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Wunderkind Success Story: Solé Bicycles

This is a podcast episode titled, Wunderkind Success Story: Solé Bicycles. The summary for this episode is:
00:20 MIN
Solé's Brand Mission
00:44 MIN
How Would You Describe a Solé Customer?
00:18 MIN
What Do You Love Most About Your Bikes?
00:30 MIN
What Is Solé's Approach to Marketing?
00:47 MIN
What Prompted Solé to Evaluate Wunderkind?
00:39 MIN
"I Laughed at You When You Said Someone Would Buy a Bike Through Text - Now It's Selling More Bikes per Month Than Our Email List."
00:33 MIN
"By Adding Wunderkind, It Amplified Our Google and Facebook Spend."
00:25 MIN
One Campaign Provided Results That Paid for Half the Year of Wunderkind
00:47 MIN
What Is the Critical Value That Wunderkind Provides?
00:11 MIN
In Sole's First Year With Wunderkind They Achieved a 7x ROAS
00:23 MIN
Leading With Brand and Amplifying With Performance
00:59 MIN
Where Do You See Solé Bicycles in 50 Years?
00:47 MIN

Today's Guest

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James Standley

|CEO, Solé Bicycles

My name is Jimmy Standley, and I'm the CEO of Solé Bicycles. So I'm the CEO at Solé, but my core responsibilities right now are working on product development and leading up our marketing team. The brand's mission is to get more people on bicycles. Traditionally in the bike industry, if you were going to go buy a bike from a bike shop, I think the traditional process may be a bit intimidating. If you don't know bicycles, you get oversold by a sales rep that's trying to sell you something that may be too expensive or something that you may not need. Whereas for us, we want to create a very seamless buying process. We want to offer really easy- to- use, easy- to- maintain beautiful bicycles. Someone that wants to get back into biking can ride our product. Someone that's an experienced biker wants something just to get around town can ride our product. We want to create a product that can work for anyone. Our core customer, I would say, is someone from the age of early twenties to mid- thirties, someone that's active, someone that's into art, music, fashion, or being outside and wants a way to get around that's cool and slick. Just the design and the colorways. Again, a bike can get you from point A to point B, but for us, we wanted to create something that people can relate to so that when they're buying a Solé, they're buying something that relates to them and is an element of them, and they feel an attachment. And again, that's not something that's going to get them just from point A to point B, but you have the art, the music, the fashion, all these different elements that we bring into the brand, and we want that to relate to the customer when they're purchasing our product. Our approach to marketing, our approach to getting our product out there has been different than most bike companies. The founders, myself, we had a background in art, music, and fashion, and we really use that as a core marketing piece as we developed the brand over years. So we're doing things like our monthly fix tape, which we're finding these up and coming artists and having them put together an hour long mix to listen to, for our customers to listen to when they're riding their bike. We're putting on events here in Venice Beach and all over the U. S. We're having artists paint bikes using the bike as a canvas. We're just doing these different things to provide a different element or a different approach to the bicycle that other bike companies aren't doing. Yeah, I think one of the challenges when you're selling a bicycle, there's a lot of intent that goes into buying a bike. It's not something you're buying every year. It's something probably like an every 10- year purchase, and so for us, we were trying to figure out how to bolster up our middle and bottom of funnel. We're putting all this traffic on the site. We want to be capturing email, we want to be capturing text, we want to keep retargeting those people, and so when looking at Wunderkind, you're offering with the email retargeting, the text retargeting, and the technology platform really was a great offering and something that we saw as a great opportunity to help bolster up that middle and bottom of funnel strategy for us. I think one of the greatest things you guys offered to us, we brought you guys on to focus on the email marketing strategy, and then you got us into the text messaging, which has turned into now an even stronger channel for us than email. And if you had asked me two years ago, someone's going to buy a bike through a text message, I laughed at you guys when you first said it. I was like, there's no way someone's going to buy a bike through a text. But now, as we've ramped that up, it's even at a list that's probably a 10th to the size of our email, it's selling more bikes per month than our email list. So when we brought Wunderkind in with our Google and Facebook spend, well actually the way we looked at it is by adding Wunderkind in, it amplified our Google and Facebook spend. So it actually, once we started working with you guys, every dollar we spent on the paid marketing side was amplified because we're capturing more leads, we were retargeting better, so it actually just supported and helped us scale our spend.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

So one of the standout elements of Wunderkind is their strategists. I think they came in and got us on the text messaging, which was a huge value add to our business and a huge revenue driver for our business. We did some kind of sale campaign, as well, and they had tweaked some of the onsite copy that provided some crazy results. One of the campaigns, I think, provided results that paid for half the year of Wunderkind for us, just from a one- month sale campaign. So working with a strategist, obviously the technology is great, but having the strategist implement certain strategies that are specific for our brand is an incredible value, an incredible element to the entire offering. Wunderkind is like the conduit to our marketing, so all of our paid marketing is amplified by running through the conduit of Wunderkind. In our first year with Wunderkind, I think, we were aiming for a five X ROAS blended across the entire platform, and I think we exceeded it by hitting seven X ROAS for the first year, and so for us, that's the highest return on the ad spend across any of our paid marketing.

Speaker 2: That's hot shit.

Jimmy Standley: For us, focusing on profitability, focusing on brand, focusing on product development, because for us, we look at it as we expand our product offering and hit these other segments and markets, it's going to amplify all of our spend. If I'm putting a hundred thousand people on the site every month, and I'm selling five styles of bikes versus 20 styles of bikes, what's going to perform better? Ideally, the latter, so for us, we're going to continue to just focus on brand, focus on profitability in this downtime, and ramp up product development so that as we bring these new products to market, it's going to just going to amplify the entire business with all these new products.

How do you see Wunderkind inaudible?

Maintaining and being that conduit, and again, as we put those people on site, we're retargeting, retargeting all these new products, and creating strategies to cross- sell and sell these new products as we bring them to market. I think that what's going on in the e- bike world and the e- bike segment is going to have a massive impact in our business, but I think the entire economy. You're seeing massive investment on the state level. Cities like Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, who are doing these big infrastructure investments to expand the roads and create travel lanes for alternative forms of transportation. So in 50 years, I see Solé as a leader in that space, on the e- bike space, especially on the lifestyle- base product, something that is unique, obviously functional, but also has that approach and that branding approach that can relate to anyone. So I see Solé as a leader in the e- bike space in the next 50 years, yeah.