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Brand marketing firm Bicycle Theory finds its path

There's a certain kind of power to a really good metaphor, and for a top example, just consider Bicycle Theory.
The St. Paul-based brand marketing firm, started in 2001 by entrepreneurs Ben McCoy and Jeremy Burgeson, got its distinctive name in part from McCoy's love for cycling, but also from the company's mission.
"It's a great metaphor because when we chose it, we were working with small brands and we could see how bicycles were representative of brand marketing," says McCoy, noting that a strong brand is similar to a well-designed, well-maintained bicycle that can carry its rider farther and faster than a poorly constructed bike. Even the wheels can be metaphorical, he adds--they stand for the two primary media that carry campaigns, print and web.
The idea for a brand management company was first sparked when the founders were just out of college and working for a creative agency. McCoy jokes that they were both the kind of kids who knew how to program VCRs in the 1980s, so they gravitated toward technology, and in 2001, the Internet was still like the Wild West.
"We started in a basement, and then moved into larger spaces over the years," he says. The firm has five full-time employees, and McCoy notes that they're ready to grow, but want to be methodical about expansion.
"There's so much innovation going on, and every day brings a new round of problem solving," he says. "We're excited about the possibilities, but at the same time, our goal isn't to be on the bleeding edge, it's to be on the cutting edge. We always want to make sure our solutions will work."
Source: Ben McCoy, Bicycle Theory
Writer: Elizabeth Millard
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