MIKE SINYAR D, 2011
HOW IT STARTED IT BEGAN WITH A LOVE OF BICYCLES. When I graduated from college in 1974, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, but I knew it was going to involve spending more time on my bike. Back then we riders were outcasts; drivers in California weren’t sure cyclists should be on the road, and people in coffee shops stared at us in our funny riding shorts and shoes. I knew that things were different in Europe, so I sold my VW Microbus for $1,500 of “Adventure Capital” that financed a trip to ride the roads that are the roots of cycling culture. By sleeping in farm fields and youth hostels and working in bike shops when I could, I rode for three months on a route from north to south. While staying at a hostel in Milan, I met a girl who knew the legendary frame and component craftsman, Cino Cinelli. I spent a few bucks on a suit and shoes and went to meet Signore Cinelli. After my impassioned presentation, he agreed to let me distribute his rare parts in the USA, and I placed my first order. I hurried back to California in time to meet the boxes, which I stored under the 8-by-30-foot trailer that served as my home, office, warehouse, and the world headquarters of Specialized Bicycle Components. I had these rare bike parts that I knew riders wanted, but I didn’t have a car…so I bought a bike trailer. With that, I pedaled from bike shop to bike shop in the Bay Area, making deliveries and
collecting orders. Some of these shops remain Specialized dealers to this day. Specialized never would have gotten off the ground if the dealers hadn’t believed in me, shared the vision that riders wanted these parts, and paid for the components up front. From 1974 to 1999, Specialized grew swiftly. Unfortunately, several bad decisions I made in 1999 threatened the future of Specialized. I call it our “near death experience.” To find our feet again, a few key team members and I got together to get clear about who we are and how we needed to act if we wanted to succeed. This is when we created the first Specialized Brand Book. It made a huge impact by aligning the entire team around our Founding Principle, Vision, and Mission. We are now living the current chapter, what I call “Specialized Forever.” This means many things, but first and foremost, it means building the best team in the world to ensure that Specialized lives deep into the future. To do this, we must all be aligned around our Founding Principle, Vision, and Mission so that we can work together in The Specialized Way. It’s more critical now than ever.
MIKE SINYAR D, 1974
THE BRAND FOUNDATION
We built our foundation on three parts: the Founding Principle, the Vision, and the Mission. The Founding Principle is why we exist. The Vision is the ideal we are striving towards. And the Mission is the goal we are set on achieving.
FABRIZIO MACCHI, 2010 U CI PARA- CYCLING TT WORLD CHAMPION
OUR FOUNDING PRINCIPLE I called the company “Specialized” because in Europe the artisans who really focused on riders, knew what they needed, and made the best frames and components were known as “Specialistas.” I wanted to create exactly that kind of company, so Specialized was founded with this core principle:
FOCUS ON THE RIDER’S NEED FOR TECHNICALLY ADVANCED PRODUCTS THAT PROVIDE A PERFORMANCE BENEFIT. This simple statement is key to every success Specialized enjoys. Straying from it results in failure. Today, we are those Specialistas. We will succeed if we push ourselves to deliver on the promise of the Founding Principle.
MARK CAVENDISH, 2011 U CI ROAD WORLD CHAMPION
OUR VISION At Specialized, we are driven by one vision that is as simple as it is bold:
Be the Best Cycling Brand in the World. To be the best means surpassing all others in how we meet the needs and demands of the rider. This does not mean being the biggest. If we concentrate on being the best, success will follow. Being the best applies to everything that bears the Specialized name: our bikes, our equipment, our service, and our people. This is not a destination; it is a journey of continually improving peoplesâ€™ lives, the earth we all share, how we do business, and of course, the bikes and equipment we make. At Specialized, we enjoy this journey as a team, challenging and supporting one another.
OUR MISSION Working here is exciting. There’s no doubt about it. But as with all fast-paced environments, you may occasionally stop and think, “What am I doing?” At those moments, remember the passion for cycling that got you here and which brings us all together. Be clear that Specialized is a competitor; a passionate team that wants to win in everything we do by working together. Our Mission is to:
Be the Brand of Choice for Discerning Riders and the Best Full-Service Dealers. >> Create a culture that attracts, develops, and retains the best people. >> Design and build the best bikes and equipment in the world. >> Solidify financial strength with sustained growth in sales and profits. >> Foster social and environmental responsibility for the world we live in.
NE D “THE CAPTAIN” OVEREND
THE SPECIALIZED WAY Working together in a highly collaborative, transparent environment is The Specialized Way. Our Paired Principles are fundamental to defining our Way. They act as guideposts for our products, our processes, and our actions. Think of each set as a cornerstone of the Specialized foundation. As caretakers of the brand, our responsibility is to make decisions that operate and build the brand within the scope of these five sets of principles: >> Function + Innovation >> Value + Quality >> Authentic + Engineered >> Timeless + Exciting >> Sustainable + Uncompromising
RACHAEL LAMBERT, WOMEN’S PRODU CT AND MARKE T ING MANAG ER
FUNCTION + INNOVATION Innovate or Die. This philosophy has long served us well in everything we do, from what we make to how we run our business to how we act; however, what brought us here will not bring us into the future. We must create new solutions.
VALUE + QUALITY Our bikes and equipment must stand up to the use of riders who tax the limits. We must exceed rider expectations. Our product must be perceived as worth the investment, no matter the amount spent. Our service and our company culture in general should follow this model of positively exceeding expectations.
TROY BROSNAN, 2011 U CI JUNIOR DOWNHILL WORLD CHAMPION
CHRIS D’ALUISIO, DIRECTOR OF ADVANCE D R & D
AUTHENTIC + ENGINEERED To be authentic, we need to be true to the needs of the rider. We must be the real deal. But we also need to be engineered, calculated, and intelligent to achieve the goal. This applies to everything we do.
TIMELESS + EXCITING Our work must be inspired and enduring. Our bikes and equipment must make riders want to ride. What we make needs to look fast even standing still, and it needs to do that today, tomorrow, and in two decades.
SUSTAINABLE + UNCOMPROMISING Before we act, we must consider the long-term effects of our actions – on the earth, on relationships, on people – and make decisions from this point of view. We must always find the intersection between performance and sustainability.
WE ARE SPECIALIZED There are no options here. We know who we are, what we stand for, and where we are going. If we live the words and the meaning of this document, We will continue the journey to be the Best Cycling Brand in the World.
MART IN SÖDERSTRÖM, S AN FRANCIS CO, 2011
Published on Apr 20, 2012