Mountain Buggy Rebrands
In the face of growing competition, Mountain Buggy is roaring back with a whole new brand identity. Over the past two years, they’ve been doing extensive market research throughout the USA. Now, armed with an excellent idea of who their customers are, and what they’re thinking about, they’re ready to reestablish themselves as the premier choice for parents with an active lifestyle.
I had a chance to see the results firsthand earlier this week at a meeting with the US Distributor and two executives from New Zealand, and I was very impressed. I think the new messaging will really help urban, modern parents to understand the Mountain Buggy brand.
One of my favorite parts of the presentation was a movie that showed the manufacturing and testing facility in New Zealand. I never knew this, but each Mountian Buggy stroller is assembled by hand! It was pretty amazing to watch their testing technique, too. I can’t go into too many details, but they have hand-built several machines with the express purpose of completely abusing their strollers. They want to see how their products will perform under extremely rigorous use, to make sure the strollers will stand up to almost anything that comes their way.
From the day we opened Magic Beans, I’ve been an avid fan of Mountain Buggy. I know they’ve had their issues (particularly with the tires), but when it comes to the engineering, I don’t think there’s another stroller on the market that is as durable or well-made, or with handling as responsive. So I’m really thrilled to see this evolution of the brand.
The new Mountain Buggy website is set to launch on April 1, and will offer unique features, like parent blogs, interactive tools and a comprehensive well-being program for active parents.
They’ve also revamped their warranty. Starting with the 2008 models, Mountain Buggy is offering 3 years of coverage on the frame and fabric, and 1 year on accessories. The warranty will have international validity, so you can get your stroller repaired anywhere in the world, regardless of where it was purchased. Best of all, in a nod to the high resale value of these strollers, the warranty will be transferrable as long as it is reregistered with the company. I can’t remember whether or not they are limiting that to one transfer or not.
I also had a preview of the 2008 model, which, although it isn’t dramatically different from the 2007, offers some nice improvements.
- The new harness design meets updated ASTM standards, and can be adjusted to comfortably fit all children, from newborn to toddler.
- A new protective cover on the footbrake makes it easier than ever to engage the brake.
- The recline positioning has improved to just 4 degrees away from completely flat.
- An integrated soft drink bottle holder is attached to the seat fabric
- A brand new push-away axle design for the Urban Single model reduces the size of the stroller when it’s stowed for shipping or travel.
There are also a bunch of nice, new accessories, and the bumper bar design has been upgraded as well.
Along with all the good news comes some not-so-good news. The collapse of the US dollar is effecting the cost of imported goods in many industries, and this is no exception. The 2008 pricing is significantly higher than 2007. The Urban Single will start at $549 and the Urban Double will start at $899. At this point we still have plenty of 2007 models on hand, but if you’re in the market for a Mountain Buggy and you’re concerned about the price increase, I would order it sooner than later.