I spoke to Per Robert Öhlin the other day about new blog ideas. We decided to publish the last part from Let’s get gorgeous, a branding casebook about Camitz Sparkling Vodka, founded by Mattias Lindberger and Peter Camitz.
Here’s the background:
The main character, Jhoan Camitz, is killed by a dead man in New York. (Try figure that one out.) At the same time, his friend Mattias, and Jhoan’s older brother, Peter, are sitting in Stockholm, finding themselves in ecstasy, as they believe they have just come up with a brilliant idea. From that moment and onwards, the story about Camitz Sparkling Vodka, continues in leaps and bounds, between hope and despair.
The first of the three men is a living cliché of an inventor. A hyper-intelligent, introvert mad man who would rather ponder over difficult problems and dream about thunder storms, hail and lightning. The other man is the renowned commercial filmmaker who died in a bizarre accident. He viewed all of life as if through a caricature lens, where most things were portrayed as mischief and big laughs. The third one started his career as a male model (found by none the less than Bruce Weber himself), but who grew tired of flying around the world like a smiling ad and therefore decided to turn it all around; he made use of his experience of being directed and started to direct himself, together with Jhoan.
They have been faced with physics, chemistry and electronics which all seem to lead a life of themselves. They have had to live through a Stockholm premiere, which ended in humiliation. They have had to witness bankers being sprayed with foam of liquor. They have met Chinese fortune hunters who have led them astray. The have dealt with people who haven’t kept to their words. And people who have turned deaf and dumb when faced with having to make decisions.
However, all the failures have given them a lot of experience, making them wiser and better than when they started out. And it finally looks as if they have made it. Today, there are people all over the world who actually seriously believe Camitz Sparkling Vodka as the best vodka in the world. What a journey!
The world’s first branding blog relay, by Micco Grönholm & Per Robert Öhlin, starts here today. And here it is, the first chapter:
If you have read this far you should have a pretty good perception of what Camitz Sparkling stands for. You have got to know the people behind the product, including their strengths and weaknesses, dreams and nightmares. You know all there is to know about the brand’s shape, function, quality and performance – including the shortfalls. You should also have gained an insight into the significance of the brand, the feelings it creates and what it means to you.
You have also been given a description of the brand. Not an ordinary description, by any means, it is actually a much more personal and genuine description than you usually come across. It is only the moral of the story that is lacking. What does the story want to tell us? Are there any fundamental insights or practical elements that we can put to good use and implement in our daily life? Now we are coming to the theoretical crunch. We are about to take a leap into the complex area of management philosophy and brand strategy. Let’s not make it more difficult than it really is. It is best to start from the beginning, from the only thing we are certain about, namely that modern brand strategy is based on five simple standpoints:
First, you have to ask who you are and where you are. Your qualities, starting point and surrounding terrain are the given prerequisites for everything you aim to do. Then you need to decide where you want to be. Remember that the consumer is the intermediate goal that takes you to the destination, sales. You need to choose a direction, as it doesn’t matter how fast you run if you are running in the wrong direction.
When all this is done, only the tactical side remains: to run. You must be flexible. If you stumble across a swamp, you must be ready to wade or swim. If you run into steep cliffs, you must be prepared to make a detour. General Patton had a simple rule when it came to the relationship between strategy and tactics. He said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
In theory it is simple. The problem is to get it to work in reality. All this is an integral part of the mission for Mattias and Peter to establish and build an internationally, marketable brand.
But what is a brand? And how do you go about building one?
Read the next chapter on The Brand-Man, August 25: “Not nice. Gorgeous.”
The lesson from Let’s get gorgeous:
- Chapter 1: The idiot’s guide to marketing (incl. introduction) | Mine Goes To Eleven