An intriguing and a fascinating book that explores the life of people who managed to create extra ordinary brands,David Vinjamuri ,the author, has managed to woven a smooth link across several “accidental brands” and finds the common quotient between them .
The list includes the famous designer J.Peterman,Craig Newmark(craigslist), Gary Erickson (Clif Bar) , Myriam Zyroui (Art of Shaving) , Gert Boyle (Columbia Sportswear) , Julie Aigner (Baby Einstein) and so on
These people weren’t the typical Harvard and Ivy League types , who upon pursuing a MBA started up successful entreprenurial ventures . They were just simple persons who listened to the people, understood their needs and developed a brand , which acted as the need of hour , the major trend setter and not just a fad !
Consider the example of Craigslist ,cited here. A brilliant idea ,combined
with a simple website has proved to become a huge brand and one that has definitely made lifes easier . A simple free classified listing website that allows people to post in their service offering , be it a rental or company info , or from selling computers to finding life partners , the site does an amazing job.
The advent of technology and the internet has beautifully embraced upon by a simple programmer , and enabled him to translate a superb idea of integrating all the classifieds of several fields into one website which was accessible to all and Free !
So what lies common between them , apart from the fact they were already “common’ people” . How were they able to build extra ordinary brands out of simple products.
They were visionaries . They had the patience to listen to people ,their desired needs(yet unheeded by the big brands ) and a skill to translate the needs into products that can be easily incorporated into everyday life…
Consider the example of Clif Bar. It jus happens to be a energy bar for cyclists and rock climbers.So how do u differentiate in it.
The desire to consume a “sweet” energy bar , rather than one which gets bitter after the fourth one , was well heeded by Clif ,who made a phenomenal difference to these people by making his bar tasty and sweet.
The reason why most brands fail is , the companies create the brand and then lure people to buy it. Instead it should be the other way around , where you first listen to your customers , understand the way they use a product ,identify the gap between needs and existing product and then go back to the design floor.
Probably a definitive example is where Diet Coke succeeded while Blue Pepsi failed.
A low calorie Coke is anyday much needed and preferred than a Pepsi which is just blue in colour !
The book is an enlightening and informative read and I recommend it to all !