CTC “Rebranding” – a letter from the CTC Chair
Following is David Cox’s response to a query I made about the cost of the exercise:
The rebrand has a long history, going back to at least 2011 when Sarah Matthews (then a co-opted Councillor with a marketing background) and myself helped Kevin Mayne commission some research on our current brand. The result was very worrying – very few non-members had heard of us at all and CTC didn’t convey what we did. I am very aware of just how invisible CTC is – you only have to go on a mass participation cycle ride, like the Prudential Ride London, wearing CTC kit – a lonely experience! Although, to be fair, my CTC Shropshire gilet did get noticed by one member, and one new cyclist, on a recent shopping trip and, in a garden centre, one old lady (i.e. even older than me) was intrigued by 1878 on my jersey!
We had hoped that CTC would achieve the same impact as AA, RAC or IBM, with just the initials conveying a long established and respected organisation. Apart from some older club cyclists in, and outside, the CTC, this is not the case. When you are fighting to get your view across in a TV or Radio interview, spelling out CTC just loses time and interest.
Council later set up a working group and worked with a consultancy who confirmed our invisibility, but came up with a name that Council rejected – the National Cycling Association. The current investment with our new consultants is around £35,000 and I believe they have done a thorough and good job capturing the essence of what CTC does and trying to overcome the difficulties that Council has been worried about for some time. If we miss the roll out this Spring when people think again about getting out cycling etc then we waste another year. The cost of the rebrand is capitalised in the sense that the return is expected over several years of increased awareness, membership and influence so it is not just part of this year’s revenue. There will be additional costs of a new suite of leaflets, the website review etc – for the first time CTC will have a proper brand common to all national publications. However, these revenue costs are faced every year and we have been holding back on such expenditure.
My bikes will, however, continue to feature Winged Wheel transfers because, for a small group of aficionados, they are heritage, legacy and intriguing and I’ll be doing the Eroica Britannia in my classic wool jersey.