Roger Daltry sang “I hope I die before I get old” in the song “My Generation”. It was 1965. The outcry was intense.
Now Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mark Jefferies says A&F only targets thin, “cool, good looking people”, and the same kind of outcry ensues.”We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends,” Jeffries told Salon.com. “A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
Jefferies might be an asshole. His company might represent all that is wrong with our vain society. But he’s not stupid when it comes to building a well-defined brand.
Smart brands clearly state their core values and adhere to them every single day.
Weak brands state their core values ambiguously, or even worse… don’t have any core values at all.
Jefferies has pissed-off and alienated plenty of people with his comments.
When a company tells you don’t want your business, why are you pissed off?
He doesn’t want your business, so don’t give him your business. I know I won’t. As a 42 year-old bald guy, he doesn’t want me. Fair enough.
The very smart Erika Napoletano said it well on her YouTube channel yesterday. “This is what brands should be doing,” she said, while eloquently calling him a “douche nozzle”.
Chik-Fil-A has clearly stated they are against same-sex marriage. How anyone could be against equality is beyond me, but I applaud them for having values… even moronic ones. I won’t be caught dead buying anything from them, and that’s my prerogative. You make your choice. Vote with your wallet.
On the other hand, Whole Foods clearly supports sustainable farming and renewable energy. If you don’t think those issues are worth the extra cost of food at Whole Foods, go somewhere else to buy your groceries. Do what you want. Vote with your wallet.
To be a rock star brand, you need to have values.
Just stand for something. Anything. Have the balls to say it clearly so that everyone understands what you’re all about.
After all, Roger Daltry didn’t sing “I hope I get to feel young and energized for a really long time.”
Smart brands have clearly stated values that they adhere to every single day, whether you like those values or not.
As Gene Simmons once said, channeling George Bernard Shaw, “the fastest way to success is to offend as many people as possible at once.”