I know, really I do — you started your brand because you wanted to fill a need for people. Maybe you started out by filling your own. You shared your new passion with friends and, yes, family. Everything was loving and glowing and personal and altruistic — and then, you decided to ruin it all by becoming a marketer.
Bill Keith, oldest brother of many and CEO of Perfect Bar (I put the first thing first for a reason) has not ruined it all — at all. Instead, he, along with his siblings, teammates, investors and maybe even you if you love their bars as much as I do, have built a bazillion dollar business by putting — and keeping — a family feeling first.
I can say this because I met Bill five years ago, when the brand was actually called Perfect Foods Bar. The name changed, but the elder Keith never did. Still so down-to-earth, so human, so, okay, pun alert, perfect.
In fact, here’s Bill’s response to my question: How does your brand story influence the way you do things inside the company?
“We have a strong family culture; we go out of our way to help our employees. We have a culture of rooting for our teammates even if that means they leave us to advance their careers somewhere else. Having a strong family culture that is principled, we are able to have great retention and have a line out the door filled with folks that want to work with us.”
So, what can you do to create the same awesomeness inside your brand?
- First, you have to decide, do you REALLY want to go the family route? Because if you do, it’s all in, or just forget it; stay corporate, make it about the money, don’t fake it.
- Still with me? You have to start inside the walls — microscope the culture, transparencize everything, get all on board, create a new CFO — Chief Family Officer — and disown ANYONE who balks.
- Take the feeling to your consumers, not just with talk. Get to know, like actually know the people who love you the most and talk you up. Find them, meet them, invite them into the family by forming a “Siblings Group” that gets to weigh in on innovation, marketing campaigns or whatever.
- From there, domino. Ask (and reward) your Siblings for finding like-minded family members, get to know the most authentic of that crew and keep going. Yep, it’s an investment, but in this day and age, with more brands coming for you every day, it might be the only way to avoid constant churn and the resultant, sad tears.
Okay fam? Let’s go. Best of luck.
And if you’re still not sure what to do, let’s chat.
Be digestible. And thanks.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a copy of my guide that outlines the steps brand new and established brands can use (or not use) to succeed while others just keep right on slugging it out with the guy next to them on the shelf.