How do we to find the fixie, single speed and cycling t-shirt market?

I don’t read fiction.  Maybe I should start, it could cause a spike in my imagination, but then I would have even more trouble maintaining a coherent passage of thought. Most of what I read involves marketing (I’ve just polished off Seth Godin’s Purple Cow which I recommend) or straight up business.  I read these kinds of books because that’s all I am really interested in, or more specifically, I’m interested in my businesses, their products, and how to get them moving out the door.  With IHC the product is shit hot:

Australian made, organic cotton, printed really well in Sydney, we tested the build and they are perfect.

The packaging is shit hot:

US made made ball chains, swing tag plus sticker goodness

Attention to detail is bang on:

15mm fold label on the lower hem-also made in Australia.

Public response has been awesome.  We had a cracking conversion rate at the UCI Masters event Saturday gone, and we sold 2 tees to each customer in the majority of cases.

Setting up early on Saturday at the UCI World Masters qualification on the Perth foreshore.

Our customer service is pretty damn good too:

I wasnt driving or riding, so naturally, I was drinking.

The marketing and promotional effort has been pretty solid also.  We’ve featured in Bicycling Australia, Ride On magazine, featuring in the up coming Ride Cycling Review, coming up soon in the UK’s Cycling Active Magazine, tweeted and blogged courtesy of Treadlie Magazine, we’ve got a sexy facebook competition running now (like our page and enter the draw to win our entire range), this blog is going in the right direction, featured on sites like Edy Piro’s Coolfinder.co.uk (peace, Edy), been dissed in a post or two on London Fixed Gear and Single Speed (www.lfgss.co.uk), we’ve been networking well with Acclaim Magazine agreeing to run a little competition (Thx Alex, looking forward to coffee in Melbourne around the Shoe Fair), got over 20 shirts to pros at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide this year, hooked up with the Fixed Gear Girl Taiwan, and, gee, what else…. I’m sure there’s more…and the Iron Horse Flickr site.  Oh yeah, gotta make some more calls to a store in Germany tonight.  Oh, and current World Champ and all round legend, Michael Freiberg is basically getting some Iron Horse sponno goodness.  So you get the picture,  the marketing is getting done.  But, and it’s a really big but, (not butt, or booty, or whatever else you’re thinking) our web traffic isn’t really cranking like we’d expect.

Top notch/slightly sexy marketing material has interested a lot of mags weve approached.

As of last night, we have overhauled the copy on www.ironhorseclothing.com.au, adding in some internal links, a bit of a SEO catch blurb at the bottom of the page, and I will build an eBay site this week just for extra spider web action.  Getting anyone who is in the market for a fixed gear, single speed or bicycling tee must come across our site! Gotta get that traffic flow up.  Our conversion rate is so solid, most of our customers have re-ordered (one of them bought another 2 at our stand on Saturday) so the product side of things is in hand (we’ll get more edgy next design run) that leaves a problem in the web traffic space to work on.

Subway DC boss Tanya obviously likes my bike, and me, but the owner says no- and we refuse to stock just anyone..

Books are good, in theory.  Read one recently written on marketing and they will all say target a niche.  We’re targeting a niche, we just need to find them and tell them we’ve got what they’re looking for!

Any ideas, anyone?

Peace.

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About Buddah Brown

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3 Responses to How do we to find the fixie, single speed and cycling t-shirt market?

  1. Pingback: conversion rate | myzing.net

  2. David Guzman says:

    Buddah, I’ve actually been pondering a similar question with a client of mine for the past month and recently hit a bit of a successful wave. Rather than aiming to “find” the fixie, single speed and cycling t-shirt market, you could look as your objective to unite it.

    In other words, rather than attempting to strategically place your brand in those contexts that translate into revenue, why not create the context yourself? What I mean by this is to take the time to start the “cyclist rideups,” “cycling causes,” “Cycling age group timed-races,” etc. that speak to your brand advocates (those people that support 100% your business and spread your mission to others). If you really take the time and invest the effort in uniting the group around a common mission, cause, event, etc. that will build your own context that will inevitably lead to sales. This takes effort and being willing to subject yourself to failure though, because it is not always an easy and intuitive objective to unite your brand advocates.

    You may be tired from all the reads, but I would suggest one more Seth Godin book – Tribes. It really delves into this topic and has led to much success on my end helping a small architecture firm in Austin generate strategic partnerships, headhunt for employees, gain new customers, etc.

    If you want additional thought on how to accomplish this creatively, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help with additional insight on how this could be done.

    Best of luck in your efforts,

    David Guzman

    • Buddah Brown says:

      Hey Dave, I really appreciate your advice. I’m sitting here talking with one of my business partners and are mulling over what you are saying. I’ll get onto Tribes- thank you! With respect to finding our buyers, you are completely right. We have discussed and planned such events, however never executed because sadly we are in the most isolated city in the World and need to spring out into a bigger home, maybe Melbourne or Sydney. The UCI event in Perth was a real eye opener on the tiny size of our local market. It’s miniscule and we could only draw on a fraction of particpants that would attend a similar event in Austin or SF, for example. Anyway…. we are thinking big and will continue to do so!

      Peace, Brodie.

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