The Tesla of Bikes and the power of counterintuitive and small ideas

VanMoof is an Amsterdam-based maker of stylish electric city bikes. But these guys aren't your regular bike maker.

Taco and Ties Carlier, the two Dutch brothers behind VanMoof, say that Tesla and BMW are their biggest competitors, not other bike makers.

VanMoof’s bikes cost you at least $3000 and have an unusual and eye-catching design. And they come with security features and a turbo boost button that lets you go from 0 to 32 km/h (20 mph) in seconds.

In 2015 VanMoof started shipping their bikes to USA. But something weird happened.

Many US customers started complaining that their bikes were damaged during shipping. VanMoof's delivery partner wasn't handling their boxes with care. And this was costing VanMoof a lot of money.

The solution? To print a giant flatscreen TV on the side of the box.


The results of this simple and cheap hack were shockingly surprising. Shipping damage dropped by 70-80 percent.

Here's why it worked. Because nobody wants to damage a brand new TV, right? And by making shippers think that they were transporting a TV, VanMoof changed their perception.

The new shipping packaging signalled 'This is an expensive package. You better handle it with care'.

There’s a silly misconception in the business world today. Many CEO's, marketers, managers and advertisers believe that big business problems require BIG (usually expensive) solutions. Because they're obsessed with trying to change reality.

But the truth is, most business problems are just a perception problem. And as VanMoof showed us, there's something magical about testing counterintuitive and small ideas. They might work. They can mean BIG wins. And they're 10x cheaper.

Your pal,


Miguel Ferreira
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi


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