Ten Years of Brand Building
Fred and I are building physical spaces. We just love to build. One component of this project is branding. For anyone who has gone through a branding exercise, it is not just about the execution of the plan but the foundation that everything falls under.
There could be an entire study about brands built over the past from the ground up and how they actually represent the person who started them. If you spend the day walking into offices of the biggest brands from Google to Warby Parker to Tesla you don’t have to go past the lobby to get a feeling for the management, the culture and the overall vibe. Everything starts from the top.
While we were working on our brand, I couldn’t help think about how I thought about new brands a decade ago. I have spent some time over the past year really reflecting on what I have invested in and then of course what worked, what failed, what wasn’t I thinking about, what I should have thought about and what can I learn from it.
Ricks Picks was the first consumer product that I invested in. What drew me in? The packaging and the belief that pickled products were starting to stream upward. That more people, like Rick, was going to leave their corporate jobs and start companies they were passionate about. That it was the beginning of the shift to the next generation who would follow their hearts first and foremost in their work life. I saw that everyone was becoming their own personal brand and that would down stream into everything they touch including the products in their refrigerator. I am pretty sure that I got that right.
What I didn’t get right or didn’t understand is the old school business of how grocery works. How shipping glass products is expensive. How selling direct to consumer on a product that doesn’t turn as quickly as the eggs in your fridge is not like selling a bag of chips. I could go on and on but I know more about pickle production than I care to.
Having a seat at the table with many founders over the past decade has been an amazing educational opportunity. The brands that have been built over the past ten years is mind boggling. All made for a new generation of consumers. Of course, the best part of all of this, is the founders I have met and worked with. That will always be at the heart of everything.