Authenticity, be yourself.
And if… the key of success for a brand or even an artist was to be honest, true and the most important… authentic.
The other day, I was chatting with a Business design’s colleague about (in our opinion) the best brands and we realize that they all have one thing in common. Authenticity. They are consistant in their communication, their products or services, the way they treat their employees and even the personality of their founder. The best example is probably Patagonia, created by the rebel entrepreneur Yvon Chouinard. The brand never betrayed their core values of sustainability, quality and relevance. They went pretty far in their consistency, by encouraging people to fix their clothes rather to buy a new one with some fix toolkit. They worked also to make a perfectly recyclable polyester material for create a cradle to cradle cycle. All those move follow a really definite and authentic path according to Patagonia’s values. It looks pretty easy to do from said like this, but it’s definitely not. It take a lot of perseverance and the most important of all, do NO compromises and never give it up. Destroy the planet and do business or quiting. Neither, Yvon Chouinard created his own option.
One great example about “no compromises” is about the career of the music band and artist Daft Punk. In the documentary, Daft Punk Unchained, we see a key attitude of the band against the star system and the music industry. They want to have the total control over their creation. When they signed their first contract with Virgin music, they didn’t really care about the number of zeroes for the value of the contract. They wanted to be free of any creative constraints. They even decided to finance themselves most of their albums and movies for guarantee the total creative liberty. This allow them to take bold creative decisions and follow their artistic vision without impurity. Today, they are influencing the whole mainstream music industry with their creations, because they impose their vision. Their art has been influenced by number of artists but still, and this the most important thing, the sum of those inspirations create something new and authentic.
From those two examples we see how important is it to have a vision and values of your own about your work. After, you need to be consistant. Doesn’t mean you can’t evolve, but it need to be a coherent path. Probably we deal with artist and brand like we deal with everyday people. We seek for people you can trust because they are true, they are consistent and most of the time because they are unique. Uniqueness and authenticity always been recognize as a valuable thing in our society. We crave for authenticity as person until everybody got it and it’s no more. You can be a follower or an authentic creator and decision maker.