This talk was part ofPSFK Conference London 2012

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If you were to ask Marketing Director James Fairbank of Rapha what the best sport is, he would unequivocally respond with “road-cycling.” The biking lifestyle brand’s Marketing Director introduced his company to this year’s PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON attendees, explaining how they work to promote a lifestyle and passion, rather than marketing products. Led by the motto ‘Glory Through Suffering’ the company employs over 60 individuals around the world and has bases in New York, San Francisco, London, and Tokyo.

Rapha was born from a desire eight years ago to combine everyday wear with a passion for cycling. The founder, Simon Mottram, wanted to not only create a luxury lifestyle brand, but also to infuse business with deep customer insight and convince the entire world’s populous that cycling is the best sport, a goal he hasn’t abandoned. Through marketing quality products and events, designing films and advertisements, sponsoring young athletes and offering an “emporium” of goods, Rapha hopes to continue generating passion for the sport and creating a more personalized shopping experience for their customers.

Some highlights from the talk:

  • Value deep customer insight and build your business practices around their needs.
  • Don’t market products; market a lifestyle, a concept.
  • Strive to make your work appreciated by others outside of your clientele (ie advertisers, designers).
  • Work to get others involved and motivated.
  • Always add personal touches to make your company personable and approachable.