Rapha, I just want to spend money.

As a bloke I don’t indulge in retail therapy that much, I like to buy clothes, books, gadgets and the occasional set of lego, but I’m not over the top with buying for the sake of it. I usually buy stuff that sells itself, which usually means branded products that I like and actually need.

However sometimes, sometimes you stumble across a brand that makes you want to part with your cash whether you need the stuff or not. It looks good, the advertising makes you want it rather than selling it to you and you get the feeling that the brand itself goes beyond just being a product.

Enter Rapha, makers of high end cycling gear for the discerning rider. The design, style and quality is at a different level, not only that you get the feeling that they really understand the ethos of the sport on an almost molecular level. It feels as good as it looks, it’s designed to be used on the bike by those who know what cycling is about as a sport, what is required as a rider and the necessity of looking good on the bike!

I guess this is what people mean when they talk about understanding who your audience is and what they want. Which goes along way towards explaining the atmospheric nature of their website. The workshops, the sweat, mountains and tarmac.

The website gets visited on a daily basis, the weekly emails actually get read and there’s that permanent justification of need. It’s like, a drug of some sort.

Yes it’s for poseurs, it’s expensive and seems only to be worn by overpaid London wankers on the daily commute, but you’d have to at least begrudgingly accept that it is undeniably stylish.