The Man Brand Needs a Mean Motor Scooter

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Summer is in full swing and once again, I’ve seen many men on scooters. Unfortunately they all, for the most part, look very uncomfortable. Not with the quality of the ride but with the fact that they’re on a glorified moped (also known as a scooter). Watching some poor emasculated sot whiz by, hoping you won’t notice him is funny to see, but one can’t help feel some sympathy. (This may be an issue specific to American culture as I’ve seen people in Europe with scooters who don’t seem to suffer the stigma.) I think there is a great opportunity for a business to develop a scooter specifically for men; A mean motor scooter.

I’ve also recently seen some examples of scooters trying to look more “masculine” like the Honda Ruckus (uh . . . yeah) or the Piaggio MP3 500. These aren’t even close to what I’m talking about. Ugly does not equal masculine. The image on the right is closer (and utilitarian as well). It still needs to look a little mean; like the grill on a new Audi. I’d also include an iPhone power adapter on the scooter while using it for a on-board screen for applications specific to the scooter, such as GPS, traffic, restaurant locator, owners manual for the scooter, etc. (Would make for a great social object.)

Why not just by a motorcycle? – some would ask. The scooter is indicative of an urban lifestyle and that’s a part of the attraction. Unfortunately this lifestyle won’t protect you from ridicule at the stop light. Until they come out with a mean motor scooter you’ll have to find another way to protect your brand. Maybe someone will come up with a tough looking helmet, complete with pseudo tattoos!

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I’m an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I’m currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I’m passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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