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Boris bikes v Barclays cycles

September 16, 2010 One Comment

I read a blog called Act now Barclays, or the Boris Bike is here to stay. It argued that Barclays' sponsorship of London's casual cycle-hire scheme was "always doomed to fail".

Picture 147The reason? We all just refer to the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme as "Boris bikes", after Boris Johnson.

Just so, I thought. Stupid marketing people.

Turns out Barclays' marketing people were right, though ...

Searches for Boris v Barclays

Searches for Barclays Cycles are mugh higher than for Boris bikes

Searches for Barclays Cycles are mugh higher than for Boris bikes

This graph, from Google Insights, shows that, of the various permutations of Boris, Barclays, bike and cycle:

  • Barclays cycle is the most popular search with an average volume of 65 (NB this is an index, not an absolute number of searches), followed by Barclays cycle hire (51).
  • Then come Barclays bike - with an average index of 32, that's half as many searches as for Barclays cycle.
  • Bringing up the rear are Barclays bike hire (21) and Boris bikes (20) - only a third of the search volume as for Barclays cycle.

So we may all talk about "Boris bikes". But when we want to find the things, we Google "Barclays cycle".

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One Comment »

  • Alex says:

    I'd say that this is because people searching for "barclays cycle" are those who've already used it looking for the main website, and those same people are much more likely to say "boris's bikes" when they're talking to their friends.

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