided platform (MSP). It connects biking clubs and their members to each other and this audience to businesses that offer biking related services.

Revenue streams

In order to penetrate the market the app would need to be free.

Revenue would be generated through the printing of apparel e.g. T-Shirts, Badges, Jackets, etc via an online store and from brands looking to do direct market  and lead generation campaigns through the engaged bikers social network.

 

 

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