Kinfolk Combines Bikes, Bars and Creativity into One Brand


To effectively market a new company, you need to choose a target group of consumers.

Most businesses select some demographics to target. But in order for your marketing efforts to really be effective, it can help to come up with some more intangible qualities to target.

For Kinfolk, the lifestyle brand found success targeting people with one common feature: creativity. The company has bars in Tokyo and Brooklyn, and also sells bicycles and various other products. Its Brooklyn location even has a coffeehouse and art gallery attached.

Since the brand has so many different arms, it’s important for them all to have one common feel. So the company’s creative approach allows it to reach its target audience and also create a strong brand image.

For Kinfolk, creating that brand image started with the founders’ personal styles. Co-founder Ryan Carney told HuffPost Live:

“In the beginning, it was really about doing things that we enjoyed. We know we like bicycles, we like to go out and have a cocktail, we like coffee shops, we like art, we like to be creative. And it was just about how do we spend our lives doing these things that we love and making them successful business so that we can survive.”

So even though Kinfolk has several different offerings that seem to be unrelated on the surface, they all share a common factor: their target audience. And if the company is able to draw those customers to one of its bars, for instance, it could be more likely to also get those customers to buy its other products.

In addition, since the founders enjoy all the different aspects of the business, they can be fairly certain that people with similar characteristics might like them as well. When you’re a part of your own target audience, you already have some insights about what might appeal to those consumers.

Not every business will necessarily have a product line as diverse as Kinfolk’s. But the idea of having a very specific target market is one that can be applied to most businesses. And if you happen to be a part of that target, you likely already have some insights into customers you serve.

Image: Kinfolk


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. This works. Because customers today have a variety of interests and they always appreciate brands that speak directly to them.

    • Yes, people always have different interests, so it can be difficult to offer all of those different things while still targeting a specific group of people. But this company seems to have it down.