Triumph Case Study

Triumph Motorcycles


Triumph Motorcycles challenged us to come up with an always-on digital solution that was to reach out to all riders – no matter which brand of motorcycle they rode – and pull them closer to the brand.

The solution had to influence the attitudes and behaviour of all riders to bring Triumph top of mind when considering a purchase, as well as building advocacy among Triumph owners.


We had to position Triumph as a brand that is passionate ‘about the ride’ (the brand’s strapline) and create a content-rich environment that would become part of the rider’s regular digital reading routine, driving UGC, as well as featuring riders and influencers from all over the world.

There would be no bespoke social channels to promote the blog, neither was there a budget for paid social promotion.

The content had to be global to be of interest to all of Triumph’s international markets but also there needed to be local stories that the markets could promote.

The customer demographics were extraordinarily wide too – not all motorcycle riders are cut from the same cloth. The age of the desired readership starts at late 20s and goes all the way up to 60s. In addition, an off-road scrambler appeals to a very different type of rider than a T100 Bonneville. And this has to be successful on a global scale.


We commissioned in-depth audience insights with emphasis on media consumption, social media platforms and general lifestyle interests, as well as working closely with the client to understand its customer personas and range of motorcycles.

We built a bespoke content strategy framework to work on a global scale, building on our relationships with the international teams. We research and bring in influencers and journalists from around the world too, ensuring that the content mix has both global and local appeal.

The result was an always-on ‘blog’ or digital magazine that combines rider experiences with the bikes they love. From exclusive interviews with Triumph ambassadors to the round-the-world trip exploits from our readers, is all about sharing the thrill of motorcycling, transporting the reader from their device to the road.

We developed a multi-channel distribution strategy. At its heart is a website, purpose-built by our in-house team. The site and its stories are then promoted in a number of ways including email marketing, links from the Triumph corporate site, the global Triumph markets posting content links on their own social channels and through our relationships with influencers who promote and share links back to the site.

In the first year alone, the content team has brought some brilliant influencers on board and who support what we are doing. These include Charley Boorman, Ryan Reynolds and The Stranglers. In addition, we have supported and been promoted by two key charities: the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and Movember.

Creating robust and complex content matrices means that we can closely monitor the content mix to ensure constant and consistent appeal across the customer personas and motorcycle models, as well as ensuring we find the right balance of content treatments such as video, long and short-form copy, live-streaming of events, photo galleries, etc.


TOPLINE STATISTICS FOR September 2015-August 2016

Average dwell time per page

Our average dwell times trounce the industry standard at 2mins and 15secs (industry standard is 1min 15secs) and our best-performing dwell time for a single page is more than 5mins.

Social shares

The majority of our social shares have beaten the client’s original KPI, with the top three all exceeding 550,000.

In fact, taking 10 influencers promoting one story each on their social channels as example, resulted in:

  • a reach of 796.8k*

*against an annual target of a 500k reach


Streaming events live from product launches and Goodwood has been extremely popular with our audience.

The first three events added a total of 145,000 views and the most recent motorcycle launch – the Bonneville Bobber in October 2016 – broke all of our records with 115,000 total views and an average desktop dwell time of 8mins 30secs.

In total, the audience watched the live video for more than 650 hours.



Behance: For the Ride

CMA Silver Award for Best Automotive 2016

At many businesses, January is the time to roll out new marketing strategies and tactical plans. From year to year, the objectives of these plans don't diverge much: increase revenue, cut expenses, innovate this or streamline that, yadda, yadda.

Not to belittle these objectives, but if you want change, you've gotta shake it up a bit, folks. I have to admire, for example, companies whose No. 1 objective for the year ahead is to eat their competitors' lunch--especially when the company setting forth that objective is the little (or much littler) guy.

In these situations, the so-called Challenger Brand, a term coined by marketing expert Adam Morgan, recognizes that its ambition exceeds conventional marketing resources--and that in order to capture more market share from industry leaders they have to first capture mindshare. With ambitions and limited marketing dollars like these, Challenger Brand companies make fascinating digital marketing case studies.

From Underdog to Industry Giant

Challenger Brands come in all shapes and sizes. Some Challenger Brands started as underdog start-ups and have grown to huge behemoths. Think about Apple, Southwest and Virgin airlines, Google (and ironically, now, Google+), and its Kindle, and Under Armour.

Other Challenger Brands are established names that languished on lower rungs of their industry ladder until fresh blood at their company invigorated new thinking and the gutsiness to take a different approach (Avis, Dos Equis). Though many Challenger Brands have used mass media advertising to make a play for market share, in today's digital age, companies can harness more diverse tactics. (Who didn't catch the Old Spice viral video campaign a couple of years ago?!)

Case Studies: Making It Work

Two companies I interviewed for my book took full advantage of Twitter to help reinforce their Challenger Brand positioning.

Technology manufacturer and Intel rival AMD (@AMD_Unprocessed) prides itself on its innovation and non-conformist ways. Rather than follow the so-called rules of Twitter, AMD embraced the platform as a means to "reach its current and new audiences in transparent and meaningful ways"... although the company is also not above some wily PR tactics.

Early online banking pioneer ING Direct (@INGDirect) took a similarly non-conformist approach. It decided early on that rather than use Twitter to deliver customer service, it would differentiate itself from other banks by providing clever information, taking on a thought leadership position and posting tweets that express passion for a cause.

Another Challenger Brand, automotive manufacturer Audi, picked up on a user tweet "#wantanr8" and made her wish come true by giving her one to drive for a whole weekend! Audi then turned the idea into an ongoing promotional campaign, reinforced on Facebook and YouTube.

Inc. 5000 stalwart and guerrilla marketer extraordinaire Honest Tea takes to the streets as well as the Web, with an active CEO blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts and YouTube channel.

Unilever, the company behind the Ï‹ber-successful Dove Beauty Bar, the campaign for "Real Beauty" and the Axe line of men's products, seems to have perfected the underdog strategy. Now the brains behind the award-winning Cornetto Ice Cream street campaign using a multi-player mobile "wall projection mapping game" where successful players won a code sent to their mobile device, redeemable for a free ice cream.

And of course, there are the up-and-coming companies like Sheets Energy Strips and EOS lip balm: You may not have heard about them yet, because they haven't quite made their mark, but they are aggressively trying. It might be interesting to see where these brands are in a year from now. Because who doesn't like a good underdog story?

Got more underdog stories to tell? Visit my account on the topic.

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