rebirth of a brand with a long history
GMG, which has produced bicycle child seats since 1934, was market leader in the Netherlands until the mid-1990s. After that date however, the company was overtaken by its competitors.
When Michel Krechting acquired GMG in early 2008, Vanderveer Designers became directly involved in turning around and revitalising GMG; product development played a central role in this process.
GMG product ontwikkeling Yepp
exceeding consumer expectations
The Yepp Mini (up to the age of 3) and Yepp Maxi (up to the age of 6) bicycle child seats have set an innovative trend in this market by using EVA foam (the material used in Crocs shoes) in the seat.
Contrary to the cushions used in normal rigid moulded plastic seats, this shock-absorbent and insulating material does not absorb moisture. In addition, children like the soft and comfortable seat, which is also practical for parents because no rain cover is required. Furthermore, attaching the seat to the bicycle couldn't be simpler, as the seat can be both clicked home and removed from the bicycle again with a single movement of the hand. All the Yepp models include a integrated anti-theft feature as standard.
innovation is more than just a new product
The start of the project involved setting up a multidisciplinary team, which included customer representatives, and making a start on drawing up an effective list of requirements and specifications. The process was monitored by one of our project leaders who ensured short lines of communication within an efficient design process that targeted making the right design choices.
The deadline of January 2009 was a crucial factor in this project. This constraint prompted the decision to immediately make use of full-scale models in order to allow early testing of user functionality, ergonomics and looks.
Production of the new range of seats was contracted to manufacturers in China and the Netherlands, resulting in the achievement of maximum design freedom, choice of materials and production process variation within a precisely defined cost-price framework. During this process, the team worked together intensively with this Chinese producer and also with BPO for the stress calculations and TNO for the first certification checks.
Development is a continuous and ongoing process in healthy companies. Special versions were developed for the major bicycle brands along with many different accessories. A second bicycle attachment system was designed and nearly all the major bicycle brands have included the geometry required for direct baggage carrier attachment in the design of the rear baggage carriers on their city bike models.
investing in the future
The introduction of the Yepp range has been extremely successful, resulting in market pull instead of market push. Because both the Yepp child bicycle seats and the GMG brand are now practically synonymous with innovation.
The company has regained its strong market position, allowing it to grow again and expand its product portfolio. GMG also performs strongly in international markets – the Yepp is now sold in more than 12 countries and new markets are continuously being added.
Assessing, improving and constantly developing new products has become a continuous process at GMG, so, as designers, we have ample opportunity for offering them our enthusiastic support far into the future!
- Implement a full turnaround in order to regain a position of market leadership.
- Develop a completely new product and design a new product line within a year.
- Maximum design freedom and choice of materials based on requirements within a precisely defined cost-price framework.
- Achieve TNO certification in good time and comply with European safety standards within a tight schedule.
- The Yepp Maxi took a mere 12 months to develop from the initial design briefing to the first out of tool product. Followed by the Yepp Mini at the beginning of 2010 with an identical development time.
- Market leader in the Netherlands since 2012.
- Since the introduction in 2009, the Yepp range has achieved strong turnover growth and market penetration and is now sold in more than 12 countries, including Japan, Australia, the United States and Chile.
- The total investment for the complete Yepp range including dies amounted to more than 1 million euros.
To regain its position as market leader in the Netherlands with the most innovative bicycle child seat within a period of three years.
Through the years, the products of GMG have won numerous awards. This makes us proud but also helps GMG selling the products even better. Below you can find an overview of the awards.
- Red Dot Design Award
- Dutch Good Industrial Design (including Best in Category)
- The Dutch Baby Innovatie Award
- The Dutch Bicycle Innovation Award
- The Dutch Design Award
- The IF Eurobike Award on two occasions
- The Seal of Approval award (USA)
- Best in Test (Consumententest Taenk – Denmark)
- European Design Management Award (DME Award)