Schwinn bikes — you may have heard that name before. Schwinn has been around for 125 years and our stories and bikes have been shared by people from around the globe, but have you ever wondered who was behind the messaging? This month we are introducing you to Samantha Kraemer, one of the minds behind the Schwinn brand marketing. Read on to learn more about Samantha and what she does at Schwinn.
Schwinn: What do you do at Schwinn?
Samantha: I am the Marketing Manager for the brand. Our team's job is to manage the brand voice and image, tell stories, and engage with the consumer at every touchpoint! Basically, every day I come into work and think about what is best for the brand and what Schwinn would do and say if it were a person.
Schwinn: How long have you been with Schwinn?
Samantha: I have been with the brand for 7 years, but it doesn't feel that long!
Schwinn: Everyone has a Schwinn story what is yours?
Samantha: When I was in college I was actually reintroduced to riding by my manager at the coffee shop I worked at, Scott. Scott would purchase old Schwinn bicycles that were beaten up and restore the bikes for his staff so that we would all have reliable transportation to get to and from work. I got a Schwinn cruiser from Scott and also fell in love with the Schwinn brand and its history at that time.
I also met my husband while working at Schwinn. We even had a Schwinn bicycle featured at our wedding.
Schwinn: What is your favorite biking story?
Samantha: My favorite bike story was when my husband and I went road cycling. We had just learned to clip in and he had decided that we should ride our road bikes up a grassy incline. Well, I lost momentum and slowly tipped right over into the grass fully clipped in.
Schwinn: Tell us about the most memorable marketing campaign you worked on?
Samantha: My favorite is still probably our collaboration with Stranger Things on Mike's Bike. We kept the marketing "in-world" and took out an ad in the Chicago Tribune announcing the bike's release. We also shot a video that looked like an '80s infomercial that we ran on social. To top it off we had consumers actually call in 1-800-SCHWINN to purchase the bike. The limited-edition bike sold out in less than a week!
Schwinn: Which Schwinn bike is your favorite right now? Why?
Samantha: The Schwinn RX1. After loving my road bike for many years I wanted a bicycle that would do a "bit more" meaning I could take it off-road a bit. The RX1 was the perfect bike for pavement, gravel, and I even took it on some single track once. Plus it has an aggressive position similar to my road bike which I like and I am a big fan of drop-bar handlebars.
Schwinn: What is your vision for Schwinn in the future?
Samantha: I want more people to feel confident getting on a bicycle and just have fun like they did when they were kids. Bikes can get super intimidating, but they don't have to be, there are so many resources out there to help you, and the more you ride the more confident you become. I hope that Schwinn can be that brand that creates confidence in people to reach for their bikes again and experience the joy and freedom they had felt as a kid.
Schwinn: What is one industry "secret" you wish everyone knew?
Samantha: I wish everyone knew about how getting your child started biking with a balance bike can really increase their confidence with the bike and reduce stress when it comes time to get on a pedal bike. I remember the first time I went to Sea Otter Classic and I saw tiny kids who were about 18 months old to 2 years old ripping around on a balance bike. I knew from that moment on I would start my child out with a balance bike young and I have. My daughter got her first bike when she was 15 months old and loves it already!
Schwinn: What would you say to someone who is nervous to start or re-start biking?
Samantha: I would remind them that biking is kind of like a choose your own adventure novel. There are so many bicycles and places to ride the bicycle that you can choose from. If you are nervous about falling you can pick a bicycle that is low to the ground and allows you to plant your feet when you stop. If you are worried about the traffic you can choose to bike on authorized bike paths. If you are worried about not being able to maintain stamina, you can buy an e-bike.