The challenges of managing a global brand
In 2008, Giant Bicycles, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, launched a new cycling brand named Liv/Giant, focused exclusively on the female market. Following the success of the brand’s launch in Taiwan and Japan, Giant decided to consolidate all female products under a single and global Liv/Giant brand.
As the team at Liv/Giant quickly discovered, however, markets around the world require different approaches to brand communication, and, as a result, the levels of success experienced in Taiwan and Japan were not readily realized in other regions.
Teams pulling in different directions
The biggest challenge facing Liv/Giant was finding a core focus for the brand that would translate into sales growth, consumer acceptance, and consistency across the brand’s many markets. With each region making independent decisions on presentation of the brand, Liv lacked a unified front, leading to inconsistent and all-too-often ineffective communications. The situation contributed to inefficiencies across the organization, and was ultimately having a negative impact on brand perception and sales. Realizing the weight of these challenges, Giant employed DDG in 2012 to conduct a global brand audit, followed by the development and implementation of a new global brand and communications strategy.
Uncovering a strategic direction
After traveling to the market and undertaking employee and customer interviews in more than 15 countries, DDG unearthed an idea it believed was at the heart of employees’ aspirations, would resonate with the market, and which could provide the focal point for a creative new visual identity and communications system. Going forward, Liv/Giant would be driven by the concept of ‘making cycling approachable and appealing for women’. More than just a mission statement, this concept became the Catalyst™ that inspired a whole new range of actions throughout the organization, bringing focus and direction to the brand’s marketing, management and business development efforts.
In order to instill within the marketplace a sense of confidence in the brand, and to lay a strong foundation on which the new strategy could be built, DDG supported the decision to remove ‘Giant’ from the brand’s name so it was referred to simply as ‘Liv’. This helped to establish Liv as a unique, confident and female-centered brand, providing it with the space to grow independently of the Giant brand.
New strategy leads to sales growth and internal confidence at Liv
In determining a new set of core ideas and beliefs that defined the brand, DDG was able to assist Liv in building a more compelling, unified and focused strategy that could be implemented effectively across global markets. This also contributed to a renewed sense of confidence among employees as to what the brand stood for and what it was trying to achieve.
Liv launched the new strategy, visual identity and communications at the Eurobike 2014 trade show, presenting its new image to a global audience. The debut exceeded Giant’s expectations, attracting high levels of media attention and contributing to strong interest in the brand from bicycle dealers. The Liv brand has since experienced strong sales growth in all markets, with sales jumping from 5% to 26% of Giant’s total US sales.