Leave it to the FNG. Shortly after I arrived here at BRAIN global headquarters I heard they were getting ready to launch a blog and volunteered to write the occasional entry. Of course, now I’m lamenting my decision but I am a man of my word. Besides, it’ll be fun to share the inner workings of the media conglomerate known as BRAIN and let the bike industry know what goes on around here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Last week RT, Jason and myself paid the folks over at Crankbrothers a visit. Christina and her team were kind enough to spare a couple of hours to meet with us, tell us a bit about what’s happening with their business and enjoy a quick bite in lovely downtown Laguna Beach. Their space looks fantastic. If you’ve never been there it’s definitely a reflection of their brand. Clean, modern and totally dialed in. It looks nothing like it did when I was there with Interbike. Anyway, with the drumbeat of bad economic news we’re really trying to get out in the field and find out what’s happening in the bike industry. Christina seemed to be cautiously optimistic. Like a lot of people I’ve talked to lately they’re really focusing on their core business. Their wheelsets are the highlight this year and they’re planning a grassroots approach to get more “influencers” on their wheels. We kicked around a few ideas and discussed ways that BRAIN might be able to help. They promised to come by the office sometime in March so look for more details in an upcoming issue.
With the economy in turmoil it may not seem like the best time to leave Interbike and start a new job but it was for me. I’m really glad to be here at BRAIN despite the challenging times. We have a great, quirky, hard-working group here. Marc Sani is truly dedicated to the long term success of the magazine and, to his credit, he’s got us all thinking about the big picture. The list of products our little group produces is impressive: 18 issues of BRAIN, Bicycleretailer.com, Outdoor Retailer Show Dailies, Interbike Show Dailies, BRAIN Sales Training Guide and Industry Directory, Sea Otter Classic Event and Gear Guide, and now we’re planning two more installments of the Dealer Tour and discussing a sales training guide for the outdoor industry. While all this could seem daunting, instead I find myself excited. While I was riding with friends this weekend I realized that there is actually much to be optimistic about in the bike industry. True, many of our products might be considered discretionary purchases. But if our core customers feel like I did out there, enjoying their ride on a warm sunny day, I think we’re going to pull through this year intact. Come on Spring !