Archive for August, 2010

Tell your brand story

As the story goes, a young Flemish bike racer named Henri “Ritte” Van Lerberghe showed up at the starting line of a famous race directly from the frontlines of the First World War.  He borrowed a bike from a local, sped out to a sizeable lead, then decided to stop for a pre-celebratory beer.

Well, one beer led to three then four as Ritte apparently enjoyed hanging out with locals more than winning. Yet he eventually did hop back on the borrowed bike, and reportedly won Belgium’s greatest race by more than 14 minutes.

He later started up his own racing team which — following 90 years of hibernation — has now re-emerged in Southern California.

Sound far-fetched? Sure. Does it matter? Of course not.

The idea is that this simple yet engaging story perfectly captures the brand of a new bike company based out of Santa Monica. It says: “We race bikes, and we dig the sport’s traditions, but we also like to drink beer and have a good time with friends.”

Ritte Racing sells high-end racing bikes with cool paint jobs, maintains a hip website and blog, produces hilarious video promotions, and pretty much lays claim to the coolest marketing tactics in the cycling industry.

As for their brand story, there’s a lot to be learned. If you don’t have a compelling one, feel free to make it up.  Just make sure you stay true to its personality.  And, most importantly if going this route, don’t be afraid to let your customers in on the fun.

By the way, Ritte Van Vlaanderen Bicycle Company was founded by an ad agency copywriter and creative director. Go figure.


Robert Hyndman

can be reached at his Laguna Beach studio, 949.497.3179, or by using the form on the Contact Me page.
August 2010
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