product planning and design development
lately, the ebike market knows only one direction - and this is up. in terms of unit numbers as well as price. both dealers and manufacturers have their clear focus on ebikes above the 2000 euro mark. everything below that are either sales promotions or last years models. despite this tendency, there is considerable market potential in the price regions between 1000 and 2000 euros, that has not yet been adequately addressed. especially younger, urban consumer groups show increasing interest in ebikes. they are looking for attractive, quality ebikes, but they do not want, or cannot afford, the current price tags. this upcoming, design-conscious target group is facing difficulties finding their fitting ebikes.
serving this latent demand, was the objective of JD, our customer and the Mavis project. the goals could be summarized by two success-critical requirements. 1. Mavis needed to stand for the best price/design quality ratio in the market, and 2. JD wanted to reach as many potential target groups with just one frame design.
this objective drove the decision of the appropriate ebike type – we chose the classic city bike, a low-boarder model, that still represents the largest ebike segment. and with that, the fun began. for it was exactly this type of ebike, that had not managed in all these years, to shake off its image as a senior citizens mover. partly responsible for this counter-productive image, were at least design wise, the rack-type battery and the rack. both had been successfully counteracting any serious design approach in the past. like a huge beauty spot, they throned more or less prominent behind the saddle.
unfortunately, it was exactly this type, that became our battery of choice due to cost reasons. on top of that, these cost restraints were limiting dramatically our selection of visually appealing bicycle components. so, all in all, it posed a real challenge to turn this DNA into an attractive bike for design-conscious young urbanites.
in terms of design strategy, two key issues emerged. first, which design style would allow us to reach the broadest possible range of target groups, and second, how could we make this party pooper behind the saddle disappear?
we solved point 1, by translating the 'apple-minimalism’, the omnipresent design style amongst our target groups, onto the ebike. by following a ‚reduce to the max’ design philosophy, we created a timeless, iconic ebike design, which could be considered internationally applicable and whose aesthetics were appealing to a wide range of consumers.
we succeeded to answer the second question by actually making the battery disappear. visually understood. By integrating the carrier into the frame, we steered the attention to the now harmonious overall lines of the ebike, and away from the battery. by changing the frame design, we have lent the hitherto rather conservative category of city bikes, a new identity whose discreetly dynamic elegance represents a new stage of development in the area of low boarders.
due to its positioning at a new entry price level, Mavis has become a tactical product - for OEMs and their IBDs, as it helps them in two ways. a. to discourage budget-oriented customers to move to discounters or other price-aggressive retail chains. and b. to win potential new customers for their brand and their preferred distribution channel.
Mavis - the affordable design ebike.
_product planning process
IF Product Design Award 2018