"Within the hour, I schedule all messages for dealers with AI and in 3 or 4 different languages with the automatic translator. It would be much more work if dealers had to schedule that all individually."
Digital Marketing Specialist at Trek Benelux.
In the United States, Trek Bicycle Corporation is the largest bicycle manufacturer. Trek was founded in 1976 in Waterloo. The Netherlands's Benelux office is in Harderwijk, while its European distribution center is in Wijchen.
Trek Benelux has been active in the Apostle platform since early 2021. They started with a small group of 20 dealers in the Benelux. Apostle's Customer Success Team helped implement the platform through personal kick-offs to get these dealers on board. This immediately got the dealers up and running, making the start successful.
"Not all dealers are equally digital-minded, but once they are connected to the platform, everything goes very smoothly, and they are reassured that it is a very user-friendly platform to use. The cooperation is also very pleasant. If our dealers need help, the support team is always available," said Sjors Leek.
In July 2022, the new Digital Marketing Specialist at Trek Benelux decided to also activate Trek employees themselves in the platform based on the belief that brand ambassadors are the key to organic reach. Bicycle dealers are still presented with product-related content, whereas Trek employees mainly load the employer brand. This way, there is more excitement around Trek's products, and Trek is well-positioned as an employer. In addition, combining personal and dealer channels in one platform works perfectly for Trek.
Previously, they primarily uploaded content on internal channels from which dealers could pick content to post on their social media channels. For dealers connected to the Apostle platform, this is no longer necessary. Instead, they receive messages per topic on the platform. Other dealers get regular reminders in the newsletter or from representatives, so more dealers sign up to join Apostle every week.
For Sjors, Apostle is an easy and intuitive platform to suggest many messages to employees and dealers. "Within the hour, I schedule all messages for dealers with AI and in 3 or 4 different languages with the automatic translator. It would be much more work if dealers had to schedule that all individually."
"Especially for the dealers, it works very conveniently. Trek delivers product updates entirely, so they no longer have to do anything for that themselves. The bond with dealers has always been excellent, but this extra moment of contact and our extra service improved this even further," Sjors points out.
"The stores sharing our messages became much more visible organically in their region. But, especially in e-bikes, we have a much greater reach through our dealer channel. With our accounts, we mainly reach a target group that knows Trek from our sporty bikes, while through the dealer channels, we also appeal to a target group with broader interests," Sjors said.
By contrast, Apostle serves as a means for Trek Benelux employees to spread the word about events, trade shows, or launches of bikes designed at their offices. Trek Benelux is the only office in Europe with its own design department, so that's extra fun content to share and something colleagues are very proud of!
With 108 colleagues and 100 dealers connected to the platform, Trek is ready to roll out Apostle in different countries. Trek Spain, Portugal, France and the Nordics also started using Apostle. In addition, Switzerland is showing interest after this success. They are knocking on Trek's door to roll out Apostle. This natural scaling up is a result of the success of Trek Benelux with the Apostle platform.
What exactly is that success? Since July 2022, we have seen an increase in shared posts at Trek Benelux. Since employees joined the platform, dealers and employees have shared 1,143 posts, resulting in 857,250 organic reach. Additionally, the platform saves Sjors a lot of time scheduling social media posts and improves the bonding between Trek, its dealers, and employees.
Successful launch in Benelux and now operating in 11 countries
Other countries are knocking on the door to get started
Boost in organic reach by the combination of employees and dealers as brand ambassadors