In 2017, Shimano struggled to reach the local community of their affiliate retailers through online brand expressions. The collaboration with Apostle made it possible to structure these efforts on the social media channels of their retailers and to help local them with Shimano marketing and store promotion.
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 came up with the idea of 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 335 active ambassadors for Shimano worldwide, a huge online reach is being generated at an international level, which has greatly boosted sales for the retailers.