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Selle SMP is one of the noble brands of world cycling, a handcrafted saddle manufacturer founded in 1947 that, thanks to its unique and unmistakable design, has been quick to carve out a niche for itself among aficionados who would not change it for anything in the world.

When we approached the brand, we did a bit of research on the web to learn about its perception among fans, and from there three essential things emerged:

  1. SMP saddles were regarded as the “anti-prostatic” saddle;
  2. Selle SMP was the favorite choice of randonneurs;
  3. given the specific design, the end consumer did not know how to properly mount Selle SMP’s products

From there, we started further investigative work: we began testing Selle SMP’s products inside our cycling biomechanics laboratories by noting through saddle pressure sensors the objective data and impressions of our customers, comparing ourselves with the brand’s technicians

We already knew that there is no linear correlation between cycling and prostate problems, but we were looking for an alternative key positioning. Customers in our biomechanics labs while testing the saddle kept repeating “it is very comfortable.”

The equation was easily solved: comfort + randonneur = bicycle trip.

From here we started to structure the narrative.

So the first thing we did was to publish an article explaining how to properly mount an SMP saddle. So as to offer current and potential users a guide to how best to position the brand’s products

Then we made an ebook entitled “comfort on bike: a guide to choose the right saddle for traveling” in which we used Selle SMP products as benchmarks to explain the basic concepts to tell about the criteria that affect comfort in the saddle, how the human body is made and how a saddle is made. In this narrative journey, we carefully avoided stating that Selle SMP-branded products were better or worse; we simply wanted to exploit the anchoring effect, that is, to associate the concept of “comfort” with the Selle SMP brand in the reader’s mind.

As a corollary, we have produced a video in which we explain the concepts in the ebook in 3 minutes for more immediate enjoyment:

To further reiterate the concept, in organizing the Cycle Tourism Show we created a new category: the “comfort partner” which was, of course, associated with the Selle SMP brand.

We are very happy with the collaboration with Selle SMP because it has allowed us to create value for our readers by creating culture about the science of cycling and disseminating useful information without spilling over into trivial product push activities.

Paolo Pinzuti

Cycling Executive Officer

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