"Thanks to Apostle, we now reach millions of consumers each year in Europe through regional social media accounts of our retailers"
Shimano Service Center Coordinator Europe
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.
"Shimano and the Apostle platform helps us to professionalize our social media timelines and decreased the time spent on creating social content to only 5 minutes per week."
Alain van Katwijk
Shimano Service Center Retailer
Back in 2017, Shimano searched for new ways to reach their regional target groups. They knew customers did their research online but purchased their products offline in actual stores, also known as the ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) effect. Furthermore, Shimano identified a need to help certified retailers to professionalize their social media activities. Mickael Timmermans explains: “We have a larger number of Shimano Corporate Accounts, but found that our regional consumers rather follow our certified retailers than our Shimano accounts on social media. In addition, our marketing team creates a great amount of professional content, yet we lack the regional channels to get the most out of our content. That’s where the idea emerged to utilize the accounts of our retailers to reach our end-consumers and simultaneously satisfy the need for social media help by our retailers”.
Shimano needed an easy and accessible way to share their content to the social media accounts of their retailers, and that’s why Apostle fits perfectly into their strategy. Retailers are busy in their stores and mostly lack knowledge and time to maintain their timelines. “Our retailers barely have to do anything now by using the Apostle app. We create the content and with just one click the retailers post our content to their social media accounts. A win-winsituation for both our retailers and for Shimano”, says Mickael.
“The onboarding process has been crucial to make Apostle a success within Shimano. We started out small with a selected amount of retailers in the BeNeLux. Over the years, we gradually expanded and today we are live in more than 13 countries with over 500 retailers connected throughout Europe. Apostle played a significant role by helping new countries to properly implement their platform with training sessions and quarterly meetings with all European admins. This truly makes it a recipe for success”, Mickael continues.
“The biggest success for Shimano is that we can now reach consumers through the social media channels of their retailers. And that’s an entirely new target group for us. Our quarterly reports show that Apostle helps us to reach more than 2 million consumers per year throughout Europe. Moreover, we are able to maintain our corporate identity and branding even through the accounts of our retailers. That’s something we’ve never had control over before. And additionally, we see that the dealers' loyalty to the brand has improved because of the visibility of Shimano’s brand and that they help dealers in a directed way on social media. We are glad we found a way to save our retailers time and help them professionalize their social media accounts,” Mickael concludes.
Shimano organized a big promotion event among their ambassadors in 2021 during the Tour de France. During this event, several prizes were awarded to the most active store, the store with the most interaction, and the best newcomer. The prizes consisted of: the one and only Shimano polka dot jersey, yellow jersey, green jersey, and white jersey, just like you can win at the Tour de France. Super creative! And this event caused an enormous peak in their online activity.
Large regional reach
Saving costs on advertisements
1 dashboard for all countries
Increased bonding with your dealers