Cover Story: Full Speed Ahead
Thirty years ago, motorcycle parts and accessories marketer J&P Cycles was founded on an aggressive, interactive, customer-centric business model. Today's no different.
The Anamosa, Iowa-based company's approach has since intensified well beyond a liberal returns policy. J&P cultivates customers through superior product knowledge — exhibited by more than 30 experienced motorcycle technicians on staff — its open house/customer appreciation event held each summer — which drew 22,000 people to its headquarters this year, the largest gathering in the event's 30-year history — and a host of other initiatives.
Founded as a mail order cataloger, J&P Cycles has transformed itself over the years into a true multichannel retailer that caters to each customer in the way that customer feels most comfortable. In addition to its catalog, J&P markets via an e-commerce website, which accounts for approximately 29 percent of all sales after growing nearly 4 percent this year. J&P also operates three retail locations, including a temporary store that covers a full city block at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., each August.
"We're not just a mail order company; we're not just an internet company," says John Parham, J&P's founder and president. "We're a well-rounded business that loves motorcycles and supports the sport."
Integration is at the core of all J&P operations. Whether it be putting the digital version of J&P's print catalog on the company's website or blasting an email to customers alerting them to the next event J&P's mobile retail store will be attending, the company realizes the importance of letting customers decide how they interact with the brand.
In many respects, it's natural for J&P Cycles to want to take the utmost care of its customers — Parham and J&P's staffers see themselves in them, all being motorcycle enthusiasts. J&P prides itself on being a leading source of knowledge in the motorcycle industry, offering customers free technical support with experienced motorcycle technicians available on the phone or online.