Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Balance Hubway: The Healthy Way


Distribution Strategy 

Visit http://www.thehubway.com and browse the site. You'll find that the New
Balance® Hubway brand uses the online environment to encourage
participation! 

The New Balance Hubway encourages participation by being a completely online or tech savvy business. In order to rent a bike, you use a kiosk to purchase the bike by using a credit card and you never meet face to face with a customer service representative. Questions regarding how to handle a flat tire and overflow at a bike station is all answered online on their website. After watching the video, searching around their website, and watching their short video available on their site, I would definitely try out Hubway without visiting a kiosk first. If I were traveling to an area, such as Boston, I would go ahead and pay for my time I knew I would be there so that I could explore as much as I wanted.

The Hubway goes the extra mile by providing customer service 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It also has a customer service email. I believe I would use the email version of customer service so long as it wasn’t an emergency. I find email to be convenient if you have an important appointment that you can’t miss but you are able to check your email during the duration of the meeting.

The website uses Intensive Distribution as a strategy, which is “aimed at maximum market coverage.” (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel. 2014). I think that whatever area Hubway is in, they make their product very accessible. For example, if someone needs to get blocks away in a decent amount of time, they need to have kiosks with bike that are available. Potential customers for Hubway may not have a lot of time to search for a kiosk to get a bike so having several for convenience for the customer is nice because they can pick up or drop off the bike at the nearest stations.
New Balance Hubway is an automatic vending type of nonstore retailer. I chose this answer because they use a kiosk or machine to conduct most of their business. They do not conduct business by going door to door or having home parties like Direct Retailing or Direct Sales. Hubway also does not conduct their business via the telephone but conducting cold calls or generate new business. This company is also not on the television shopping network asking for customers to call in to rent a bicycle. Hubway does allow customers to approach the kiosk or machine and rent a bike by purchasing the product through the machine via credit card.

I believe New Balance Hubway has a low level of service with a narrow product line. The company offers one style of product. There’s no upgrade or different style bicycles. The product line is very basic which in turn, allows the service to be a low level as well. They offer the best with the product they have which helps them stand out. They have

New Balance Hubway uses a retailer channel in their company. Their main goal is to sell mainly to the consumer. They do not want to go through another channel in order to conduct business with their customers. They want to get their product on the forefront and allow the customers to rent their products quickly.
     
 I think the most influential factor on the method and level of distribution is the Market Factor. New Balance Hubway has based most of its business near larger cities where tourists visit, college students attend school and work, and bigger businesses are so more people are walking instead of driving. This factor allows the company to look at “Who are potential customers? What do they buy? Wheredo they buy? When do they buy? How do they buy?” (Lamb, et al 2014.) These questions can determine where Hubway needs to place a new station or if they need to place a new station. This determines a lot for this type of business.
     
Specialty store best describes Hubway. This type of store is a store “specializing in a given type of merchandise.” (Lamb, et al 2014). It is also described as having a more attentive customer service. Hubway specializes in bike renting and bike renting only. There is no store to walk into and it sells no other products.
     
I believe Hubway is trying to manage service capacity. The company is trying to figure out which stations are being utilized the most so they have room for drop off and pick up docks for the bikes. They need to make sure that customers have the product when they want and where they want but they also need to drop the bike off where they want and when they want. This type of business is based around the convenience of the customer. If it doesn’t benefit them or work for them they way they need it to, they may not continue to use the product.

I feel this answer is true but it is not the main reason. I feel the Spotcycle app was developed to help aid in managing service capacity and show the customer where to dock their bike. It comes back to what I stated earlier, if they can’t drop it off at their convenience then the customer may not return. Secondly, I feel it is to minimize wait times.
     
Absolutely! They are essentially an online and kiosk based company. Their business pushes people to step into the technology side of the century if they haven’t already. It is where our generation is heading and they are allowing their business to thrive before others are even there. I think the fact that they prove new technology can offer great customer service is a bonus.
     









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