After creating my personas for my project I have decided to cater to the young urban dwellers. Young professionals aged 21-35 who live and work in the city. My target audience are average earners and use their bike as a cheap and convenient way to commute as well as at the weekends (they’re not necessarily bike fanatics) but need safe and secure parking at home. As they mostly live in the city centre, often shared accommodation, they require a storage solution which does not take up too much room.
Through research I have found my consumers are part of generation rent, this means out of all the people ages 20-39 just 26% will own their own home by 2025 (Rodionova: 2016) This shows most of my target market will live in rented accommodation, therefore it’s important my product must cause minimal damage to property.
Also renters are far more likely to move with 24% moving home within the next year compared to just 11% of the rest of the general population (Amandolare: 2016). They will want furniture which is easily movable. In addition renters generally have less disposable income and space for expensive furniture which means my price point will need to be as low as possible.
Over 4% of the population cycle to work and although that might not sound a lot the number of people living in London who cycled to work more than doubled from 77,000 in 2001 to 155,000 in 2011. Large cities such as Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield also saw substantial increases (Derby: 2014). Proving cycling is growing in popularity, especially with those who live in the city.
With an increase in bicycle usage, secure storage is a real concern for many people. Reports shows from April 2015-March 2016, there were 327,000 incidents of bike theft in England and Wales. This means 26 out of every 1,000 bike-owning households were affected by bike theft (We AreCycling:2017). Home storage is important but many people who live in the city do not have a great deal of space.
As most people don’t have bike stores they have to keep their bikes indoors out of necessity. This means bicycles are often in hallways or living spaces which can be very inconvenient. The 2012/13 English Housing Survey created a report showing the average property floor area is 92.3 m² and the average floor area for flats is just 56.9 m² (Hudson: 2015). Whatever product I create it will be important to maximise space as much as possible.
“If you have access to areas that are otherwise difficult to use, such as under stairwells, use those first. Otherwise, the most common solutions are freestanding column racks and wall-mounted options that secure into a stud… Regardless of the route you take, the goal is maximizing floor space and keeping the bikes away from the walls.” (Mountain Bike Action, 2014:Online)
In the current market there are a number of stylish storage solutions available. Most are bespoke products made by small independent companies. These are only really suitable for cycling fanatics and those with a lot of disposable income. Other storage solutions featured are home made or ‘ikea hacks’, but these tend not as stylish and require DIY skills and specialist tools.
Is it possible to create a stylish but reasonably priced product?
Key Areas Of Focus
- Ease of assembly/disassembly – If a customer moves can the product be taken apart and reassembled easily? Can it be assembled with minimal use of tools and skill.
- Low cost of production – Can it be mass produced, so you can charge a lower cost for those who aren’t cycling fanatics or don’t have large disposable income.
- Maximise the space its in
- Can it be useful without the bike?
- Is it modular?
- Does it have dual function?
- Can it hold more than one bike?
- Cause no damage – As most customers are renters it’s important it cause little or no damage to the flat. Can it prevent dirt and damage to the flat such as scuffs on the wall/walking in dirt etc?
So what is the solution? Over this unit I will aim to create a stylish, multi functional storage solution which could be mass produced.
- User: Young Professionals, Male and Females aged 21+ who live and work in the city centre.
- Environment: City Centre rented accommodation. Most likely to be used in a hallway or living room,
- Function: To maximise in flat bike storage without causing any superficial damage to the property. Used for bikes, bike accessories, other storage (books, keys, coats, shoes, maybe hoovers and other large appliances)
- The manufacturing process: Mass manufactured product to ensure low costs .
- Materials: Wood, plywood, laminates. Low cost materials which have the strength to hold weight
- Costs: £50-£150 dependant on the size. Match price points in IKEA and similar retailers
- Aesthetics: A simple and stylish piece which can easily be incorporated into a number of homes. Inspired by Swedish design.
- Amandolare, S (2016) ‘The real reason you still shop at Ikea – and probably always will.’ The Guardian. [Online] 26th June 2016. [Date accessed 7th February 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/26/why-shop-ikea-home-decor-convenience
- Derby, S (2014) ‘2014 Sees More People Than Ever Cycling To Work’. Cycle To Work Alliance. [Online] [Date accessed 8th February] http://cycletoworkalliance.org.uk/media/1022/news_47_134255308.pdf
- Hudson, N (2015) ‘Size matters’. Savills [Online] 6th May 2015 [Date accessed 11th February 2017] http://www.savills.co.uk/research_articles/141280/188035-0
- Rodionova, Z (2016) ‘Generation Rent: London to become a city of renters by 2025, says PwC.’ Independent. [Online] 16th February 2016. [Date accessed 7th February 2017] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/generation-rent-london-to-become-a-city-of-renters-by-2025-says-pwc-a6877241.html
- Tran, V (2016) ‘For The Cyclist: Your Bike’s Newest Best Friend’. Design Milk. [Online] 2nd March 2016. [Date accessed 8th February 2017] http://design-milk.com/cylist-bikes-newest-best-friend/
- Mountain Bike Action. (2014) How To: Indoor Bike Storage Tips And Solutions. [Online] [Date Accessed 7th February 2017] http://mbaction.com/home-page/how-to-indoor-bike-storage-tips-and-solutions
- We Are Cycling UK (2017) ‘Cycling UK’s Cycling Statistics’. [Online] [Date Accessed 7th February 2017] http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics
Figure 1: Vadolibero (2017) ‘Bike Butler’. [Online] [Date Accessed 11th February 2017] http://vadolibero.com/product/bike-butler-c/
Figure 2: For The Love Of Bikes (2011) ‘at home: bike storage using IKEA and DELTA racks’ [Online][Date Accessed 10th February 2017] http://fortheloveofbikes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/at-home-bike-storage-using-ikea-and.html
Figure 3: Chol1 (2017) Linea de productos. [Online] [Date Accessed 11th February 2017] http://chol1.cl/en/
Figure 4: Esty (2017) ‘Reinis Salins’ [Online] [Date Accessed] https://www.etsy.com/people/WoodStick
Figure 5: Cool DIY Ideas (2015) ’11 Awesome Indoor Bike Storage Ideas’ [Online] [Date Accessed 11th February 2017] http://cooldiyideas.com/11-awesome-indoor-bike-storage-ideas/2/
Figure 6: House And Home (2014) ’20 Hipster Home Trends We Love’ [Online] [Date Accessed 10th February 2017] http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/interiors/hipster-home-trends/trendy-bike-rack