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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

Hello.  I’m the brand manager for Surly.  You might be asking yourself, “what in the hell is a brand manager?”  Or, maybe not.  Either way, that’s my title, and being that the title is easier to say out loud than it is to explain in written form, I offer you this flow chart.

An organizational flow chart graphic for brand management

There, see?  Much clearer now, eh?  Pretty much everything I do in life can be represented in a flow chart, and I’m pretty sure that this is true for you (the reader) as well.  So, now that we’ve established a common means for communication (i.e. the flow chart) I’d like you to take another look at the flow chart.  Look at the box in the center of the chart that reads, “Brand Positioning by various marketing measures”  Now, look to the left of that box and you’ll see another box inside another box that says “Emotional Component – Brand Personality”   That’s what I’m writing to you about today:  brand personality.  Well, not so much brand personality as the things that help enhance brand personality.  And, not so much the things (plural) that make up brand personality, but thing (singular).  And what I mean by "thing" is the Surly blog. 

Let’s not lie to ourselves.  The Surly blog has "sucked" for a while now:  Not so much the content itself (though we should never rule that out), but the frequency at which we’ve written them.  This “sucks” because we really like to blog; we like how you laugh at our jokes, compliment us on our sweet suntans, and send us grain alcohol to show your appreciation for the entertainment we provide.  Given that said shipments of grain alcohol have dramtically decreased in the past year one can assume the we have not been entertaining you (the reader) nearly enough to serve our selfish needs.  I guess this is what the flow chart is referring to when it says “brand personality.”  We also know that our blog has served the purpose of providing you (the reader) with some insight into who we are and what motivates us, and frankly we are shocked that you put up with all our quirkiness when we just need a day at the mall, and that you ask us to write more often. 

During a recent Surly meeting we discussed ideas on how we might do better at serving you (the reader) with more frequent submissions of the useless information that you’ve come to expect from us (the people of Surly).  Yes, we really do have meetings (sure they’re always held under a bridge, huddled around a barrel fire while passing around a bottle, but we can’t all have the same definition for the word "meeting" now can we?).  At this recent meeting we landed on a plan wherein we would all (each of us that works for Surly that is) blog about things like our adventures, our rides, our trips to the super market, the crazy amounts of shit we carried on our Big Dummies, the cool sound it makes when we skid our tires on fresh asphalt, or that one time when... "we was all wasted." 

Sounds pretty exciting, huh?  Yeah, we think so too.  After all we have no shortage of things to say about bikes, poop, farts, barfing, or sharing our favorite photos of people with guns.  We’ll also be sure to include lots of youtube videos of our favorite black metal bands and everyone’s favorite:  LOL cats!

Left side view of a cat, in the air with it's legs straight out, with the words, INVISIBLE BIKE, in bold letters below

Hey, did you notice that the cat in the picture is riding an invisible bike?  How'd they do that?  I mean, for one, there's no such thing as an invisible bike, right?  If this is true, what form of Steven Spielberg movie magic was applied to this photo to make it look so convincing?  This is the heady stuff a brand manager thinks about as he (or she) sits at their desk waiting for the future to arrive. Which brings me back to the question, what’s a brand manager?  That’s too difficult to answer, so please don’t ask again.  My point in bringing it up in the first place was to illustrate what my role in this whole thing is:  setting the tone.  So, if it’s my job to set the tone, I’m here to declare that we (the people of Surly) will concentrate in earnest in providing you (the reader) with what you so dearly deserve:  more distractions from daily life.

I'm not making any promises that you (the reader) are going to get lots of quality wriiting and interesting things to muse about with your friends, but I can promise that you will experience more quantity of the collective stupidity that we so enthusiastically dole out.  If in the end (of the world that is) we have failed to provide you (the reader) with copious amounts of mediocre content about us (the people of Surly) and the world we occupy, we’ll probably have to call another meeting to discuss a plan B.  That plan just might be the subject of my next blog, coming up in three weeks or so.  Whatever you do please don't unlike us on the Surly facebook page for this, OK?  We really really really want you to like us.