What separates two brands in an industry, from one being successful and another not? Brand passion! The passion that company founders have for their brands is transferred to their customers, so customers not only purchase products but they become brand advocates because they are as passionate about the brand as the brand creator.
There is no one formula for creating a successful brand, and while passion is often a key factor, it does not guarantee brand growth. To achieve phenomenal company growth and brand awareness, brand founders need to strategically focus their passion for their product into the right marketing outlets, i.e. newsletters, social media, website design, product design etc.
To better understand how brand passion, combined with strategic marketing, can lead to brand success I want to look further into three passionate company founders: Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, and Susan Gregg Koger, founder of ModCloth.
Have a clear vision of what you want to do—of what you want to be—and know what your values are. That’s what worked for me.
- Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
Contrary to having a passion for “junk”, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Founder and CEO Brian Scudamore has a passion for removing junk. Scudamore grew 1-800-GOT-JUNK? into a multimillion-dollar company from one $700 used pickup truck, a clear vision, and a simple yet brilliant marketing strategy. Scudamore’s vision for his company was different from how many entrepreneurs approach their business plan. Instead of saying he wanted to start a junk-hauling company, he set a specific goal to build a junk-hauling company that would extended to the 30 U.S. and Canadian cities larger than Vancouver. His marketing strategy was developed around the catchy, memorable company name. He decided on 1-800-GOT-JUNK? because it not only worked as the company name, but also as an easy way for customers to reach out to them for services. No need to look up the company phone number, it was right there! See examples of their marketing communications on Integrated Brands.
I’m very much a creative person, but you’ve got to do the follow-through. A lot of people start out with an exciting thing and they want to take over the world, but really the people who do take over the world have a good plan of how to get there and the steps along the way.
- Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable
Pete Cashmore has always been avid about following your passion. Cashmore’s passion laid in writing and technology, two outlets that allowed him to constantly learn. Pete founded Mashable in 2005 as a blog focused on developing social media and technology news stories. “I started writing about new companies, websites, and applications so I could learn how it works and how to build companies. I didn’t know that was going to be the company,” quote from Pete Cashmore in Fast Company. Mashable grew quickly, becoming a trusted source for upcoming tech and social media trends. “What distinguishes him from the average CEO, though, is his uncanny ability to read the shifting landscape”, Success Magazine. You can see how Pete Cashmore’s passion is expressed in Mashable’s brand communications on Integratedbrands.org.
Never apologize for your age.
- Susan Gregg Koger, Founder ModCloth
Modcloth, an American online retailer specializing in vintage, vintage-inspired and indie clothing, accessories and décor, has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular online clothing retailers. Susan began building Modcloth in her college dorm room with boyfriend, now husband, Eric. Eric had experience hosting and designing websites for retailers, provided technical support for the site, while Susan provided the passion for unique and affordable vintage fashion. Modcloth’s rapid growth and strong following can be tied back to the unique involvement of their customers in the product decision process and use of social media. ModCloth holds regular contests through Twitter, Facebook, and on their blog where visitors can submit names for new items, vote on what they want ModCloth to sell, and photos of their fashion ensembles. Another way that ModCloth differs from other online retailers, is that they have designed the user experience to resemble what it is like to flip through the racks of a store, no matter what media platform they are using: social media, website, or mobile app. You can see this on Integratedbrands.org.