SHAD, a leading trademark in Europe in the motor industry in recent decades, bases its successful track record on investment in R&D and the protection of its intangible industrial property. This is demonstrated by its 34 patents and utility models in force and its almost 20 protected designs, in the name of NAD, S.L., a company about which you can find out more in the interview published in La Vanguardia.
On this occasion we interviewed Carolina Gómez and Pere Ayala, Manager Design and R+D Technical Director, respectively.
SHAD has more than 30 years of history. How do you consider that design has evolved in your sector since its beginnings?
The motorbike sector has undergone a great evolution over the years: technology, electronics, materials, weight, aerodynamics, ergonomics… all of which have contributed to a considerable increase in safety and comfort. Many trademarks have put the user at the centre, which has made it possible to launch great products that respond to the needs and desires of urban users who only use their bikes to go to work, bikers who make long journeys, those who seek adrenaline on alternative routes to the road, etc.
At SHAD, as a trademark that creates accessories for motorbikes, we pay attention to this evolution of the sector, to changes in consumption, to new trends that are being created or consolidated. We try to analyse users from different segments. The more we know about them, the more relevant we can be in the products we launch on the market.
What role has design played in the consolidation of the SHAD trademark?
It is fundamental. Design is present in the different stages of product development from the beginning, which is when the need for a new product arises, the definition of specifications, design, prototyping, development and even in how we communicate the characteristics of the product to the market.
For us, design is strategic, and being present in more than 80 countries, having won numerous design awards such as the Red Dot Award, the IF Award, the German Design Award or the ABC Mobility Award, or having worked developing cases for the main motorbike companies in the world, shows us that we are on the right track.
In your experience, how has protecting your designs helped you?
It helps us to get a return on all the investment in R&D, protecting the different markets for a long period of time, providing exclusivity. The investment in R&D helps us to provide a differential in the user experience. So that price is not the only argument when choosing one product over another and exclusivity, design, functionality, quality and excellence can be valued.
How can a SHAD product be recognised? What is the common denominator of your products?
We are known for reliable, high-quality, highly functional products. Our plastic, aluminium or textile luggage products aim to have sober designs that go with the motorbike. For the motorcyclist, the aesthetics of the bike are more important than the design of the case.
We also want a product that can be adapted to numerous trademarks and models of motorbikes on the market.
What new projects do you have in the pipeline? Do you have any new launches in sight?
2024 is a big year for SHAD product launches. In November, at the Italian EICMA 2023 show, we will present a new expandable side case. This helps us to reinforce SHAD as a pioneer and leader in this type of cases.
We will also present new Click System tank bags, side bags and a tank bag from the TERRA adventure range.
And finally, this year at the Eurobike 2023 show in Frankfurt, after almost 3 years of preparation, we are launching our new business division: SHAD BIKES. Mainly, they are pieces of urban luggage for people who move around the city, all of them can be assembled to bicycles, but they also have a design that allows them to be backpacks, shoulder bags, briefcases, saddlebags… All of them designed to be used throughout the day, even if you use different means of transport.
We have 4 families of products, which will seek to reach 4 different types of urban user segments (Shad Bikes – Urban bags for city bikers).
Have you protected them? How?
Yes, many of the products have design registration and patents.
Could you define the process of creating and launching a product, and where does the protection and registration of intangibles fit into this process?
Very schematically, we could summarise our design methodology in the following stages: user and market research, design process, prototyping (which includes lab testing, road testing and a lot of iteration), development and implementation.
There are some products that are an evolution of one of our products, or an exponential innovation. There are other products that require a lot of effort in the research stage to understand and analyse market trends and possible market segments that we could target. Examples are the TERRA adventure line or the definition of the SHAD BIKES business line.
The protection and registration of intangibles is done during the development and implementation stage.
Do you think that the culture of protecting and valuing industrial design is sufficiently established in Catalan/Spanish companies?
I don’t think so, and this may be due to the fact that the companies that make up our industrial fabric are mainly SMEs. In many companies design is not a strategic asset, in others there are designers, but design is not managed as a resource that can bring profitability and growth to the company.
There is a lack of information regarding the implementation of design in a company, more support, more data to help generate confidence, more investment in protecting design, protecting trademarks, etc. Patenting mechanisms really is an investment.
“SHAD’s imaginary journey”, the social action project
Apart from its commercial success, SHAD seeks to generate a social impact and be a loudspeaker for the talent of neurodiverse people or people with motor disabilities. Since 2020, workshops and business internships of 180 hours have been created with the students of the Graphic Arts programme at the PONT DEL DRAGÓ Special Education Centre.
El Viatge Imaginari de SHAD, is a collection of motorbike or bicycle panniers with creative and, above all, diverse interventions that answer the question: if you could travel on a motorbike or bicycle equipped with SHAD panniers full of magic and dreams, where would you go?
The creative, talented and original answers make up this exhibition held as part of the Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW) 2023 event, with the support of the Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD).