bicycle cargo brand strategies

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In a city where bicycles outnumber people, Amsterdammers use their two-wheeled steeds to haul all manner of cargo – and in a variety of ways.

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Some of the savvier Dutch brands have capitalized (intentionally or unintentionally) upon the widely-adopted form of the plastic crate to have their branding propagated throughout the city through citizens mounting them to the front of their bicycles. This is another example of the benefits of “designing for reuse”; doing so is more environmentally friendly, and also helps a brand travel more widely, and perhaps even be perceived as more helpful, utilitarian, and “of the people” – whether it’s the storage crate that a product (like Cruzcampo beer) comes in, or the container itself (like Sprite bottles in Myanmar).

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Much like Americans mount bumper stickers on their, well, bumpers, Amsterdammers instead decorate their bicycle’s cargo box with various stickers (or have them “decorated” against their will by street artists and/or advertisers).

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Boxes made of wood (instead of the predominant brightly-colored, high-density polyethylene) can be spotted as well, and their dimensions are more flexible than those of the uniformly-sized plastic crates.

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Of course, what can hold cargo can also hold other things. As in cities the world over, when something has remained stationary for too long, or has any sort of storage capacity and is located where people tend to walk or congregate while carrying garbage (particularly beverage and takeout food containers), they may quickly turn into an improvised garbage can (like a streetlight in New York City that is under repair).

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