Look around you. All sorts of brands are communicating with you. From a supermarket shelf, to the signs on the roads, to your social media news feed. It’s not enough to be branded to draw attention anymore. You need to be genuine.
More than ever, today’s young generation lives in a brand driven world, where brands are no longer just doing one-way communications, but rather they are creating perfectly crafted ecosystems for consumers to have great journeys, interacting directly with these consumers across new media and doing their part socially. All of this is done within a beautifully designed branding environment with meticulous attention to detail. This is the new world that we live in and that new generations are practically born into and therefore, they can detect brand authenticity, or lack of, easily. If you think "you're faking it till you make it", think again.
What this means in more concrete terms, is to never overpromise and never try to be something you’re not. If you’re a ready-to-wear fashion brand, then don’t act like you’re a haute couture brand thinking you can attract a different kind of clientele and potentially increase your margins. Identify your target and cater to them while highlighting your true values. Staying true to your values gives you staying power!
Let’s take a look at one of the brands that we greatly admire. Mr. Brown (yes they’re a client, but they set their values long before we met).
Mr. Brown started out in 2002 as a small snack restaurant, catering mostly to delivery and take-away clients. With its second branch opening this year, it became an instant success and one of the big players in the fast-food-diner category in Beirut. The secret behind their success? Staying true to their values.
Mr. Brown, with their tagline "Your Next Door Diner", acts as your next door neighbor with their staff’s amicable attitude and speed of delivery. Their food tastes genuine and fresh and their prices are extremely affordable. Though they created a new identity when they started their expansion, they didn’t bury their down-to-earth values in any frills or superfluous collaterals and more importantly, they didn’t inflate their prices. No over promising, no under delivering; just an enjoyable experience e-v-e-r-y time! They won’t spend a gazillion dollars on packaging only to charge you more for it like some of the other diner brands in Lebanon. They keep things simple and focus on what really matters: quality of food, exceptional service and speed of delivery.
They know what makes them unique, they value their clients and they stick to that. They never compromise their values for the sake of making a quick buck. And the consumer remains at the heart of everything they do.
We’ll leave you with this quote that really drives the point:Stay true to your values. That’s why you were a success in the first place, and that’s how you make incredible things happen. - Rafe Offer.