Engaging Sourcing

PUBLIC Bikes Hones Brand Messaging through Partnership with Banana Republic

PUBLIC Bikes visual storytelling campaign via the Libris by PhotoShelter blog

What can partnering with another organization do for your brand?

A visual storytelling campaign with Banana Republic allowed PUBLIC Bikes to share its mission in a unique way, communicate consistently on and offline, and reach a new audience. The ‘What Moves You?’ campaign gave each brand the opportunity to align with the other’s visual elements, and hone its own messaging in the process.

You can read the full story about ‘What Moves You?’ in our post, Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes = Powerful Visual Communication.

Now that the campaign is over, let’s take a closer look at its impact.

First, a little background.

Banana Republic’s fall collection was inspired by Amsterdam’s biking culture – something that also inspires PUBLIC Bikes (check out the brand’s beautiful imagery here). To build on that messaging, Banana Republic designed store windows that incorporated PUBLIC Bikes at 30 of its locations. Shoppers entered to win the bikes at the end of the campaign.

Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes Window Display

Banana Republic + PUBLIC Bikes Window Display

The two brands worked together to share the ‘What Moves You?’ message both in stores and online.

“Our biggest challenge was to develop an online presence and narrative that built upon the Banana Republic window and in-store displays,” says PUBLIC’s COO, Dan Nguyen-Tan. “We wanted our online presence to be informative and encourage action.”

Nguyen-Tan explains that the action the two brands wanted people to take wasn’t just to enter the contest, but also to get moving.

“For us, it’s more than just a ‘Win a PUBLIC Bike’ campaign but an opportunity to inform people about why bicycling is great, why Amsterdam is far ahead of most U.S. cities in terms of bicycling infrastructure, and ways people can get more involved in their local communities to make bicycling more accessible,” he says. “We wanted the campaign to be consistent with PUBLIC’s mission, which is to to encourage people to ride bikes and get more closely connected with their communities.”

The Results

At the end of the campaign, 30 brand fans got to take home the PUBLIC bikes from Banana Republic’s windows.

But the campaign did more than delight 30 new bike owners. Nguyen-Tan explains that PUBLIC’s goal was not short-term customer acquisition, but rather, long-tail brand development. This campaign allowed PUBLIC to pursue its mission and show that bicycling is for everyone.

“We were surprised how many people commented to us how ‘mainstream,’ in a good way, that city bicycling has become by having it prominently featured in so many Banana Republic stores,” says Nguyen-Tan.

This messaging is key to PUBLIC’s branding – PUBLIC wants to inspire people who might not identify as cyclists to explore their cities on two wheels. The ‘What Moves You?’ campaign gave PUBLIC the opportunity to share this message visually, both online and in stores, and to hone the brand’s visual storytelling in the process.

“We are constantly learning about how to improve the connection between the digital and the physical – our stores or our partner’s stores with our website, blog, and social media,” says Nguyen-Tan. “All these mediums have a different reach and canvas for visual communication. They all need to be treated differently and yet with an eye towards some level of consistent messaging.”

The Takeaway

Aligning with another brand can help your organization hone your messaging and reach a new audience. For PUBLIC and Banana Republic, working together gave both brands a unique and powerful visual storytelling opportunity.

“We combined the best of both companies to inspire and engage people,” says Nguyen-Tan. “We want to continue to collaborate with like-minded partners who share our love for design, storytelling, and mission-driven impact in our cities and public spaces.”

PUBLIC Bikes powers its visual storytelling with Libris by PhotoShelter. Cover photos provided by PUBLIC Bikes via @dcgeorgetownstyles_ and @mmansh12.

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