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  1. #1
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    An Analysis Of Surly's Marketing Strategy

    Hey, you, riding your champagne-colored Moonlander on the sidewalks of Boca Raton!

    Did you know Surly uses a marketing strategy that's equally effective for brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry?

    The simple formula is:

    Rudeness + Exclusive Pricing = Brand Desirability

    Read about the research recently published by respected academics in the Journal of Consumer Research at the link below:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-we...203347972.html

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Are you just mad that you can't afford a surly?

    You should give examples or you just come off as surly malcontent.
    "The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks."
    -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
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    The Surly attitude beefs are worn. If you like a bike, buy it. If you don't, don't. Who cares about a Surly blogger's attitude.

  4. #4
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    So you're saying Surly is a luxury brand with exclusive pricing?

    You also missed the part about them testing this on 70 and 200 women, last time I checked men and women are different.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Spock View Post
    Discuss.
    Give the dog a bone?

    Too obvious...

  6. #6
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    All bike companies do it, but sometimes it's the reverse in "race to the bottom" pricing, and make hay on volume. The fat bike sector is going through that right now.

  7. #7
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    The fact that we're trying to compare the purchasing habits of a group of hypersensitive women looking for a $1000+ purse, vs a broad collection of men and women who like to get dirty, sweaty and bloody while playing in the mud, makes it difficult for me to see the parallels at play here.

    Besides, last time I checked, most bike shops sell the way they want to, and since Surly doesn't have a high end, exclusive carbon fiber road line, and offers nothing in the way of sales/marketing training to their dealers, I doubt you'll see much in the way of snobbery involved in the sale of a Pacer, Troll, or Karate Monkey, particularly when compared to a roadie exclusive shop selling euro branded everything, who tells you that your dirt covered MTB is not welcome in their boutique.

    Agreed, don't like the 'tude, don't read the blog. Want a solidly built, powder coated steel frame to beat the snot out of, buy one of their bikes if you want to.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  8. #8
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    Unless I'm misinterpreting this, I see Surly as the opposite of the exclusive brands. They are priced low enough that they are within reach of most cyclists and can be purchased almost everywhere. I'm seeing more correlation to the carbon fiber bikes that are now approaching 5 figures. Surly's blog seems more tongue-in-cheek, trying to embrace the anti-social skate punk attitude.

  9. #9
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    You know how I know you are not the REAL Mr. Spock?

















































    This thread.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, I feal real exlusive on my $2300 moonlander when a $6K plus carbon or Ti fatty is on a ride. Get real.

    In a world where a mid level dualie trail bike is $4K I think you are mistaken. Top this off that the manufacturer is clear to say where the frame is made from, they don't do custom, oh, and the weight is often compared to a boat anchor and marketed to the explorer (every day trail rider), and not the racer or tech head, I think you, sir, are lost.

    Not to mention this topic has been cover a million times.

    If you are board, seek vises elsewhere.

  11. #11
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    Logical...
    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    You know how I know you are not the REAL Mr. Spock?

















































    This thread.

  12. #12
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    As someone just recently in the market I find their prices a bit high even compared to Trek, but then I'm not sure what discounts one gets via their LBS or if they will come down in response to a lot of competition coming into the market. Their marketing strategy of random silly names gets a bit old. It's one thing to name a bike. It's another to have a Moonlander with a Bluto with big fat larrys on snowshoes with a red rocket, five russian midgets, a trunk monkey and a three day old burrito with a space shuttle chain.

    On one hand they are kinda the Henry Ford of fatbikes. On the other hand they sell a rigid steel frame bike for two grand and people paid it because their marketing is good and they don't have any competition. Well, one of those is going away fast.

    Lastly, my stable has two treks, a gary fisher and a bikes direct. I can't ride any of without getting dick comment from someone. I'm sure it'd be the same on a Surly. Bike people can be like middle school girls, threads like this being a good example.

  13. #13
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    Exclusive pricing for Surly bikes, eh?

    OP you are a few spokes short of a wheel.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

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    $9k for a top end Tiawan trail bike nowadays when a high end trail bike in 2004 was $3200, but was handbuilt in the good old USA.....times are a changing, I don't think it is just Surly.

    As for the names who cares? Would you like the standard numbering system?

    The moonlander can now be called the 9900 FB, SH, SFDTMTAF (fat bike, super heavy), super fun don't tell me tires are fat.

    We all have way too much time on our hands to argue about this garbage, don't like? Don't buy, end of story.

  15. #15
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    OP- Congrats you & now me are doing just what Surly wants... talking about/marketing their bikes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirefury12 View Post

    As for the names who cares? Would you like the standard numbering system?

    We all have way too much time on our hands to argue about this garbage, don't like? Don't buy, end of story.
    Well this is a thread on Surly marketing, so if there was a place for people who care about this stuff this would be it.

    I think the book "Rikki Tikki Tembo" sums up why the Surly product naming system is flawed better than I can. If you don't get it at the end have a child explain it to you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    The fact that we're trying to compare the purchasing habits of a group of hypersensitive women looking for a $1000+ purse, vs a broad collection of men and women who like to get dirty, sweaty and bloody while playing in the mud, makes it difficult for me to see the parallels at play here.
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    The bike is never to heavy, you are just to WEAK!

  18. #18
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    Surly has exclusive pricing? This is either a pro-level troll or a dude with a garage full of Walmart bikes

  19. #19
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    umm....?....
    I must admit I don't read the surly blog very often, but it's nice to see a co. that lets their employee's actually rant/rave/bla bla about whatever they want. Seems everyone is so sensitive these days you can't get away with that anymore.

    Exclusive pricing? Not seeing it...

    Maybe some of the local handbuilt $5K custom ti frame manufactures (but then you are paying for the local skill/craftsmanship, whether it's worth it or not is up to the buyer, no one else ),

    not surly....
    I try to avoid Florida if at all possible...lol

    sorry this thread did not quite go the way you thought

  20. #20
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    Every time I look at their blog all i get is......
    <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> and more of this <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> and sometimes even this <a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-finger007.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a> I'm not real sure but maybe they are trying to tell us something<a*href="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php" title="Smiley"><img src="http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused013.gif" alt="Smiley" border="0" /></a>
    Last edited by bdundee; 07-03-2014 at 11:40 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    You HIT the nail right on the HEAD.. "FASHION STATEMENT" I can relate and totally agree with you. Just like owning Watches, Luggage or what ever..Could i just get by with a $300.00 bike for exercise? Yes but I wont.I just bought a Salsa Beargrease XX1 for this same reason...!
    Trek Equinox 9.9 TTL, Trek Madone 6.9 Project One, Trek Fuel 9.5, Trek Fuel 9.0, Trek Rumblefish Pro, Trek Remedy 9.9,BGXX1

  22. #22
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    Sure do like allot of they're bikes, and products... especially tires! In the beginning (of fat biking) they had the gumption to produce the Endomorph... against all odds! And it (fat biking) "snow balled" from then on. They didn't invent fat biking, but w/o they're efforts, it would NOT have evolved to what it is today. Hat's off to those folks! And keep up the good work!! They can flip me the bird any time they want... I'm still gonna buy they're stuff. And BTW, a big fat Endo for sand would be nice...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Have you ever hung out at a high end bike shop?

    For the most part, pople are pretty much wired the same way. People use fashion to help define who they think they are...or want to be....bikes are a fashion statment just like anything else.....why do you think people ride singlespeeds? Why do you think people ride fat bikes in the summer? Riding Unsuspended bikes through rocky hell rides? They are making a fashion statment....my father called it "making a personel statment through an act that is just plain st00pid"....

    Any compeny that names its self SURLY is making a fashion statment and trying to define its self in the market....are you a surly guy? Ride our bikes and tell the world........come to think of it...I should go trademark HUGE NUTSACK BIKES.....gota go....
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    That was a little funny.

  25. #25
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    I single speed & fat bike because I like it. It's not an image thing "fashion statement" at all. I usually ride solo or with one or 2 buddies who I've been friends with for 20+ years. Usually ride at odd hours too. I think MOST cyclists are truly passionate about their platform. Whether is me a guy in his 40s on I fat bike or SS, a hipster on a fixie, or a 5k carbon tri bike. Surly/QBP has brought products to the market that have improved my quality of life enjoyment. Overall they are a good corporate citizen. I don't want a fat single speed for my image, I want one to see if I can make it up the next climb with a smile on my face.

  26. #26
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    Exactly. Saying that everyone chooses their equipment based on fashion or an identity they want to project... is naive. Perhaps it is even projecting one' sown thought process into other people. Some people are slave to fashion but a large percentage of people aren't.

    I ride singlespeed because it is less maintenance, lighter, quieter, cheaper, more durable. And best of all, it frees my mind when riding. The bike and I become one. It isn't me controlling the bike but rather just a fixed extension of my body. Put simply, the bike was not bought based on marketing.

    So no, not everyone chooses based on fashion. Surly's marketing is unique and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't own a surly but appreciate their creativity.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    I ride singlespeed because it is less maintenance, lighter, quieter, cheaper, more durable. And best of all, it frees my mind when riding. The bike and I become one. It isn't me controlling the bike but rather just a fixed extension of my body. Put simply, the bike was not bought based on marketing.
    Heck yeah man. All that stuff.

    I simply couldn't hack it. I prefer to ride flats now (I found myself injuring my hamstrings), and my slovenly riding chops couldn't get it to work on climbs.

    I'm riding a pavement bike with a two speed crank (FSA Patterson) which is pretty fun. It is cheap and simple to use and it gets me up the climbs with some single-speed-ish technique. I want similar for off road but was not long term impressed with a Hammerschmidt setup.

    Either way - I ride to empty my brain of earthly concerns. Fewer moving parts, less to go wrong.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    Really? I would say the same about you...Do you think that bike choice is only tied to what works best? Thats almost as silly as some 230lb fat guy trying to reduce his bikes weight by 100 grams ....Yet i see it in bike shops all the time.

    surlys are over priced, its been posted here many times....how do they get away with it?...image ....image ties into fashion.
    The bike is never to heavy, you are just to WEAK!

  29. #29
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    I always pictured Surly riders as blue collar, cheap beer drinking, rock and rollers. Have I been wrong all these years?

  30. #30
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    Some of us like expensive beer and Death Metal

  31. #31
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    Big Dumbie + Gulden Draak + Deicide = cool

  32. #32
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    I never connected Surly to Gucci. Must be part of that global wide Velomati conspiracy.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    I always pictured Surly riders as blue collar, cheap beer drinking, rock and rollers. Have I been wrong all these years?
    That's marketing. Surly has done some brilliant marketing- they've managed to make straight gauge 4130 bikes desirable. 20 years ago, straight gauge 4130 was considered 1 step better than gas pipe. then the steel bike market almost died and all the fancy steels (which, honestly, were just fancier, manipulated and carefully drawn versions of 4130) went away.

    They charge a pretty high price for what would have once been considered a bottom of the barrel frame. It's a $500 hotrock frame.

    They've cultivated a "blue collar" attitude... or at least what middle class kids think blue collar means. Hang out with some blue collar folks and you'll find that what surly sells as blue collar and what blue collar actually means are two very different things. Blue collar means you don't have a lot of cash, and you take meticulous care of your gear because you bought the best you could get and you want it to last- the faux dirtball attitude that surly sells isn't blue collar. Watch blue collar guys take care of their Harleys sometime- do they let dirt sit on the chrome for more than a second? No. Do they buy unattractive colors? No. Do they ride their gear hard and put it away wet? No. They take care of it.

    What you see as a blue collar attitude is blue collar as envisioned by hipsters who's only real connection to blue collar is a sons of anarchy marathon.

    I would suggest that surly is a lot more like deBeers than Gucci- a company based on manufacturing false scarcity.

  34. #34
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    later

    who the heck cares about any of it anyways.. all this petty bs. i am done with it.. have a good life

  35. #35
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    It does work

    Not about Surly, but about the 'marketing'.

    The OP brings up a valid point.

    The more rudely she is sold, the more I see her tattered and torn, the more I am drawn to embrace her up from the dust, remembering my disgrace.

    Star-Spangled Banner like youve never heard it before

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  36. #36
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    I am convinced there are people that like to argue online as much as I like to ride.

    The arguments in here can be made about the majority of brands.

    Want to solve something, try to figure out a way for me not look at someone in disgust everytime a new person says "those are big tires" like I have never heard it before.

  37. #37
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    Why would you expect a Surly frame to cost lesser than an Aluminum frame? 90% of the cost of your frame is stuff other than the cost of the steel/aluminum. If the cost of chromoly steel made up even 50% of the retail cost of a Surly frame, I bet the LHT 62cm frame would cost more than the LHT 42cm frame. As it is today, they cost the same which tells me that the actual cost of the steel is negligible.

    It's much the same with other companies. Surprised to see the price for Brook's new Cambium which uses rubber instead of leather? You're paying for more than just the raw material.

  38. #38
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    I have 3 Surly bikes currently, have had 5 total. Their marketing is ineffective to me. I just like simple, well built, adaptable, no BS, steel bikes.
    Jason
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    If you're old enough, you just might remember the International Harvester pickups and the Travelall. Studebaker cars and trucks, too.

    Would they still be around today if they had marketed them like Surly?

    Checker car company made klunky 56-chevy-looking cars for 20 years. Until about 1982 anyone could buy one new and drive it 500,000 miles. A few people did.

    If they had marketed them like Surly?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Some of us like expensive beer and Death Metal
    Heck yeah, party on Garth!! Cheers
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    I like that you have no f*cking clue who you are talking to.

    Mendon Cycle Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    That was a little funny.
    me gotz a chuckle too.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Really?
    yes really.

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    Um, I think a lot of people are forgetting that Surly has made much of its money by selling bikes nobody else was making. I'm not sure how much image has to do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    If you're old enough, you just might remember the International Harvester pickups and the Travelall. Studebaker cars and trucks, too.

    Would they still be around today if they had marketed them like Surly?

    Checker car company made klunky 56-chevy-looking cars for 20 years. Until about 1982 anyone could buy one new and drive it 500,000 miles. A few people did.

    If they had marketed them like Surly?

    "Like"^

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Um, I think a lot of people are forgetting that Surly has made much of its money by selling bikes nobody else was making. I'm not sure how much image has to do with it.
    That sums up my Surly purchases.

    I hadn't heard of them when I bought my first 1x1, but it was the first SS specific mtb frame I'd seen so I jumped on it. I also later bought an Instigator, and that was because of its very strong rear end - it was bought for an overland expedition.

    And there was no alternative to the Pugsley in the UK when I bought mine.

    The website persona is just fun IMO. Plus the Surly guys turn up to the odd event, actually ride their bikes, drink beer, and talk to us about bikes. That seems to get us bikes we want to actually use. The "Racing Sucks" approach works for me.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  46. #46
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    Mr Spock Troll threw a line out and caught some crackers !!!

    Dont feed it....
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    Um, I think a lot of people are forgetting that Surly has made much of its money by selling bikes nobody else was making. I'm not sure how much image has to do with it.
    Thank you, it took us two pages until this was finally said.
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    People are also forgetting that they took a massive risk by investing in fatbike tire production.
    '15 Specialized Fatboy
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  49. #49
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    I am guilty of owning many Surly Tyres... and the other QBP brand 45NRTH tyres, awesome products, if they didn't make them we would be a lot worse off today... maybe ??????

    I dont want to get dragged into this troll dig but Surly go out on a limb with reasonably priced stuff and usually hit the spot.

    If you want to be conservative... take a back seat and shut up.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    If you're old enough, you just might remember the International Harvester pickups and the Travelall. Studebaker cars and trucks, too.

    Would they still be around today if they had marketed them like Surly?

    Checker car company made klunky 56-chevy-looking cars for 20 years. Until about 1982 anyone could buy one new and drive it 500,000 miles. A few people did.

    If they had marketed them like Surly?
    Old enough!

    As a kid my father once thought about buying a Checker, (9 kids) I think he got out voted by the styling dept.

    Could it be that anyone who is taking the marketing approach of Surly seriously is missing the point?

    I mean, what do you suppose is going on at Surly Headquarters as they read what is being said about them here?

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