SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Santa Cruz Experience Center with a “fly-through” drone video of the store and nearby trails.
The video (below) was produced by the same team responsible for a popular fly-through video of a Minneapolis bowling alley earlier this year.
The Experience Center offers bike demos, fitting services and merchandise only available in store. It doesn’t sell bikes. Specialized also operates an experience center in Boulder, Colorado, which opened in 2018.
“The big idea behind the Experience Center is that we want to provide a brand experience that only Specialized can in a non-sales environment. And rather than compete with retailers, we refer qualified leads to retailers who can carry the customer relationship into the future,” said Zeb King, Specialized’s Senior Manager of Experience Centers.
The company acknowledges that nearby shop owners were skeptical of the operation.
“Initially, we were less than excited. We had a thriving rental business we didn’t want to lose. But one year in, we haven’t lost rentals and our average selling price for referrals has been much higher than average,” Brittany Cavaletto, co-owner of Scotts Valley Cycle Sport & Family Cycling Center, said in a release from Specialized.
“Our staff is more knowledgeable since they get to experience more of the products themselves, and our sales process has become more streamlined. We utilize their space for company meetings, and they’ve invested heavily in the local trails. And we’re more confident stocking more Specialized product.”
King said the experience center acts as an incubator for programs like Specialized’s Guided Experiences and Ride Program, which offers a monthly membership similar to those offered by luxury car brands like Porsche. “We’re close to the end customer while still honoring and respecting the relationships of our closest partners.”
Specialized USA Leader Jesse Porter said, “Our innovation doesn’t stop at the bike, and we’re committed to delivering a bold new vision of bicycle retail’s future.”