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Four Important Frames in Marketing Cycling to Women (WBS12)

Safe, diverse, accessible and fun. For Mia Kohout those are the four pillars in messaging bicycling to women.

At the National Women’s Bicycling Summit, the publisher of Momentum magazine was part of a panel discussion focused on “Who’s Selling Cycling to Women?” Like Elly Blue — who presented a new tool to evaluate images of women in bicycling — Kohout emphasized the importance of framing and imagery in marketing the cycling lifestyle to American women.

“The most important thing in creating a successful marketing campaign is understanding and addressing the fact that women need to see themselves in the context of what they are looking at, and we first need to acknowledge and understand that this is different for everyone,” she said. “Imagery is key. Messaging in any marketing campaign should be that cycling is safe, diverse, accessible and fun.”

She also made another interesting point: bicycle manufacturers need to better showcase and embrace transportation cycling, not just racing and performance riding.

So who is selling cycling lifestyle to women? Let’s start with who is not: the big brands of the bicycle industry. What message are we getting? Cycling is a sport for men. The messaging does not say that cycling is for women and that cycling is a means of transportation. Women-specific marketing campaigns created by the bike industry are not reaching the masses and the mainstream. But they should. Professionally, I have spent the past five years advising the bike industry that:

1. Cycling for transportation is actually a thing.

2. If they want more women to engage in cycling for transportation and buy their products they have to start speaking to us.

Read Kohout’s full remarks here.


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