Tag Archives: rebranding

Rebranding Fort Street Cycle

20 Jul
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.47.05 PM.png

Even their Google Street View was unlucky

It has been a rough first year for the new owners of Fort Street Cycle.

Bad energy left over from an unpopular ownership transition was sucking the life – and at one point, nearly every staff member – out of the shop. The new owners, from Beijing, were in crisis management from the get-go and wondering how they could survive. They decided they needed to start fresh. Well, fresher.

Brand Intervention.pngThis is where the Brand Intervention happens. (This is the icon that says that’s happening.)

I started with some online surveys to existing customers and non-customers to determine attitudes towards the store, and its perceived strengths and weaknesses. This was the key starting point for the rebrand because it told us that there was indeed some bad juju out there about the store – but no respondents had a clear sense why they felt that way.

It also told us that the brand really wasn’t on anyone’s radar and was considered past its day.

So there was no damage here.  But there was a lack of clarity about the store. The lack of clarity came from a lack of a vision, and a lack of  noise in the market. But we could fix those.

ROLLING UP SLEEVES, FINDING A VISION

An analysis of the business, it’s core service and product offerings, and the opportunities in the market, indicated that we could chase the negative spirit away with a big, positive step forward. The store itself was in excellent shape: a good service reputation, a well-known location on Fort, and fantastic bikes: Cannondale, Cervelo and Giant, all high-end machines.

It just needed a focused brand strategy, and a look to pull it off.

The shop’s focus on placing service and proper fitting before bike sales pointed in the right direction, but we needed something bigger.

As luck would have it, the main competitive stores (Oak Bay Bicycles, Russ Hay’s, Trek and Broad Street Cycles) all referred to themselves as “bike shops” in their positioning lines. This created the opportunity.

WHERE CYCLING LIVES

Fort Street Cycle would no longer be just a bike shop. It would be about cycling: where the rider and the bike come together to create the magic. The store would be all about that. A place for cyclists to gather, to read cycle mags and drink coffee, to be professionally fitted, to watch live races on the TV, to post messages about stolen bikes, to find the latest gear to wear, to test ride new models, to talk cycling. Not a hardware store for machines, but  a place for people, something their “service-first” way of working already beautifully supported.

Hence the new tagline: Where Cycling Lives.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 7.32.49 PM.png

As the brand strategy and visual look were being created, the store went on a serious hiring spree. Using both online ads and networking, there were soon ten passionate cyclists on the store’s staff roster. A mix of road and mountain cyclists, elite competitors and everyday grinders, they embraced the new brand direction and shouldered the tasks involved in bringing it to life.

DON’T KILL THE OLD LOGO. JUST REMAKE IT.

Even though the store’s reputation had suffered in recent years, it was still an established brand with a history. We wanted to respect that by evolving the business, both the name and the logo. Enter long-time collaborator Michael Tension, who delivered a modern and impactful updating of the previous logo, along with an inspired palette of supporting colours to carry it. The name was shortened to Fort St Cycle, because it felt friendlier, and doing so created the space that allowed the name to be on one line in the logo, rather than stacked.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.18.33 PM.png

The old….and the new. Urban Sign behind the new one.

The store had been quiet in Victoria for years and was poorly connected to both the cycling community and the businesses along Fort St.

To help improve that, we gave the staff tools to build new relationships, from branded work gear to highly personalized business cards (the photo is of the staff member, and they chose their own quote and colour) – neither of which the store had ever provided. Then we crafted marketing and social media strategies to slowly build back their audience.

13627225_10154193294015560_6880992853991206262_n.jpg

Service Manager, Russ Parks in his new gear

BUSINESS CARDS

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 8.19.12 PM.png

Michael Tension cards: folded and white on the inside for notes

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 10.18.39 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-07-12 at 10.18.56 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-07-07 at 9.19.06 PM.png

Once all the branded pieces were ready, Derek Ford did his usual exceptional job capturing the team spirit in photos. And then it was on to a welcoming Open House to let the market know Fort St Cycle was alive and kicking!

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 12.20.58 PM.png

Megan Munro poster

To promote the event and get rid of some pesky old branded water bottles, the staff rolled up invitations into the old bottles and left them in bikes with empty water bottle holders all over downtown.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 7.39.24 PM.png

Message in a bottle campaign

The Open House saw a good crowd, and the positive buzz energized everyone and helped to exorcise the ghosts of the old brand.

20160712_180725.jpg

Open House July 12

A new website from Leap is on the way, jerseys are being printed and a store renovation is planned for late fall. The store also has plans to lead a cycling tour to the Great Wall in China this year. More details on that coming up soon!  Until then, drop by the store and talk cycling: these guys know their stuff.

And ask for one of those cool new business cards!

 

 

 

A good brand specialist is part snoop, part janitor

19 Feb

silhouette window cleaner

Your brand is not a logo or a look that you toss out into the market with fingers crossed. It’s your company’s promise.  It tells the world what it can expect from you on a consistent basis.

Your brand promise might be experiential. You might promise “innovation” or “simplicity” or “to treat your customers like family”. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean shouting matches at the table!)

It could be functional. You might promise to “save time” or “use less energy”.

Whatever your brand promise might be, it has to be authentic to your business offering and relevant to your customers.

Even more importantly, it has to be achievable.

Part snoop. Part janitor.

Because of that last requirement, the first place I look, when helping a business uncover its brand promise, is not at the product or service itself, but within the company. That’s where the promise lies.

It’s there in the messy desk drawers. It’s hiding under the unpaid invoices and in the smell that greets visitors to your premises. It’s in the sound of your voice when you pick up the phone and the turnaround time for managing a customer’s complaint. It’s in the clarity of your sales pitch, and in the structure and frequency of your staff meetings.

All those things tell a story about the business’s ability to deliver against its promise to the world.

There is a closet detective in every good branding specialist. And a cleaner!

In order to ensure you live up to your promise, your company needs to have its house in order, and that usually means some things have to improve.

To figure that part out, I use a process I call the Brand Evaluation, where I analyze a business against the promise it should be making to its customers. This involves asking a cross section of staff a variety of questions that challenge them to think about their business and their brand in new ways.

I ask the tough questions during these sessions and dig hard for the dirt.

I learn what sorts of promises a company can support currently, what it’s getting hung up on, and what needs to change in order to offer a different level of promise to the customer.

The DNA for the look of your brand

Once the workshop is complete, I have the groundwork for an achievable brand promise – and the DNA for the physical look and feel of your brand.

But your brand promise is not just for your customers. It should also drive internal behaviour and give a company something to measure their operations against: their internal processes and communications, their customer touch-points and the business culture.

Then you’ve got yourself an authentic, consistent and achievable brand to unleash on the world.

Amy C. Amy Do.

Amy fall down.

Son of the Morning Light

Just another guy with a camera

LE WOOD SHOP ANEKA DEKO

BOUTIQUE DE DÉCORATION ET DE MOBILIER EN BOIS ET MATÉRIAUX RECYCLÉS

the Blacklight Arrow

David Blacker's Blog

TV Amanda

Blogging about all things tv, advertising & marketing

Ballentine Media Inc.

Vancouver Small and New Business Branding, Design and Social Media Strategy

BriWrites

BriWrites: Brian Hartz's Blog

Financial & General Copywriter

Barry Hill, MBA (Ivey)

%d bloggers like this: