It may no longer be the volume market leader Universal claim to sell 600 000 bikes as against Raleighs 500 000 but the Nottingham company is still the brand leader. Unlike the other volume brands, Raleigh believes in mass market advertising to keep its brand leader status.
Raleigh may promote Raleigh in its mass market campaigns but, by default, it also promotes cycling in general, something which the non-advertising volume brands benefit from.
In 1999, Raleighs then marketing director Steve Lowe, now with Halfords spent almost the whole promotional budget on 48-sheet poster sites. Raleigh bikes were shown being ridden underwater or between the legs of stampeding elephants.
The agency which created this less than successful campaign has been dropped and Raleighs new marketing director, Steve Davey, is drawing up a shortlist of new agencies who will be invited to pitch for parts of Raleighs 2001 £500 000 marketing budget.
One of the agencies likely to be asked to pitch is Nottinghams Cross Hill Conwill which has worked for Raleigh for many years and used to be its sole advertising, design and marketing agency.
Davey is keen to consolidate Raleighs brand identity. He wants a new Raleigh font for all written communications and, according to Marketing Week, believes an update to the Heron logo may be needed.
Comedian Lenny Henry was the voice of the heron logo in a TV advertising campaign in the mid-1990s but the design has remained largely unchanged since the 1970s. The earliest Raleigh logos featured the heron but majored instead on a bearded Sir Walter Raleigh.