Attending a recent cyclocross race, someone said to me that it seemed like members of the Steve the Bike Guy team were “everywhere.” What made that comment so rewarding is, truthfully, while our team is loud and enthusiastic, we are also quite small compared to others.
So how do we make such a big impact in a field of hundreds (if not thousands) of racers during a busy season? Three words – Always. Be. Branding.
For Steve the Bike Guy, that means everything – and I mean everything – we design starts with the standards and color palette that have been established over the past 5 years.
Custom clothing – kits and accessories – worn by riders and racers are a huge factor in the building of the Velo Studio’s brand identity.
While it can be tempting to redesign the uniforms each time we need to re-order, or for different disciplines, we have instead stuck to the same design with only minor tweaks for sponsorships or vendor specifications. Not only do we avoid irritating customers by not making them buy a new kit every year, but it has allowed us to build a cohesive brand year-over-year.
Beyond being able to spot our team on the course, it makes it easier to find members online when they are captured by friends and the many talented photographers in the New England Cyclocross community.
Clothing created for the team or special events, such as the “STBG Women Who Wrench” bike mechanic clinic, continue to support the base brand using colors and font, while also having a unique look.
In a previous post, I wrote brand standards make everything easier, but there is one downside – brand fatigue. Not from customers, but from Steve the Bike Guy himself.
My husband and I regularly butt heads when he wants to “mix it up” by adding new colors or use different fonts. And I get it – there are times I wouldn’t mind a break from all the blue and orange – but when we see the brand “in the wild” we remember that building a brand takes time, and is done one item at a time, one customer at a time.
But when done correctly, the results are spectacular.