Both Schwinn and Huffy are synonymous with biking, from the first bike you may have had to the specialized bike for fitness you ride today. Both companies have a long history, which gives them a certain apple-pie type of quality about them. Their longevity in the industry speaks to their appeal and ability to adapt to changing times. Each company, however, has approached the marketplace differently from their common roots.
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Both companies have a long history in the biking and fitness industries. The Huffy company was formed in 1892, with Schwinn following a few years later in 1895. Each company has its own philosophy; however, a common thread is the desire to make an affordable bike to enjoy for everyday activities. The mission and design of their bikes has evolved over the years to match changing interests. While Schwinn began producing quality bikes for racing, the company later moved toward producing a quality bike that people would enjoy riding. Similarly, Huffy designed bikes to appeal to popular trends such as its Huffy Radio Bicycle in the 1960s and its Huffy Scout of the 1970s.
Different Bikes for Different Lifestyles
As the biking industry grew, both Schwinn and Huffy continued to keep pace with changes in the industry. Today's consumers look for bikes for specific types of biking experiences. Both companies responded with a complete line of bikes, including road bikes, cruisers and mountain bikes. Each company reaches out to the children's market with scooters and tricycles for young riders and models such as the BMX to appeal to adolescents.
The Schwinn company has branched into other fitness-related markets to increase its appeal. Its line of fitness equipment includes common home gym equipment such as stationary bikes, ellipticals and treadmills. It has also moved into more specialized equipment such as recumbent bikes and its own dual-action exercise bike, the Airdyne. From a business perspective, this approach is sound, as it allows the company to branch into new markets and a new client base.
Mass Market Appeal
The Huffy company has taken a different approach to drive sales and reach new audiences. The company features several lines of bikes with popular brand characters. Consumers can purchase kid's bikes featuring their favorite Disney character as well as from popular Nickelodeon shows such as "Dora the Explorer." To appeal to boys, Huffy's line also includes its Green Machine bikes offering what the company calls an extreme ride. Associating its products with popular characters gives Huffy bikes a novel appeal. Like Schwinn's fitness line, it reaches a specialized niche, which can help ensure its continued success.