An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Identity Crisis

I've been following some great threads on the Velocipede Salon forum regarding branding, and brand identity.

There's a lot of talk about how everything needs to convey a unified message, from the logo to the website to a blog to Facebook to a Twitter feed or Flickr account to the ethos under which the brand operates. I find this all fascinating and a little bit intimidating.

You see, I want to build bikes. Or, more specifically, bike frames.

I think there's space in the market for my particular thought process and philosophy to carve out a modicum of reasonable profitability. (If you didn't follow that, here's a translation: I think I could have a unique-enough product to make a little money.) I think I've learned enough about bike geometry to be able to dial in a certain feel to the bike, I just need to build the specific skills and equipment for the fabrication process.

I've got a logo already. That's set.

So, then, where's the crisis?

Some of it is in the naming. There's an issue of identity, recognizability, uniqueness, personality. There's also the aspect of communicating my own particular design philosophy and ethos. 

And time. I'm not getting any younger, and I also have a baby on the way. Finding the time to get this all in place? Taking the long view will be a way of life.

Sure, I'm a long way off from putting my shingle out for public consumption. I have a couple frames in my queue already, and I haven't made more than one yet (and that one with a lot of help!). 

I'll get there. Slowly, I'm sure.


Christopher Morelock said...

Very interested in seeing how this develops. What do you plan to use for medium (aluminum/steel/ti/carbon) and what do you predict your price point to be? (obviously you're probably not quite at that point yet, but it's good to start thinking about.) How much (if any) input do you plan to take from the buyer?

A bike not made in a factory overseas still appeals to a lot of us out there.

Your bike looks great btw. Someday I really hope I get a chance to take one of those workshops.

brider (aka David) said...

I'll be building in steel, and maybe at some point branching out into aluminum. Titanium would be the ultimate, but that's a long skills-honing road I may never travel. Fillet brazing frees one from the geometrical confines of lugs, so I'll mostly be building in that method. Inputs from the buyer would be mostly about fit and feel. I'd hope that some one who was in the market for a custom frame would already have their fit dialed, so it would grow from there.