Gekko wanted a visual concept that matched the quality of their bikes, an honest but proud representation of the high level of detail and craftsmanship they put into their product. They actually asked if we could "make the bikes look like a million dollars."
We quickly made the strategic choice not to compete on price, since this would mean picking cheaper parts that were not as reliable. The Gekko target audience buys bikes for training and working out, not just for getting from A to B. They are dedicated, interested and demanding.
There had been no previous differentiation between the bikes in the line-up, so our first step was to create a brand matrix similar to that of a car company. We divided their bikes into models – Flow (flexible frames), Firm (rigid frames) and Feather (super-light carbon frames). We also divided the models into four self-explanatory classes based on their usage: Base, Street, Mountain and Race.
We made the decision of keeping the front-to-end Shimano groupings to not compromise quality, as most brands tend to mix and match parts for a more competitive price. We also confirmed with Shimano that their systems are intended to be used together, and perform better this way with little wear. We developed a sub-brand, Anatomy, for secondary parts like wheels, seats, handlebars and stems. These allowed for user customization while preserving the bike’s color scheme and style which were part of the brand.
We developed the overall identity and the visual design of each bike to clearly show the Gekko brand. After seven years, the concept is still very vital, and every year we design the new bikes using the same timeless expression and brand framework.
The Gekko brand was to sold to Sport1 in 2006, where they achieved broader distribution and greater customer awareness. The brand-building has mainly taken place through the design, in-store presentations and word of mouth. Over time, they’ve created a loyal following of their own, as people now come in to get their third and fourth Gekko bike. We are currently working with the Gekko team on next season’s models.