Cycle wear to fit your form.

 

Helping to put the wheels in motion for a start-up brand.

The Business Challenge.

Carla Bramley had a compelling proposition for her business – custom-made cycling clothing, designed and manufactured in Britain. Yorkshire, to be exact. But with the UK cycling sector now worth three times more than the country’s steel industry, this is a highly-competitive space. A strong brand identity was therefore required to take this embryonic organisation to market. That’s why contact was made with The Engine Room…

Jackal Trick was borne out of the founders’ personal frustration – ill-fitting cycling apparel seemed to have become the norm in the sporting and leisure world, even when buying from expensive brands. But knowing that technically-brilliant clothing can heighten performance, Carla set out to bridge this market gap.

Using cutting-edge 3D body scanning and fit-simulation technology, they found a way to design and manufacture custom-made cycle wear, tailored entirely to the size and shape of the customer. Measurements are even taken when the cyclist is standing and sitting on a bike! But optimum fit would not be the only benefit – with a huge range of styles, colours and patterns available, plus configurable graphics and bespoke designs, the aesthetics of the clothing would be unique too. Even Jackal Trick’s off-the-peg apparel would be extremely well made (hardly surprising given the textiles heritage of Huddersfield!)

The challenge would be the development of a strong brand identity to help launch Jackal Trick to the ever-growing – and increasingly competitive – cycling market. With the business in the earliest stage of its lifecycle, it would undoubtedly carry extra credibility and gravitas if accompanied by an articulate story, which could appeal to the hearts and minds of customers.Carla therefore approached three brand consultancies for help, and The Engine Room was appointed for the job.

“The personal approach of Darren, Lesley and the team, is definitely what drew us towards working with The Engine Room. Other suppliers felt wooden in comparison, so we feared they wouldn’t show the same commitment to getting under the skin of our ambition.

“Brand is not about a logo. The Engine Room helped us develop our visual imagery, language, messaging and tone of voice. We were looking for longevity – we were keen to create a platform that we could build on as our business took off.”

Carla Bramley, Director, Jackal Trick

The Difference.

The project began with a collaborative workshop. Whilst this strategic exercise often helps start-up founders to clarify their proposition, better understand their target audience and define their service journey, in this instance, Jackal Trick’s founders had already undertaken much of this thinking. Nevertheless, it is important to leave no stone unturned when analysing the big picture. We knew that the workshop findings – when complemented with desk research – would inform and enhance the development of the brand moving forwards.

“We come from a manufacturing background, so we have lots of technical knowledge, but I’m not sure we would have known how to articulate everything to the market, without The Engine Room’s help. We’d never been at this stage of a business before – intense marketing thinking was crucial, and so was The Engine Room’s strategic guidance. They really knew what questions to ask.” Carla Bramley

Considering everything from business vision and purpose, through to the specifics of the products, routes to market and competitor mapping, the fast-paced interactive workshop uncovered the foundations of the brand strategy.

The name was interrogated to ensure it could be launched to the market without any negative connotations. The literal translation of Coup de Chacal, Jackal Trick is a ‘surprise attack’ manoeuvre on the peloton, which some cyclists might frown upon. But it does suggest personality – and a sense of attitude – not to mention technical awareness, which is what this organisation is all about.

We also articulated Jackal Trick’s key messages, positioning statements, and the values that inform the brand personality. We created the core brand architecture and visual manifestations, which would be transferrable across all communications.

The Returns.

A bold identity was created. The logo, for example, uses a graphical device that mimics the ‘back to front’ movement of the Jackal Trick manoeuvre, and a patterned palette was chosen for vibrancy. The strapline – cycle wear to fit your form – conveys both the technical excellence and visual punch of the products and services, and the language throughout stresses the brand’s determination to challenge convention.

“We went live with the business in Spring 2018, and we launched with impact. The brand really does stand out at events for example.

“Our journey will naturally be an iterative process, as progressive businesses rarely stand still. But, armed with the brand cornerstones that The Engine Room articulated for us, we will keep telling our story.

“Our objectives so far have been to raise awareness of what we have to offer and why we’re different, whilst educating the cycling community to the possibilities of our technical approach. Now, it is growth.

“Our brand is for people who are quite self-willed. They care about their performance. They care about their appearance. And many care about their apparel being made in Yorkshire too, given its prominence within the cycling world.

“The great thing is that we know we can reach out to The Engine Room when we need further support. We’ve transferred our brand identity onto a number of other products, for example, including water bottles and flags. We care about the detail, and know the importance of things looking the part.”

Carla Bramley, Director, Jackal Trick

“We’d never been at this stage of a business before – intense marketing thinking was crucial, and so was The Engine Room’s strategic guidance. They really knew what questions to ask.”

Carla Bramley, Director, Jackal Trick