CASE STUDY: Giant Bicycles

In a world of pink-washing, we established a real women’s program.


The client:
With global sales of 6.3 million bicycles in more than 50 countries and $1.8 billion in revenue, Giant Bicycles is recognized as the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Despite the company being a Taiwanese-based manufacturer, Giant USA played a leading role in branding and product development during the time we helped them.

The challenge:
At the time, no one was doing a good job of thinking about female cyclists. Some “women’s-specific” cycling gear was simply adjusted frame geometry to accommodate women’s shorter bodies and smaller hands and feet. Other brands offered men’s models in “women’s colors.” There was certainly no good women’s specific branding. Skip Hess, the president, wanted to do better.

The strategy:
We did a competitive analysis, then invited Lisa Johnson, co-author of Don’t Think Pink, to join our team. We launched an advisory Women’s Council made up of women from all walks of life and all levels of involvement in cycling. From an instructor mechanic to an Olympic competitor to a stay-at-home mom, these women were the face of the program, and its heartbeat. We used our strategy to guide product development, educate retailers and inspire consumers. An extension of this women’s specific branding program was a retail partner’s program, where we developed best practices for all Giant retailers and did extreme makeovers of several, creating an environment where women loved to shop.