Dealer advocacy


Shimano created a huge additional online reach by using Apostle, also on a hyperlocal level!



“By using this tool, we could prepare ready-to-post social media messages for retailers, which they could share among local customers at any time.”

- Erik-Jan Brunninkreef, Manager retail services & concepts at Shimano

Meet the customer

Established in 1921, Shimano today globally operates three key businesses, with sales offices and factories all over the world. Their main business is the development, production and distribution of bicycle components, fishing tackle and rowing equipment. They will continue supplying “captivating products” to help promote the bicycle and sports fishing cultures.


In 2017, Shimano struggled to gain control over the online branding of its affiliated retailers. By collaborating with Apostle it became possible to structure the online brand expressions on the social media channels of their retailers.

There was a need among retailers to get help with social media. In addition, these retailers are the eyes and ears of Shimano. They are the ones that speak to consumers in their stores, on the shop floor and in the workplace. On one hand, this offers retailers an opportunity to use the knowledge of a large organization regionally in the form of online support. Yet it also opens doors for Shimano to communicate with their consumers, especially on a regional level! But how would you do that? 


Apostle provided a brand advocacy platform for distributing ready-to-use social media posts on the Facebook pages of retailers. At the time, there were about 60 retailers that are licensed as Shimano Service Centers, but they could not help and reach out to all of them at the same time. Because of Apostle’s Brand Advocacy platform, this is now possible. “With this tool we can prepare ready-to-use social media messages for retailers that they can approve on the shop floor on their smartphone today. We decided to roll this out to a small group of retailers, and then expand. We are now active with Apostle in more than 8 countries,” says Erik-Jan Brunninkreef, retail services & concepts manager at Shimano.


Shimano benefits from extra visibility by using social media profiles of local entrepreneurs as a publication channel. The same entrepreneurs benefit from a continuous stream of professionally formatted social media messages and gain a lot of knowledge about how to structure a social media post.

Apostle is also widely used by retailers on an international level. With more than 500  active ambassadors for Shimano worldwide, a huge online reach is being generated at an international level, which has greatly boosted sales for the retailers.


  • Large regional reach

  • Saving costs on advertisements

  • 1 dashboard for all countries

  • Increased bonding with your dealers

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