Fire, Brimstone & Engineering Counterculture 2017-11-03T15:24:14+00:00

Project Description

Summary +

Cannondale Bicycles

Industry

Consumer Products

Services

Omnichannel strategy

Product launch

Website experience

Results

Moved from 4th to 1st consumer choice in their next road bike

Website traffic increased 42%

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Cannondale was born in a Connecticut loft above a pickle factory. They began making bikes in 1983 – aluminum bikes with big fat tubing that set an unconventional standard for lightweight frames.

Aggressively innovative, Cannondale manufactures cycling products so unique they leave people scratching their heads. Products that are engineered, built, ridden, tested, bent, broken, rebuilt and refined until they surpass the demand of world-class athletes. They were the renegade brand with cultishly loyal riders. And then they started to grow.

A cult brand and the perils of growth.

It happens all the time. Cool brands get big. They get a little corporate. They forget their origin story. Gone is the once independent – even defiant – brand personality. Cannondale was on the verge of losing touch with their fanatic 5%. Without them, and the passionate word of mouth they generated, they’d be like any other “big box” bike manufacturer.

So they applied the brakes. New leadership was established within Cannondale, and Mangos – many of whom are cycling fanatics – was engaged as AOR to help reinvigorate the brand.

TV ran during the Tour de France when die-hard cyclists are most susceptible to bike envy. Website traffic increased 42% compared to prior year.

Riding in the face of convention.

It was time to strip away the extraneous, traditional and generic. It was time to get back to being the slightly quirky bike builders above the pickle factory. To uncover the difference – the driving force – behind Cannondale. And to reengage with their convention-bucking, free-thinking, idiosyncratic customers.

A new mantra, a rallying cry, was crafted: “Fight to be different, not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of being the best.” Dubbed “The good fight” it was more than a campaign; it was a massive global brand promise. An essential statement symbolizing the counterculture Cannondale had and would continue to build.

Fight to be different, not for the

 

sake of being different, but for

 

the sake of being the best.

Getting gritty with the technology that makes a Cannondale a Cannondale.

We made sure the guys wrenching in the back of the store knew what Cannondale stands for.

Going Berzerk.

Visually the movement began with a new color – a unique shade of green dubbed “Bezerker Green.” The color tied closely with Cannondale’s newly sponsored Liquigas cycling team led by the world-renowned Ivan Basso. A new brand book was developed to inspire employees and let bike shop dudes and other partners know that Cannondale was fighting the good fight.

A full omni-channel campaign was launched to help bring Cannondale’s rogue engineering philosophy into the homes of cycling enthusiasts around the world.

From fourth place to first.

After the launch, a Road Bike Action survey named Cannondale the bike that readers were most likely to buy next. And the loyal core wasn’t the only group that noticed the brand’s newly-defined purpose and potential. Cannondale was swiftly purchased by Dorel Industries, a Montreal-based firm with employees in 25 countries.

Cannondale has maintained its driven image, even as it’s grown. The smell of sweat and hard-ridden tires lives on.

According to Road Bike Action survey, Cannondale went from 4th place to 1st as the brand of road bike most riders planned to buy next.

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Say Hello +

Alex Vandevere

Brand Development Director

484-539-1065