Dutch bicycle manufacturer VanMoof found that it had a problem. As it shipped its products to customers, it found that they were arriving to customers damaged. The company came up with a genius solution: print a graphic of a flatscreen television on the side of the box.
VanMoof had planned on keeping the trick a secret, and it wasn’t until Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal posted up an image of the box that it was revealed:
The damage reports were a major problem for the company because the street bikes that it manufactures are at the high-end of the market, and some are loaded down with delicate electronics like anti-theft trackers and electric motors. Plus, the company had set a goal to sell 90 percent of its bikes online by the end of the decade.
"Your covetable products, your frictionless website, your killer brand — they all count for nothing when your delivery partner drops the ball," Bex Rad, VanMoof’s creative director said in a post on Medium.
By making its shippers think that they were transporting flatscreen televisions, the company found instantaneous results: "shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70-80 percent" said Rad. As Cycling Weekly pointed out, nobody wants to damage a new television, and few people equate an expensive bike with electronics.
Hopefully, it’s a trick that will continue to work for VanMoof, even if the secret is known to the rest of the world.