A rose by any other name...

Well, a brand by any other tagline I suppose. I attended Interbike, the cycling industry's annual trade show, last week to visit a few clients. A unique sequestering of the entire industry in one space. Each brand putting their goods on display, directly contrasting with the competition.

The primary focus for these brands is to sell their new product lines direct to their wholesale dealers. The emphasis on minute product detail, features and functions. This coupled with price points and terms rounding out the common sell in strategy. 

For me, it's much more about looking at how these brands present their unique point of view, the character of their organizations. What's their story? Unfortunately, there is very little effort that goes into telling an authentic story beyond the cliche' of the tagline and booth design. I don't mean to be dismissive, but taglines are bullshit.   

"The greatest stories are lived, not told." — I don't think this is true. The greatest experiences are lived, but the best stories are absolutely and by definition, told. Regardless, what does this mean about Scott. Why are they interested in stories, why are stories important, how do stories influence the creation of their products and/or services? I'm not sure and not necessarily truly curious.

"Through this ride, freedom." — A bicycle represents freedom... I guess. Do Simcoe's bikes represent greater freedom than all the other bike manufacturers? This is a bike trade show. Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay convention center's worth of bicycles, all, I suppose, vehicles of human powered freedom. Does Simcoe's tagline express a unique love of that type of freedom? 

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"Adventure begins here." — Similar theme as Scott and Simcoe's taglines, that somehow the bicycle represents stories, freedom, or adventure. Yep. I suppose they are correct. I still can't tell one brand from another given these communications.

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"Think asymmetric." — I love Pinarello bikes, if only because of its heritage and its origin, but I'm left confused about what thinking asymmetrically means... right and left brain? Nope. On their website they put forth an explanation of the forces at work that are unique to bicycles. I'd never thought of that. It's interesting. I'm not sure it summarizes the entire essence of this brand however. Feels like a good thing to talk about when delving into technology and materials. Pinarello is about much, much more having sustained relevance for nigh on 70 years.

 Refined simplicity. The truth is on the trail. 

Refined simplicity. The truth is on the trail. 

 Freedom unfolds.

Freedom unfolds.

More of the same...

And finally, this from "Fabric" a new brand innovating on old things in the cycling world. This is not romantic. It's not a tagline. They don't have one. They just had a nice, simple display of a few of their new gadgets that make the cycling lifestyle a bit more simple. I like simple. Lots of people do. Fabric's ideas work. They are driven by this principle. They win. No taglines. A straightforward design principle. Making my life as a cycling enthusiast better. 

Good story.