Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes wants to make it clear that it's offering serious bikes, with serious technology, for some serious fun, according to Rob Sax, president of Planet Propaganda.
"For decades, Gary Fisher has evolved, while remaining true to the spirit behind the original concept: It's always been about the experience and freedom of where the right equipment can take you. This year's catalog and redesigned website really grab hold of that idea and shows some amazingly beautiful places that bikes take people."
Distributed in July, the annual Gary Fisher catalog reaches nearly 1,000 independent bike retailers in the U.S. and hundreds more in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan and other countries. In addition, fisherbikes.com generates roughly 70,000 unique visitors each year.
Some may find it surprising that neither the catalog nor the website include ordering information for the end-user, the rider. Sax explains, "It's not a small purchase. It's something the consumer gives a lot of consideration to. Typically, they start by researching the bikes on the web, and we want to get them the info they need and get them into the stores to talk with a dealer. Fisher dealers are the experts. The site and the catalog just help ensure the skids are adequately greased."
Toward this goal, Planet streamlined the tools that help guide riders through the product offering. "We've used a super simple, clean approach to unify the line and help people more easily find the right bikes. We completely revamped the site's Matchmaker feature to be a robust, powerful tool that gets riders to their ideal bike in just a few clicks."
Embracing minimalism without sacrificing image quality and content depth, Sax says that Planet's redesign of fisherbikes.com employs "a blog styled vernacular that is familiar and comfortable to many people -- especially the fanatics. For them, the site can serve as the living, breathing hub from which everything else about the brand emanates. Along with Gary Fisher's staff, we're constantly pumping in fresh, relevant new content and product information."
Critically important, but totally invisible to the visitor, Planet developed a back-end content management system that allows multiple, approved sources to contribute up-to-the-moment news, without having to learn complicated programming.
"There's a lot of hardcore technology baked into the site and more updates are planned for the near future," previews Sax. "We realize that finding the right bike can be daunting, so we either want to hold someone's hand a little, or give them the tools to let them dig and find the right bike on their own. Ultimately, it's all intended to connect riders with dealers, who can help them make a final decision."
Brand Manager: Rob Sax, Planet Propaganda
Project Manager: Eena Ballard, Planet Propaganda
Creative Director: Dana Lytle, Planet Propaganda
Senior Designer and Art Director: David Taylor, Planet Propaganda
Writer: Andy Brawner, Planet Propaganda
Interactive Director: Ben Hirby, Planet Propaganda
Lead Developer: Marcus Trapp, Planet Propaganda
Developer: Trent Simon
Technical Consultant: Andy Goldstein
Photographers: Jeff Salzer, Mike Martin, Scott Markewitz, Sterling Lorence, John Laptad and Colin Meagher