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Entries in CBI Value Proposition (15)


CBI: Stages Cycling Targets Professional and Indoor Cycling Markets

Stages Cycling is setting the pace for both the professional and indoor cycling industries. 

The Portland, OR, company has been picking up speed since Jim Liggett, CEO, co-founded Stages in 2011. Since then, they have launched two products: Stages Power cycling meters and a line of indoor cycling bikes. 

Stages Power meters have been credited with helping secure victories in some of the biggest races in the world, including this year’s Tour de France. The company is now trying to build on that success with a line of indoor cycling bikes, the SC Series, which made its debut in March at IHRSA’s 34th Annual International Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles. 

The line currently consists of two models, which are manufactured by Giant Bicycles, a subsidiary of Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd., of Taiwan, and one of the largest bike producers in the world. 

“We believe our success with outdoor cyclists has yielded a unique value proposition, making it possible for indoor cyclists to ride and improve, using the tested methods we’ve developed,” Liggett said in the December issue of CBI. “We’ve demonstrated our ability to produce results for the most competitive cyclists in the world. No other competitor can make the same claim.”

Continue reading "Value Proposition: Stages Cycling" in the December issue of CBI.


Value Proposition Ecore Athletic

For just the third time in its storied, 144-year history, one of the industry’s leading flooring firms is reimagining itself

For any firm, being relevant matters, and, in this digital age, branding has become a corporate imperative. When you’ve been conducting business continuously, and successfully, for more than 140 years, it stands to reason that you have a good handle on your market, and a clear understanding of the evolutionary shifts required to stay ahead of the competition.

…Which explains why, this year, Ecore International (EI) announced that it was launching a new business unit, Ecore Athletic (which formerly consisted solely of Everlast Fitness Flooring), during IHRSA’s 34th Annual International Convention and Trade Show in Los Angeles.

It was news—big news—for a number of reasons.

First, EI has been circumspect about making significant identity changes during its lengthy history. Since its founding, by G.W. Dodge, in 1871 as the Dodge Cork Company, it’s undergone only two major branding transformations. In 1989, it changed its name to Dodge-Regupol, reflecting a joint venture that accelerated its move into recycled rubber products. Eighteen years later, after it had terminated that partnership, it renamed itself Ecore International.


“We’d become a ‘house of brands,’” says Bo Barber, the vice president of sales, marketing, and business development for Ecore Athletic. “Customers knew our multiple subbrands and products, but our primary brand, Ecore, received little or no attention. As a result, Ecore decided to become a ‘branded house.’”

The difference between a “house of brands” and a “branded house” may seem subtle, but given Ecore Athletic’s scope of brands—it makes sense.

A clarified identity

During the past decade, the company has been steadily expanding its portfolio of products. In terms of athletic and fitness surfacing products alone, Ecore Athletic now encompasses seven product families: Everlast Fitness Flooring; Stacked athletic surfacing; Shockpad performance underlayments for tracks, courts, and turf fields; ColorMill EPDM granules for track surfacing and synthetic turf infill; Boen Sport engineered-wood surfacing for group exercise, yoga, and dance; SportWeave modular carpet for fitness environments; Polyflor vinyl tiles for common areas and safety surfacing for wet areas; and Training Ground with Nike Grind surfaces and underlayments that make use of “retired” Nike shoes.

Staged and considered separately, all of those products could make for a real corporate identity crisis … and considerable customer confusion.

Ecore Athletic is neater, cleaner, and brilliantly descriptive.

While the need to centralize and clarify the brand was clear, correcting the course of a ship with a staff of 400, producing a wide range of products, wasn’t easy. From start to finish, the rebranding process took about three years, notes Barber. It entailed working with two outside agencies to ascertain where EI was as a company, and to help identify its ideal position within the industry. Internally, the marketing department worked with employees to explain the changes, why they were being made, and when they’d occur.

Reviewing all of EI’s products, determining which business units should be retained, and deciding which products would align with each, took a little less than a year. While the Ecore Athletic rebrand was officially “completed” just two months ago, Barber is convinced the effort is going to better define—and, perhaps, redefine—the company.

“The goal of the rebrand is to change the way people in the industry perceive us,” he says. “EI is no longer just a cork surfacing and recycled rubber flooring manufacturer. We offer so much more—products for  everything from playgrounds, weight rooms, and turf fields, to ones for hospitals, hotels, and retail environments. This new structure will support that message going forward.”

A consistent value proposition

While Ecore Athletic represents EI’s attempt to reposition its brand, the company’s value proposition has remained virtually unchanged since its founding in 1871, during the first presidential term of Ulysses S. Grant. Its defining mission and ambition are to transform reclaimed waste into unique performance surfaces.

“We’ve always believed that true sustainability is achieved when waste is your raw material,” suggests Barber. “By acquiring new equipment that can process reclaimed post-consumer waste in all forms, we’ve taken vertical integration to the next level.”

Barber’s reference to Nike is revealing and portends the future. Nike Grind material represents the “next step” of change and sustainability for EI. In the past, the manufacturer used preconsumer Nike Grind (factory scrap) in its Everlast Fitness Flooring; in 2014, it turned some 111 tons into surfacing. Later this year, though, it will begin using post-consumer material, or retired shoes, to produce a brand-new family of products called Training Ground with Nike Grind.

“At Ecore,” concludes Barber, “we believe you can make people’s lives and the earth better at the same time. We do it every day.”


Value Proposition:

President Joe HollmanJoe Hollman’s pursuit of a “perfect” lock for club locker rooms was long and difficult … and, ultimately, successful

Perfection takes patience. Just ask Joe Hollman, the founder of the Irving, Texas–based

In 2000, frustrated with the fitness industry’s lock offerings, he embarked on a quest to create the “perfect lock.”

Hollman’s criteria seemed to follow a fairly logical path. He explains that he wanted “a durable, attractive lock that required no keys, no cards, and no batteries.” And, moreover, “a lock that had nothing members were obliged to carry around, and one that allowed them to choose their own combination—a combination that didn’t change every time they used or left the locker.”

Certainly, he wasn’t chasing an elusive unicorn of locks, but it would take another dozen years for Hollman to realize his goal. In November of 2012, he unveiled what he calls the “Keyless1.”

True to his objectives, the Keyless1 features simple, keyless operation; 10,000 possible self-setting combinations; no batteries, wires, or plastic components; a breakaway knob for maximum security … and more.

Since the Keyless1 was introduced, Hollman’s persistence and belief in the perfect lock have clearly paid off. “By the end of 2014, we had revenues of about $1.8 million, and we’ll be at approximately $4 million this year,” he reports.

Read the full story.

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Value Proposition: Les Mills International, Limited

Like many businesses in the health and fitness industry, this one was born in a club environment.

In 1968, Les Mills, a four- time, track-and-field Olympian, and his wife, Colleen, opened the first of the Les Mills World of Fitness gyms in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1980, his son, Phillip Mills, took over the reins as CEO. Today, you’ll find 11 Les Mills facilities scattered throughout New Zealand, and a 12th is slated to open at the end of this year.

In addition to growing the club side of the business, Phillip Mills spearheaded another innovative—and potentially huge—growth opportunity for the brand: licensed programming. The seeds for the idea had been sowed in the late 1960s, when he attended UCLA on a track scholarship. While in California, Mills couldn’t help but notice the rapidly growing popularity of aerobics. Coincidentally, he’d also been managing a rock-and-roll band with the hope of breaking into the music business in the U.S.

The aerobics trend and his back-ground in entertainment provided him
with the model for a program, and a way
to combine fitness and dance with his
love of music. It took some time for the concept to gel, but, working with his wife,
Jackie, a physician and former gymnast,
he developed BODYPUMP, a program
that combined aerobics, weights, and
music. The 60-minute class, introduced
at the Auckland club in 1990, featured
eight separate muscle-group-specific
songs, or “tracks,” along with opening warm-up and closing cool-down tracks.

Read more

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OJMAR Continues to Update and Improve

First established in Elgoibar, Gipuzkoa, in Spain’s Basque Country, in 1918, OJMAR began as a weapons manufacturer. In 1945, the company went public, and, after two wars and more than 25 years in weapons production, it shifted its focus to manufacturing locks and bolts. Ten years later, OJMAR narrowed its focus yet again, specializing in the manufacture of locks for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

In the 1970s, the oil crisis took its toll on auto manufacturing and related companies in both the U.S. and Europe. OJMAR responded by developing a line of locks and locking systems for furniture. That move turned out to be a game-changer, with the company expanding its sales to more than 40 countries.

In 1998, OJMAR moved to a new plant in Elgoibar, and charted yet another new direction by launching an innovative range of mechanical and electronic locks geared specifically to the health club industry.

Read on to see more on where OJMAR came from and where it hopes to be in the future.

Click to read more ...

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