It was to revolutionize personal travel and was launched with all the hype in the world. However, the Segway never quite made the segue from blueprint to mass adoption that was intended. Its cost has been cited as one factor. Another has been local transportation ordinances. Regardless, it never lived up to the hype.
That said, is the Segway still something you might want? The Distillery thinks so. Give it a little more time, hopefully some manufacturing economies of scale, and one day there may be one sitting in most garages. But until then, as is implicitly evidenced by the onsite video, the Segway is in dire need of buyers.
As for the Segway web site, it could use some consideration. The Distillery very much dislikes web sites that continually open new pages. The first three clicks at segway.com generated three open windows. (Do they think we use Segways to navigate web sites?) And, why is there a mini-site when there is only a single core product?
Then there are the helmets used by the site’s Segway demonstrators. The Segway was hyped (and is still) as being really cool, but those have to be some of the dorkiest helmets ever seen! Even the old Bell Biker from the 1970s looks better. It seems Segway does not comprehend that cool is only as cool as the dorkiest link. The only person wearing a helmet that equals the Segway’s cool-factor is the policeman.
The manufacturer might take a lesson learned some time ago by the bicycle industry. That is, consumers often see not just the product itself, but the whole package–even when the package exceeds the core product and is an additional expense. You will not see any bicycle manufacturers making the mistake of combining their expensive wares with cheap-looking, inexpensive, and ugly helmets.
In fact, the Segway site clearly shows that both marketing and manufacturing are handled by the same parties. Why else would a beautiful 3-D tour of the product being entirely devoid of music or a voice-over? Silence seldom sells. It has an especially tough time selling a completely new product about which potential buyers want all the information they can get. There is also keeping the visitor as immersed in the product as desired and possible while at the web site. In summary, the Segway web site is a great piece of steak, but someone most certainly forgot that customers like hearing that steak sizzle on the grill.
Home page: Segway