Walking into a Starbucks one afternoon I ordered a Dragon drink. Paying with the cashless and paperless app I awaited the calling of my name. When my order was up I walked up to the counter and grabbed my drink and thanked the barista.
Heading out the door I stopped to grab a straw and noticed the only offering was a plastic straw. Immediately I was disappointed and a bit pissed off. How could a large coffee shop like Starbucks get it so wrong?
I did a quick Google search and realized they indeed did have a global initiative to replace plastic straws with recyclable lids by 2020. Why a year to stop ordering plastic straws and start using recyclable lids is beyond me but it’s a start.
I began to think about my local favored coffee shop who replaced paper straws with the plastic lids. I just happened one day and they moved on. They only two locations versus 30,000 and it made me think of a McDonald’s documentary I once watched in which it takes years for them to roll out a new product line. Their mass got in the way.
New Brands Must Start Right
Working with a new startup as Brand Designer I’ve placed myself into a strategic position for the future of the Brand and therefore the companies lifespan.
I’ve spent far less time researching or designing the perfect logo or tagline in favor of determining the brand’s identity. With the average life expectancy of a company diminished to only a dozen or so years, priorities must be set properly during the formative years of a brand.
Trends come and go and successful company brands ride the wave of trends while learning how to maintain market share and positive growth. As a new startup, we have the luxury to fill a void in our market and make a large impact by trendsetting and not following the existing market.
Forecasting out with a 5-year projection on product and brand decisions we can recognize the decisions made today are representative of where the company will stand in 5 years. Short term goals while ignoring there impact on the companies future are carving a path to failure.
As I research brands and products I love and use, I’ve recognized these are lifestyle brands. Products that make up the fabric of my personal identity and align with my vision of the perfect life.
Environment and sustainability top my list as does a brands status of how the treat their employees. With corporate giants swallowing up large mark shares of companies whose original mission was quality and convert them into profit centers at the expense of the environment and staff we have created a downward spiral, racing to the bottom.
100 Percent Sustainable
The core of our new brand is to be 100 percent sustainable. In our design meetings, we will hit many roadblocks as we see voids in our market which lacks environmentally conscious products. As we have been developing our corporate initiatives and drawn lines in the sand we are now seeing an open field ripe for growth. The products that currently doesn’t exist allows us an opportunity to make them.
The narrative of our story of how we began and how far we have come is inspiring. We have great distances to strive for however seeing our ecosystem of a brand in our 5-year projection has become clear.
Why We Will Prosper
Sales and trends aren’t guaranteed. They come and go based on the latest Instagram tag. We won’t be a copy that will survive but a company that thrives based on one simple belief. We believe in our people.
Sitting on an hourlong train ride into NYC I was deeply immersed in a conversation with a colleague. He felt everyone on the train looked like cattle headed for slaughter. I gave him the answer that is the qualification for success.
These people didn’t wake up and say I’m going to do a horrible job today. They didn’t get dressed up and say I’m going to be angry and depressed all day. Those things happened due to environment. Corporate culture that has extinguished their spark. Believe in your people and empower them to build with you the lifestyle you want to live…. And they will.