A FirstStep.me feature,
“…the overall concept is to offer superior safety through a design solution that appeals to even the most fashion forward trendsetters.” - Terese Alstin founder of Hövding
The ambition behind Hövding and its product range is to encourage more people protect themselves in traffic – quite simple!
Cycling is a global phenomenon and statistics show that every year a large number of people are killed or seriously injured in bike accidents. Even though people are well aware of the risks in traffic - a vast majority of people chose to bike without head protection. There are ongoing debates about the legislation of bicycle helmet usage, but we think that developing new products that people want to use is a much better way to go than forcing people into wearing them. It's not the cyclists who need to change, it's the products therefore we wanted to develop a cycle helmet so attractive that people would be confident to protect themselves.
In order to do so, we did a lot of market research to understand the problem of why so few are using traditional cycle helmets. We found that people think they are cumbersome to carry around, they all look hideous, they ruin your hair and your personal style etc. Some good arguments, others more like excuses - but if vanity is keeping people from protecting themselves in traffic, it's an issue that needs to be addressed! People wanted something discrete and practical, something that would go with their everyday outfits, preferably with the possibility of changing the look from one day to the next. Further we studied the progress of the Ski helmet which went through similar phases in terms of overall usage.
However in cycling it's different. In cycling there are two categories, completely separated from each other: 1) sport cycling/racing and 2) everyday cycling (leisure, commuting). People going to work on their bike are not the least interested in looking like a professional sports cyclist. In urban cycling there is another elite - the fashion elite. They are the urban trendsetters. Our mindset was to make a true fashion statement with the cycle helmet.
We concluded that we needed to take into consideration all the different needs that people had and come up with a design that would be a solution to these needs.
When brainstorming ideas and solutions (for instance on how to not destroy the hair...) we visualized something that would not necessarily be placed on the head, but instead "pop out" in the event of an accident - which led us into airbag technology. The concept of an airbag cycle helmet appeared to solve all the problems for the modern cyclists.
As it turned out, most of our customers are people who have never used a cycle helmet before - so I believe we have succeeded in that aspect. Hearing about people who have survived accidents or escaped injuries thanks to our helmet is the most gratifying experience I've ever had. Especially knowing that many of these people would have been unprotected if it wasn't for Hövding.
Still there are challenges of course, when combining safety and fashion. In marketing we need to push our safety message in order to not be discarded as a gimmick product. It's important that people learn about the safety benefits. The fact that Hövding is actually superior to traditional helmets when it comes to safety - the airbag technology offers a far better protection compared to all other cycle helmets. When it comes to shock absorbance capacity Hövding is in a league on its own. It also protects a much larger area of the head and it can withstand multiple head impacts in one accident.
I would say that the overall concept is to offer superior safety through a design solution that appeals to even the most fashion forward trendsetters.
About: find out more about Hövding: hovding.com or connect via Facebook