Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Brand Business of Cycling

Reading the news recently about Rapha's £39M turnover in 2014 got me thinking about the business of cycling whilst out on a wet ride yesterday.  

2014 has undoubtedly been a boom year for the industry.  More new businesses, new riders, new products, new technology and applications have pushed up the potential for many start-ups and established businesses.

Taking a quick roll call of the products/services that I was either wearing or had invested in as part of my bike set-up, there were all in 22 differing businesses in the story, quite something.  It looked something like: -

  1. Beacon Bikes - Bottles, Bottle Cages and Frameset
  2. Bioracer - Bib shorts, Long Sleeved Winter Training Top, Winter Cap.
  3. Condor - Socks
  4. Contintental - Tubes and Tyres
  5. Deda - Bars, Bar Tape, Seat Post, Stem
  6. Garmin - Bike Computer
  7. High 5 - Gel
  8. Look - Cleats & Pedals
  9. Mavic - Wheels
  10. Oakley - Glasses
  11. One Life ID - In Case of Emergency Bracelet
  12. Park Tools - Multi-Tool
  13. PocPac - iPhone cover
  14. Rapha - Overshoes 
  15. Selle Italia - Saddle
  16. Shimano - Groupset
  17. SiS - Energy Bar
  18. Specialized - Gloves, Helmet, Shoes, Shoe Inserts
  19. SRAM - Garmin Bar Extender 
  20. Strava - Application for ride analysis
  21. Topeak - Saddle Bags
  22. USE Exposure - Lights
So, twenty two different brands had benefitted from my available share of wallet on that ride yesterday, that's before you start thinking about the bike shops, on-line e-tailers, parcel delivery couriers, credit card companies and other vertical supply chain related associated suppliers in manufacturing across the globe.  The list would be much longer if extended to all the other cycling related products and kit that you own, perhaps 50 businesses all in.

Establishing a business isn't easy, establishing a recognised brand is even tougher taking an inordinate of investment and social capital to get into the top three front of mind box for a consumer.  Nevertheless, the above list demonstrates that there is a lot to play for in this market, wide brand diversity and buyers with different tastes and requirements.

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