Well what a year !!
This time 12 months a go I knew I had a great product and a great idea with Onix but little else.
I had noticed that there was lots of new micro brands popping up all over the place all offering pretty much the same thing.. Even some of the more established brands in the UK were singing from the same hymn sheet saying
Here is our new frameset with a pretty paint job and some pointless acronym's like speedslots or Gti systems that dont really mean anything
So I thought the cyclists out there need a brand with more transparency where we get the products tested by riders who are top professionals,use that feedback to get the best product Onix possibly can and let the performance of the bike do all the talking. Also once you have bought your bike I want to keep you involved with the brand by organising Twitter rides round the country along with other exciting plans.On top of that we will totally involve people in what the brand is doing and let them know what lengths we are going to to make Onix a brand YOU CAN REALLY BELIEVE IN !!!
|The New O Logo which was born in 2011.|
So lets start this time last year, I had been keeping Onix going for 16 months on little or no budget.. Personally things financially were really bad, just paying the mortgage and putting food in the fridge was a monthly worry.
With no budget for marketing I arranged a meeting at Cycling Weekly where I thought the news of a new British brand would be of interest and I would get some coverage. To put it bluntly that meeting did not go well and I was left in no doubt that they thought I was wasting my time.It was a real low moment and the 1st time in all the hard times I contemplated that Onix might not make it to market. Like I said I knew that I had a great product and idea but if no one will give me any coverage and I have no marketing budget then how are customers going to find out about Onix.
It was on my way home from that Cycling Weekly meeting that the Spokesmen agency got in touch and after a couple of conversations, a meeting and seeing/riding the products they believed in Onix straight away.With the knowledge that the bikes were fantastic they started to organise our PR with the magazines and media, this was a massive turning point for the brand. A big thank you to David Harmon and his team at Spokesmen, without there help with PR, Onix wouldnt be where it is now..Period !!
Also in that meeting was Ken Jones from Bioracer who has been a fantastic supporter of Onix this year. Ken has been so impressed with our bikes he has chosen to ride them himself and now has his team riding them in 2012. Anyone who knows Ken will know he is brutally honest so if the bikes were not up to scratch he would not even consider riding one. Bioracer will be a partner of Onix for ever as far as im concerned for 2 reasons. Firstly and the most important is that the Bioracer clothing is in my opinion the best out there and I want Onix associated with the best.Secondly I owe a lot to Ken for his help so a big thank you to him..
Also in that meeting was Daniel Patten who ended up racing our bikes in Belgium for 2011. We were very lucky to get a rider of Dans quality representing Onix as a pro. We exploited a loophole in his team contract that allowed him to race our bikes. Dan picked up numerous placings all year and picked up 2 wins. To win in Belgium is really special and extremely hard to do. When the news of his 1st win came through I think I was more excited than him. One of the highlights of the year for me was was watching him compete on his Onix bike in the national championships in the North East against the might of Team Sky and Mr Cavendish.What a proud moment this was for me to see what was just a figment of my imagination 18 months before now performing against the biggest names and brands in the world.
Well in a weeks time our association with Dan comes to an end as he moves onto another team in Belgium. He goes with our best wishes for the future and as we see Onix hopefully going on to really big things as a brand Dan will always be Onix's 1st pro rider and 1st pro winner for the brand.. You can read Dans thoughts on his year riding for Onix here..
|Dan Powering to a win in 2011|
|And win no 2|
|Dan in good spirits before the National Road Race|
If I dont wrap this blog up quickly then I will be here all night with everything that has gone on this year, so the rest of the year was all about getting the Onix name out there as much as possible.
We also had
Numerous reviews in the magazines and on websites.
We were involved in Matt Bakers Children In Need Rickshaw Ride.
Video marketing on our You Tube Channel
We had many mentions on the TV.
We were approached by many many teams wanting to ride our bikes.
We had 2 twitter rides that were very popular even though the weather was not great for either.
Our Twitter following went from under 100 to over 1400.
Our Signature video and more to come in 2012
Looking forward to 2012 is so exciting.
We have already released the press release about our involvement with the Mountivation Development Cycling Academy Team. It was a natural progression that we would get involved with a team for 2012 rather than just 1 rider again. We did come close to going with some other teams but for one reason or another it didnt happen. The Mountivation opportunity stood out for us straight away because of its ethos of supporting the sport at grass roots level. Also the people involved have done it all before at the top of the sport with the old but very successful Recycling.co.uk team..
Some of the most talented young riders in the country will be riding Onix bikes and the team is only going to get bigger and bigger and we see this as a long term relationship with the team.
I honestly believe that in time this will turn out to be one of the most important things to happen in British Cycling in the next 5 years, you can read my full post about it here.
|2012 Team Bike At The 1st Team Meeting Day In December 2011|
We have lots of big news still to come about people attached to the brand and our new bikes for next year.
Testing is finished and the frames are being manufactured as we speak. A LOT of testing went into the selection of our bikes for 2012. In January we will be able to reveal the testing program in full and the person we mainly used for the testing. Current contracts prevent us from naming our testers until January when old contracts finish and new ones begin where conditions can be changed within there contract. It is frustrating at times but when we do reveal it all ,you will really understand all the hard work that has gone into 2012 and the real quality of our testing program,testers and product.
Plans are still afoot to do some nationwide Onix Twitter Rides in 2012. A lot more thought has to be put into these as we see them becoming very popular.
You cant just rock up and put potentially hundreds of cyclists on the road without proper organisation. The idea is still the same where Onix organise a ride,find out what Onix is doing,see the bikes,speak to me the owner,we bring along some well known riders to ride with,a support vehicle with a mechanic on board, energy products and samples of other cycling products and it wont cost you a thing... Now how refreshing is that in this age of expensive sportives !!
Other noteable big thank yous for 2011 go to James Maloney for all his support and help with the videos and photography. James has been with me right from the very start back in 2009 when I had nothing but he believed in me right from the start. Im very lucky to have James as he is a fantastic photographer and will always be first on the list for Onix when we need any media images or video. Thanks James your a great person and a great friend.
James put this video together about my story.
Mike Jackson our mechanic..Little did I know when I put out an SOS out on facebook looking for a mechanic that I would end up getting someone of Mikes quality.
Mike has spannered for Kinesis, Raleigh and Rapha Pro teams in the past. He has been a tireless supporter of me and Onix and it was my pleasure to get him the job as Team Mechanic for the Mountivation Team next year. I hope to involve Mike a lot more in our plans for 2012 as we move onto bigger things. Thanks Mike
Phil Jones from Brother UK. Phil heard about my entrepreneurial story and offered his business advice as well as buying his Onix Azzuro bike.Phil loves supporting UK businesses and entrepreneurs and without Phils help I wouldn't have got the business side of Onix to such a professional level which in turn helped get so many people interested in Onix purely as a business opportunity and investment. Big big thanks to Phil Also..
And lastly a massive thank you to YOU for supporting ,following or just keeping an interest in what we are doing at Onix. I am just like most of you, an average cyclist who just loves the sport of cycling, riding his bike and 100% passionate about it all.
Im trying to run the brand and do it in a way that I wanted to see brands do things when I was a punter.
I am confident that 2012 is going to be a massive year for the brand and I hope you will buy into what were trying to do and become a part of it all.
Happy New Year !!