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Cycling Brand Relationship
 

Cycling Brand Relationship

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The cycling brand relationship is an interconnected series of characteristics and relationships. Brands in the cycling industry ultimately be defined and formed in the individual cyclist’s mind. ...

The cycling brand relationship is an interconnected series of characteristics and relationships. Brands in the cycling industry ultimately be defined and formed in the individual cyclist’s mind. Understanding the relationships between brands and the characteristics used to form the brand will give the company a holistic view of the industry and where it fits in the mind of the cyclist.

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    Cycling Brand Relationship Cycling Brand Relationship Document Transcript

    • bicycle brand relationship. What builds the brands in the bicycling supply chain?
    • component manufacturers. The component manufacturer plays a major role in brand loyalty throughout the entire cycling brand hierarchy. The brand is defined by numerous characteristics and is communicated to more segments than any other level in the hierarchy. It is the blood that flows through the industry. Let’s take a look on what defines these brands and who they have to be communicated to.
    • What Builds the Brand? . Performance Technologies/Innovation Products/Services Culture/History Racers/Racing Teams/Affiliations Cyclist Generated Content
    • Performance - First and foremost, the products have to perform. Enough said. Technologies / Innovation – Keeping on the bleeding edge of technology is key in the component environment. Faster, lighter, smoother is what the cyclists want. Standing still is falling backwards in this industry. The specific technologies and innovation are a major part of a company’s brand definition. Products /Services – Every rider has different needs. Therefore the company needs to provide products at different levels across the different riding segments (road, MTB, Cyclo-cross). This vast array of products is an ever growing list which individual cyclists become loyal to specific products. Discontinuing one small product could be devastating to the certain extremely loyal cyclists. Culture / History – Culture plays a huge part in the cycling industry. As Seth Godin points out, people buy stories not products. This is very true in the cycling industry. Being a part of a certain culture or history is a great feeling for a cyclist; one that could be worn as a badge proudly by the cyclist. The culture and history of the company has a tremendous effect on the brand. Racers / Racing Teams / Affiliations – The racers, racing teams, and affiliations become the Celebrity Endorsement in the cycling industry. The personality of these iconic racers or the mantra of the racing team play a role in defining the component brand. If they perform, the brand is strengthened. Cyclist Generated Content – With the power of word of mouth in the cycling industry and the increase in cyclist generated content online, more and more decisions are being made through peer communication. This communication plays a major role in brand development. We’ll look more into this in a later post.
    • Communication Partners... Cyclist – The components have to be proven in real world situations. Once the products are proven, the component manufacturer then needs to communicate the brand and advantages to the cyclist. This communication would drive the cyclist to their local bike shop to push for the particular component manufacturer. Independent Bike Dealer (IBD) – With the support of cyclists, the component manufacturer then has to turn to the independent bike dealer or local bike shop to convince owners of the advantages of their products, services, and brands. Communication needs to come from both the cyclist and the component manufacturer. Bike Manufacturers (OEM) – Only after there is a demand from the local bike shops can the component manufacturer go bike manufacturer (OEM) to start to push them to install the components on new bikes.
    • bicycle manufacturers (OEM). Brands throughout the industry will have very similar defining characteristics. Cyclists have great respect and admiration for the vast differences between companies. This level of respect creates a tremendous passion and loyalty for their personal favorite brand. The Bicycle Manufacturer is the most widely communicated brand in the industry. The passion and communication can even get to a level where a cyclist will wear the brand as a badge. It is the ultimate power of a brand.
    • What Builds the Brand? Performance Technologies/Innovation Products /Services Culture/History Racers/Racing Teams/Affiliations Cyclist Generated Content Component/Partner Brands
    • Performance – As mentioned for the component manufacturers, the product has to perform. Without performance, there would be no company. Technologies / Innovation – Allowing cyclists to ride stronger, faster, longer is a key byproduct of innovation through technology. These differentiating technologies become the “word on the street” in the industry. Products /Services – Again, as mentioned for component manufacturers, every rider has different needs. Therefore the company needs to provide products at different skill levels across the different riding segments (road, MTB, Cyclo-cross). Culture / History –The culture and history of the company has a tremendous effect : “… the great Basque climbers who sweated and toiled on their tool of the trade to many stage wins and race wins. Orbeas are race bred and inspired designs from hard working blue collar workers high in the Pyrenees Mountains.” Racers / Racing Teams / Affiliations – The racers, racing teams, and affiliations become the Celebrity Endorsement in the cycling industry. The personality of these iconic racers or the mantra of the racing team play a role in defining the bicycle brand. If the racers perform, the brand is strengthened. Cyclist Generated Content – The passion to talk about their personal experiences defines a major part of the brands. Component / Partner Brands – Not only is the bicycle brand defined by the information above, but it is also defined by the brands they put on their bikes. The components, handlebars, seat…these brands help define the bike brand as a whole. Understanding this will increase the communication throughout the industry players.
    • Communication Partners... Cyclist – The main group to communicate to is the cyclist. The cyclists are the group that does the actual defining of the brand. The aforementioned characteristics are taken, dissected, and combined to create the brand for their individual personal lifestyle. The question for the cyclist becomes, “does this brand define me as a cyclist?” This brand guides the cyclist to their Local Bike Shop that carries that specific bike. Independent Bike Shop (IBD)– To sell bikes there needs to be a channel. That channel is the LBS. With the support of cyclists, the bicycle manufacturer has to turn to the independent bike dealer or local bike shop to convince owners of the advantages of their products, services, and brands. For complete brand satisfaction, this communication needs to come from both the cyclist and the bicycle manufacturer. Component / Partner Brands – To build the strongest brand possible, the bicycle manufacturer needs to use the best component and partner brands on their new bikes. After all, their products help define the bicycle brand in the mind of the cyclist and IBD owner (See Fig 1.). The communication here needs to show the benefits of the partnership. Each brand needs to be strengthened in effect of the partnership.
    • Figure 1
    • independent bike dealer (IBD). Finally it’s time to focus our energy on the Independent Bike Dealer (IBD) or as some call the Local Bike Shop (LBS). Now this is a crazy creature. The culture surrounding the IBD industry is one of passion, excitement, and has a cult-like following for the specific shop. There is a wide spectrum of customers which leads to more characteristics that could define the IBD brand. Let’s take a look at the characteristics that cyclists use to define their favorite IBD brand.
    • What Builds the Brand? Service Culture/History Cyclist Engagement Community Involvement Mechanics Bicycle Brands Racers/Racing Teams/Affiliations Cyclist Generated Content Component/Partner Brands
    • Service – First and foremost, the IBD needs to have a level of service that the cyclist finds acceptable. This level varies from cyclist to cyclist. The better the service the better the brand. Culture / History –As mentioned in the previous cycling segments, cyclists are huge advocates of culture and history. To be a part of a great history or be involved in an exciting culture is a very big component in building the IBD brand. Racers / Racing Teams / Affiliations – In the local cycling community, the IBD racing teams and racers become the celebrity endorsements. The racers, teams, and affiliations become a major defining characteristic for the IBD brand. The better these racers and team do the stronger the brand becomes. Cyclist Generated Content – Communication between cyclists are happening everywhere. These conversations, whether online or offline, create a strong word of mouth and peer understanding for the different IBD brands. As we all know, this word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing. Being a part of these conversations is a necessary act for the IBD. Bicycle Brands – The bike brands that the IBD carries become a great defining aspect of the IBD brand. Brand loyalty is spread throughout the entire cycling industry, so if one IBD carries a specific brand that a cyclist is loyal to, they will then become loyal to the IBD. Component / Partner Brands – Just like the bike brands that an IBD carries, the components and product brands that an IBD carries helps define the IBD brand.
    • Community Involvement – Local cycling communities are a very passionate group. Having a loyalty for an IBD brand and seeing them participate in the cycling community helps strengthen brand. This is an essential offline part of the IBD brand. Cyclist Engagement – Engaging cyclists on a personal level, both online and offline, by providing local cycling information such as routes, events, techniques, training, or maintenance. This personal engagement with strengthen the brand in the mind of each individual cyclist.
    • Communication Partners... Cyclist – The main group to communicate to is the cyclist. The cyclists are the group that does the actual defining of the brand. Each cyclist is different. Therefore, the aforementioned characteristics are taken, dissected, and combined to create the brand for their individual personal lifestyle. The question for the cyclist becomes, “does this brand define me as a cyclist?” Bicycle Manufacturer – Bikes are designed and built to fulfill cyclist needs and increase performance. A major influence on these design specs is the cyclist feedback. This feedback comes from the cyclist through the IBD to the bike manufacturer. The communication between the IBD and bike manufacturer also needs to portray the benefits of the partnership. After all, the IBD brand helps define the bicycle brand and the bicycle brand helps define the IBD brand (Fig. 2). Having great communication is essential. Component / Partner Brands – As with the bicycle brand, components and products are designed and built to fulfill cyclist needs and increase performance. The same level of communication is necessary for the component industry as well (FIg. 2).
    • Figure 2
    • cycling brand relationships. The cycling brand relationship is an interconnected series of characteristics and relationships. Brands in the cycling industry ultimately be defined and formed in the individual cyclist’s mind. Understanding the relationships between brands and the characteristics used to form the brand will give the company a holistic view of the industry and where it fits in the mind of the cyclist.