At the helm of the Boardman Bikes brand is Chris Boardman, MBE. He’s won Olympic gold medals and broken the world hour record three times. Yet despite these close ties to a highly-decorated former British cycling champion, the brand was suffering from a few challenges.
To begin with, people didn’t know about Chris’ involvement. He’s won three stages of the Tour de France and worn the yellow jersey on three separate occasions, yet people saw the brand as just a name. They didn’t understand how much he brings to the brand and the bikes themselves.
Secondly, this market is fiercely competitive, with people buying product first. It’s also a category with some serious players – the likes of Cannondale, Bianchi and BMC own the market in both reputation and professionalism (with teams competing in the Tour).
Finally, the brand didn’t stand for anything… apart from selling good value bikes. It’s sold in Halfords, and whilst this helps with distribution and price, Boardman Bikes needed to further enhance its ‘expert’ credentials to endorse not only entry-level products, but also the professional-grade bikes ridden by star British athletes. Our challenge was to reposition and rebrand this range of cycles and accessories through a distinct point of view which would also empower the brand’s design team to come up with cool looking bikes for the 2015 season and beyond.
As riders themselves, the whole Boardman team understands first hand a rider’s need for both the personal challenge and the camaraderie that comes in riding with like-minded people. They wanted to prove they are out there too. Out there, supporting riders through every curve, every climb and every downhill dash; out there as a reassuring team presence by their side. A team that’s constantly in the saddle: testing, re-imagining and applying their out-there thinking to make the ride the best it can be. We introduced the strapline ‘Out there with you’ as a constant reinforcement of this belief.
This reassuring team presence also comes through in the new B symbol, which is inspired by the Peloton – the main pack of riders in a cycle race, who ride close together to save energy and support each other. Alongside the B symbol, and following a legal requirement to retain C Boardman in the name, we created the Boardman word marque and concealed the C inside the B, to mirror how customers describe the brand – Boardman Bikes.
With every single element of the brand designed to bring ‘Out there with you’ to life – from the daylight-inspired colour palette and the hues that surround you when you’re out there, no matter what time of day you ride, to the tone of voice. This is now a brand with a clear sense of belief and purpose. A brand you can get behind, and will always be out there with you, whatever you’ve set out to achieve.
The Boardman identity launched in November, and it's too early to have sales results just yet. There has been a lot of positive feedback online and at the launch event, and all the early signs are encouraging.