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Monday
Apr102017

Branding

We'd never hit on exactly how best to brand our builds. As in physically marking them, as opposed to merchandizing them in the store which is a whole different bag of eels. Branding can't detract from the look of the wheels, my personal forays into it notwithstanding (and they get a pass because my personal wheels SHOULD be a little branding-heavy) we're not into the big bombastic look, and except for the FSW3 builds and Kinlin custom builds, all of the rims we sell come branded with the rim brand. So it's a bit tricky.

We'd certainly like for our wheels to be identifiable, as we're quite proud of the work we send out, and it's simply good business to get our brand out there. I did this big ride yesterday (Ronde Rosey - and holy cow what a fun ride it was) where we'd built probably more wheels than any other single source, but our minimal-to-non-existent branding history meant that I could pick them all out in a second, but I was likely the only one who'd even have had a clue. 

Meantime, our graphics capacity took a notable step forward. Coincident with that, the Al33 rims came in with branding that we weren't sure they were going to have, so we had to scramble to figure out what to do there. And we came up with doing is putting the N logo in a place where it makes sense on the rims, looks great, doesn't clash with the rim's branding, allows for a small bit of user-customization, allows us to sign our work and puts our logo out there. It's subtle, and obviously our N logo doesn't have the Q score of... well, it probably doesn't even have a measurable Q score. But it's there. And from the feedback we're getting, people really really dig it. 

So on most wheels, we now apply the N opposite the valve stem (6 o'clock on the rim) as the rim's other graphics allow. This applies to RFSW3/Al33, Easton, and FSW3/Kinlin builds. On Stan's builds, they go at 3 o'clock since there are Stan's labels at 12 and 6 o'clock. On Pacenti and HED builds, we'll include a pair of Ns for you to put on as you see fit or not. Default color will mirror hub color choice, but feel free to request something else. 

That seems like a lot to have talked about branding, but it's actually an important thing when you're trying to build, you know, a brand. 

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Reader Comments (8)

I thought your original logo in a doughnut around the valve stem was pretty cool. (or at least I seem to remember that on at least one set of your wheels).

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike

That's a long time ago!

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdave

For purposes of symmetry, I'd recommend branding at 3:00 and 9:00 if the manufacturer has 12:00 and 6:00 covered. But I'm OCD like that.

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersyjenkins

If I may make a constructive suggestion, I like your logo but unless somebody already knows your name fairly well, nobody will know the name or how to search for you guys when they see your wheels. There must be some way those stickers can have a searchable name on it for people to follow up with?

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

syjenkins - Tried it, thanks. It looks terrible.

Chris K - That's the thing about Q Score that I mentioned. The thing we're counting on is an admiring onlooker asking "hey those are awesome looking wheels, what logo is that?" or some such. Contorted looking name decals (and Jones is the only one I've ever seen do it well) aren't going on our wheels.

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdave

I like the understated design. Very classy!!

April 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I'm with Mike, I think. I really like the red, white, and, blue logo with the N. Had a classic WWII bomber look to it. Just enough to catch the eye but not over the top. But I notice things like that and will ask the question where other consumers probably won't even notice. You guys are in a tough position to effectively brand on OEM wheels.

April 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Weaver

Those look nice. Happen to have a graphic file (png or jpg) would work. I'd like to stick it on my rails, and could use the wife's vinyl cutter to make some stealth logos :)

April 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik S

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