A racy new image has helped an established Birmingham cycle parts manufacturer conquer new markets.
Clarks Cycle Systems - set up more than 60 years ago to make nuts and bolts for BSA - is riding high after the revamp helped to give its mountain bike products better shelf appeal.
Operating from a new factory base on the Long Acre Trading Estate in Aston, Clarks has created 20 manufacturing jobs to support its expansion into emerging markets.
Managing director Tony Wright decided on the new approach after approaching Business Link in the West Midlands.
In addition to the image facelift, the business support organisation has also offered the company help to develop a new website.
The expansion has seen the company establish a base in China, where most mountain bikes are now made, to ensure strong repeat business. The new base means parts can be delivered direct to the manufacturers.
The company now supplies parts to 80 different countries worldwide.
Business Link adviser Keith Dunton, a specialist in diversification projects, listened to what Clarks wanted to do and then pointed the company towards Birmingham-based design house Tomorrow People.
The designers have created the company's new eye-catching image, which is specifically tailored to appeal to the younger market.
The repackaged mountain bike parts, including cables, pads and a new hydraulic braking system, are already lining the shelves of stores such as Halfords and Fishers.
Mr Wright said he was pleased with the revamp and that he was already seeing an upturn in sales as a result of the new brand identity.
"We produce some very up to date technology here in Aston but our company was suffering from a rather staid image for one serving such an extreme sport," he said.
The help of Business Link and Keith Dunton in particular, had been invaluable, he said. "He helped us to develop both the website and new packaging and, thanks to our new image, we hope to continue supporting people on a global scale.
"All bikes are made in Asia nowadays and by acting as an original equipment manufacturer in China, we are generating our own aftermarket," said Mr Wright.
Parts are endorsed by double world champion Fabien Barel and biking enthusiasts can follow his progress through a new weblog linked into the company's Mr Dunton said: "Tony has a fantastic vision for the company, and has built up a tremendous team with a can-do attitude, which is evident the minute you step into the business.
"The support we have provided has allowed them to build on and explore their current market share, which importantly has kept their Birmingham manufacturing site in good shape."
"We are still amongst the best in the world for our innovation and I'm delighted that 20 jobs have been secured as a result of the recent growth. In essence, Clarks sets an example for others to follow," he added.
By 2010, Business Link will have helped 70,000 businesses every year with basic information, with a further 16,000 receiving intensive support from experienced advisers. This level of support is expected to generate a £400 million improvement to the economic performance of the West Midlands.