4 real-world brands we love



Summary

Another Monday, another vlog. Today Matt and Chris are chatting about some real-world brands they really admire, and exploring why they are so successful. They’ve also done some snazzy artwork, with varying degrees of success.

Here’s the overview:

  • Dr. Martens (00:45)
  • Hiut Denim (02:32)
  • Moz (04:03)
  • Who Gives a Crap (04:57)

Free stuff!

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Rusty Monkey – Brand like a pro

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Happy viewing!


Video transcript

Matt: Moonwalking, moonwalking. Hi, I’m Matt from Rusty Monkey.

Chris: I’m Chris. And this is our meeting room, because the office that we were in for weeks and weeks is actually being done up, so we’ve got builders in and everything.

Matt: It’s also the second time of us using our new blackboard, and this time we’ve gone landscape, as opposed to portrait.

Chris: It’s pretty good, and Matt’s been doing some artwork.

Matt: Yes, I’ve been using my A-Level in Art to draw some logos up here. Any why have I done that, Chris?

Chris: Well, this is the first of possibly a few vlogs in the future: Four companies that we like what they’re doing, and we’re going to tell you about each one. So starting with Matt’s Dr. Martens.


Dr. Martens

  • Engagement before sales
  • Building a community

Matt: Yes, or Dr. Martens ‘Err Wir’. I’ve missed out the ‘a’. But we were in a rush. So importantly, what we’re talking about here is we’re talking about their brand and their communication, and what they stand for. We’re not really talking necessarily about their physical logos. In fact, it’s a really good example, because certainly after drawing the Dr. Martens logo I don’t know how much of a fan of it I am anymore. But they are a really great brand, with regards to how they communicate and what they stand for. They have a statement somewhere, it says something along the lines of ‘selling products is a by-product of cultural engagement’. [Read more about this here.] So they do some really cool stuff that connects them with their audience. They do things like run gigs in their stores, introducing you to new bands. Their entire brand has been built up on a culture that, generation after generation, people buy into. So they haven’t really changed their message, how they work, they’ve been a bit anti-establishment and that’s connected them with people over decades and decades. We think that they bring real value to people outside of just selling some boots.

Chris: And in your business, is this something that you could do? Could you create a community around what you do rather than just selling products?

Matt: Yeah, and how much value can you bring your audience outside of just trying to sell your widgets. I assume you’re all widget salesmen out there.


Hiut Denim

  • Tapping into the history of a region
  • Engaging with the local community

Chris: And we might as well rattle through these. So this is–

Matt: Deadpool, right?

Chris: No. It’s a company called Hiut Denim, and what they did is they started a jeans company in the west of Wales, where there was a factory that had shut down many years ago. And they brought out this high-end denim brand, which meant that people could buy these products and see where they’d come from, and you felt like you were helping the community. So by telling this story, that is quite easy to do, you’re gonna get a lot more buy-in, and people feel this sort of warmth when they buy the product. And they’ve gone from strength to strength, to celebrities buying them, and they’re making more and more jeans, and they’re really good actually.

Matt: Are they quite eco and environmental then as well?

Chris: Yeah, they are. Also the founder, David Hieatt, was also a founder of Howies, and they made jeans elsewhere, in their previous brand. And they did a great thing where Levi’s took them to court because of the little tag that you have on your bum-pocket, and Levi’s said that you’ll confuse their jeans with Levi’s, so what they did is, they went viral and went into stores and said, ‘Okay, anyone who wants to buy these jeans has to have an IQ test,’ and they would have to be able to unpick the thing around the logo, and ‘Can you tell the difference between red and green?’ and all this kind of stuff, so they were really good actually. So they’re a little guy, but they’ve got some really good ideas.


Moz

  • Providing genuine value
  • Being thought-leaders and advisors

Matt: I’m gonna chat about Moz. Moz are an online company and they help advise companies like us, I suppose, with regards to everything online marketing. And I think what Moz do very well, which is something that you might think about in your own company, is giving out that advice. Giving some real value to us as customers. We use them all the time. They do something similar to what we’re doing now, which is a Whiteboard Friday, which works really well. It connects them directly to myself, a consumer of their products, and they really excel by being the thought-leaders in that industry, and by giving total value to the customer. So they’re a really great brand that we’re quite behind.


Who Gives a Crap

  • Making a sustainable product
  • Finding a gap in the market

Chris: And my final one was Who Gives a Crap.

Matt: It’s important to end on toilet paper.

Chris: I just really like this brand, just because they’ve seen that there’s a gap in the market. People buy toilet paper at supermarkets, wrapped in plastic, and they’ve thought, ‘If we did that better, more environmentally friendly, with all recycled toilet paper, really nice longer rolls, recyclable packaging, would people buy it and help the environment?’ And that’s what they’ve done. It’s quite a good story, so every time you go to the toilet you sort of feel slightly better about yourself.

Matt: I always feel better after going to the toilet.

Chris: But do you use these?

Matt: Actually, no, but you’ve taught me about them recently, and it’s something that I probably would get behind. And I think – behind! – again, I think what they’re doing is connecting really culturally well with people who share their beliefs. So they obviously believe in everything that they’re doing, and that carries over. So you can always bear in mind that as long as you’re really passionate about what you do, and you would gain the benefits of what you’re doing, then there will be other people out there that will engage with that too. You just need to communicate that really well.

Chris: And I think that echoes across all four of these brands – they’re all really passionate about what they do, and they’re passionate about building a group of people behind them who also believe the same things.

Matt: And there’s the great Seth Godin lesson that we’ve learnt, which is about a brand, and can you imagine if Nike did a hotel, what that would look like? So applying that to these guys… Dr. Martens, straightaway, you could imagine what that hotel would be like. Deadpool–

Chris: Hiut Denim.

Matt: You could certainly imagine what his hotel would look like. And, of course, we can all imagine a giant toilet-paper-built hotel.

Chris: And I’m just trying to imagine a Rusty Monkey hotel. I think we’re sort of getting there.

Matt: I think it would be good. Robot monkey slaves bringing us caviar.

Chris: That would be good, wouldn't it.

Matt: Wouldn’t that be nice.

Chris: Anyway, we’ll link to these brands below, and if you can think of how your company would open a hotel and what that would look like…

Matt: Yeah, share it. And let us know the brands that you think are doing a great job. We love looking at other companies and how they work and how they communicate.

Chris: That’s it. We’ll see you next Monday for another episode.

Matt: We should moonwalk back the way we came.

Chris: Okay, I don’t really know how to moonwalk.

Matt: You’re doing great.


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