Nov 18, 2010

Packaging Passion. It’s Contagious

It’s incredible to meet someone who is passionate about their work. You can sense their excitement and their confidence. You can see it in their commitment to quality, as well as how they interact with their customers. There’s really nothing like it. It’s contagious.

When I think of brands that excite me, I see passion. The companies may have good products and innovative marketing, but that’s not what makes them remarkable. It’s their passion. They focus on a key aspect of their business, and it reflects in their differentiation.

Passion drives brand differentiation

You can see passion in the local stores and businesses you enjoy buying from. One of my favorites is Cumbrae’s, an artisanal butcher with three locations and a wholesale division. They specialize in selling traditionally raised meat from local farms. As they describe on their site,

Our meats are hand selected from small family farms that meet our exacting standards of breeding, feeding and care. We work closely with farmers to ensure that every animal is raised on the best feeds and within excellent living conditions. Our team also oversees the dry-aging of our beef, smoking and curing of our pork and air-chilling and processing of our tender chickens.

Cumbrae’s has always struck me as a company with a passion for their business. They care about the entire food chain, from how the animals are raised to how they are butchered and delivered to their customers. They have a philosophy that permeates all aspects of their business.

Do your customers care?

Passion for passion’s sake is not enough. It has to bring value to your customers, value they can see and recognize.

Consumers have a heightened awareness of food, and are concerned about where their food comes from. They’ve been scared to death by books like In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation that have revealed the industrialization of the food chain.

Cumbrae’s passion for traditionally raised meats is in fashion. As Stephen Alexander, the owner of Cumbrae’s, said in a recent Globe & Mail interview, “My industry, artisanal butchering, is definitely big at the moment … I don’t think it’s going to be a flash in the pan. People are very concerned about how they eat now.”

Blow your own horn

If you don’t blow your own horn, who will? Share your passion.

Promote your passions. When you let the world know what drives you, you will draw in like minded people. People who share your passion, and are willing to pay a premium for your products and services. These are your ideal customers. I drive out of my way to Cumbrae’s to buy a premium product, and I am perfectly happy to. I appreciate their passion, and I seek them out.

Cumbrae’s does a good job telling their story. You can experience their passion in their stores, or read about it on their website. The inspiration for this post came from the Globe & Mail’s article.

Take this as a challenge. Take your passions and package them. Make them an integral part of your brand. The benefits are obvious.

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