Friday, May 24, 2013

Bike Shop and Triathlon Retailer Combo Creates Branding Conundrum

In a Keyword Driven Era, How Do You Brand a Business Serving Two Different Audiences?

T3 Multisport in Indianapolis came to me a few months ago with a real dilemma.  His primary client base is triathletes.  He carries products and provides services designed to help triathletes excel in cycling, running, and swimming.  He has established himself with that crowd and the shop does well for being relatively new. 

Owner Vern LaMere isn't satisfied with being limited to triathletes:  "We know the triathletes in our area, our staff is bent that way, but we also want the road bike crowd.  To a great extent, these two groups are oil and water.  They don't necessarily buy the same brands, and they are a bit jealous of their distinctiveness."

The name and the website are totally missing the keywords needed to rank on Google search or Google Places (aka Google Maps and Google+ Local).  For that they need bike shop Indianapolis and bicycle Indianapolis.  They need it in the title tag, description, in the body copy of the home page, and best would be in the name.

Unfortunately, if T3 bumps up the status of bike shop, it might hurt the triathlon business.  In other words, if the name were T3 Bike Shop and Triathlon Center, it might send the wrong signal.  Even the use of bike shop seems a bit two pedestrian for a high end cycling center.  Unfortunately the public doesn't Google Cycling shop or Cycle or Cycling anything.   Google also doesn't seem to see Cycle as being a good synonym for bike or bicycle.  

LaMere is reluctant to give up the T3 brand, so he understands that the brand already screams Triathlete.  The issue is how to get the road bike crowd to feel that it is their store, too. 

We turn the question over to our faithful readers.  What would you do and why?

Here is the shop info if you'd like to visit their website or blog to help with the question. 

Bike Shop in Indianapolis IN
Triathlon Shop in Indianapolis IN
Bicycle Fittingstriathlon training
Blog: Bicycle and triathlon gear reviews and training concepts
Linkedin:  Meet the owner, Vern LaMere M.S.
T3 Multisport
1343 W 8th Street
Indianapolis, IN  46260
phone:  (317) 257-1117

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