Category Archives: 5 – Living the Dream – The bubble shall never burst

Nothing is as volatile as a dream. This is why it’s so difficult – if not impossible – to make dreams come true. And this is why “80 for 20” is by far not enough when it comes to creating Super Premium brand experiences. Absolute attention to detail is essential if you are set on mastering perfection. But, this does not mean slavish attention to any detail. Rather, it is about focus on those details that are central to the brand’s story and equity. Hardly ever is it enough to tick off category conventions, even if done perfectly. Super Premium brands must obsess over those elements and aspects that set them apart and above their competitors. This can be a unique style and language (think Henin) or features and materials (Patek Philippe, Swarovski) or a philosophy (Aesop) or or or … Most seek to own their own outlets through flagship stores, pop-ups and virtual brand spaces to better control the orchestration of the brand. But it is not only the external interfaces that matter. The company culture is just as crucial. The dream needs to be lived, inside and out. Only then, and only then, is there a chance that the bubble might not burst.

Recap
– Creating brand experiences that transcend reality
– And why 80 for 20 is never enough if you want to make a lasting impression

Here are Posts and Podcasts on this principle:

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Vanguard Investments – From ‘Folly’ to Fiduciary Giant

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As we work with clients on elevating their brands two questions arise repeatedly:  Can ‘ueber-branding’ be applied to more ‘technical’ categories – beyond luxury or lifestyle?  And do Ueber-Brand products HAVE to be premium priced? The short answer is ‘yes’ and … Continue reading

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Burt’s Bees – Mission, Myth and a Buzzing Business – Interview with Jim Geikie, General Manager

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Yes, Burt really existed. The wild-bearded man on the brand’s logo was a documentary photographer turned beekeeper after moving from Manhattan to Maine and leaving the trappings of a rather privileged upbringing behind him to live in a converted turkey coop in the backwoods (where he … Continue reading

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Profit and/or Purpose? – Interview with Venture Capitalist and Social Activist David Batstone

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David Batstone is not one to be easily typecast.  As you learn more about David you might get a bit perplexed not only by the uncounted, very public projects in which he plays a leading role or the multitude of positions he holds but … Continue reading

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Patagonia – The Activist Company – Interview with Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy

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Patagonia is the quintessential Ueber-Brand. This brand is fascinating and we have written extensively about what we think drives and sustains its success in our latest book as well as on this blog.  But it is quite another thing to hear it … Continue reading

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A Freitag Visit – Manufacturing as Manifestation of Mission

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Freitag is a Swiss bag, accessory and – most recently – fashion brand. Its legend begins in 1993, when young brothers and design students Markus and Daniel Freitag looked out of their apartment window in the Zurich suburbs and into a … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

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Why do some pay a relative fortune for a MINI car, Renova toilet paper or a skin cream and detergent from Aesop when those seem to have none of the ‘functional superiority’ conventional marketers would seek to demonstrate? Why were … Continue reading

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Lakrids – A Liquorice Brand To Long For – Interview with Peter Husted Sylvest, Director of Sales

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If you are familiar with the ‘Hero’s Journey’ as described by Joseph Campbell, then the trials and tribulations Johan Buelow went through to concoct and share the perfect batch of liquorice – and create a thriving company on the way – will sound mighty familiar.  It … Continue reading

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Patagonia – A Meaningful Exploration of Nature

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Most of us associate Patagonia with the rugged, southernmost tip of America and/or with a brand of colorful, high-tech, high quality (and  somewhat high priced) outdoor clothes one would wear to explore that place.  And most of us have at least a feeling … Continue reading

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Shinola: From Shining Shoes to Lifestyle Star – Interview with Bridget Russo, CMO

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One of the founders commented ‘You don’t know shxx from Shinola!‘ during a meeting – This is how an American saying lead to the rebirth of the formerly popular shoe polish it is referring to … at least according to Bridget Russo, CMO Shinola who shared … Continue reading

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Renova: Toilet Paper to live, love and style with, also. – Podcast with Paulo Pereira Da Silva, CEO – #07

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“If toilet paper can make you happy… Why not? Life is hard enough! …” – In this podcast episode we muse with Paulo Pereira Da Silva, CEO of the Renova about how he has transformed this long-standing Portuguese tissue maker … Continue reading

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Truth in Beauty: The Body Shop 4.0?

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It went through all trade magazines and most others in February that The Body Shop, the sometimes more infamous than famous poster girl of eco-beauty, is launching a new and quite ambitious CSR program titled ‘Enrich not Exploit’. Right in … Continue reading

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The Artisanal – Between Fads and Truth

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In our book ‘Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands’ (Schaefer / Kuehlwein, 2015) we discuss the omnipresent trend towards ‘Artisanalization’, reviewing quite a number of examples like Smith & Norbu, maker of bespoke optical frames, Yuan, hand-crafter of soaps, Lakrids, inventor of … Continue reading

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Chipotle – The Genius and Power of Naïveté – Interview with William Espey, Brand Voice Lead Chipotle Mexican Grill – Podcast Episode 05

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In this episode we talk to William Espey, Brand Voice Lead at Chipotle Mexican Grill, the booming ‘casual food’ restaurant chain sought out by most for offering hearty burritos at a relatively low price*, admired by many for being an advocate for … Continue reading

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Storied Seltzer Service – Interview with Brooklyn Seltzer Boy Alex Gomberg – Podcast Episode 03

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For this episode of the Ueberbrands Podcast we went all the way to the end of the L-train line on the New York subway system; to Canarsie in southeast Brooklyn to visit one of the last seltzer filling factories in the US. … Continue reading

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A Beauty Insider’s Look at Ueber-Branding

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We had the honor to be invited to talk about ‘Ueber-Branding’ by the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Luxury Marketing Council in New York and also bring along a panel of friends from Moleskine, The Laundress, CO Bigelow and Dunnhumby. … Continue reading

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Building a Brand on Bricks and Beliefs – Brunello Cucinelli – Podcast Episode 02

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We are discussing Brunello Cucinelli, the ‘Cashmere King’ and his eponymous brand with David LaRocca author, film maker and scholar of philosophy. David, like us, has been fascinated by Brunello, who says he is guided by the great historic thinkers … Continue reading

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The Draw of Bespoke and Subtle Sophistication – Benoit Ams, Smith & Norbu

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In this inaugural episode we talk to Benoit Ams, founder, owner, designer …. Renaissance Man extraordinaire at Smith & Norbu, a brand that offers tailor-made, subtly branded eye-wear for sophisticated clients. The Smith & Norbu optical frames are made from yak horn, which Benoit … Continue reading

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2016 Update: Abercrombie gets dressed! Up?

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In an effort to revise their drastically declining sales Abercrombie & Fitch announced in early 2015 that it was dressing up. Literally. No more half naked hunks. No more piercings or tattoos. Employees will no longer be chosen by body … Continue reading

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Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the ‘Ueber-Brands’

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After some 4 years, 75+ interviews, 150 cases studied and uncounted conversations Wolf Schaefer and JP Kuehlwein are proud to present their latest book ‘Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands’ (Kogan Page Publishing).  You can order it online (links below) … Continue reading

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What A Romantic Can Teach Brand Managers

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Novalis, an author, poet and philosopher of Early German Romanticism (1772-1801) once wrote: By imbuing the meaningless with meaning the ordinary with a sense of mystery the known with the dignity of the unknown, and the finite with an infinite … Continue reading

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Fashion Forward

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In the world of marketing, fashion has traditionally not been taken very seriously. It’s been viewed as un-strategic, driven more by short-term fads and personal quirks and hunches than solid planning and strategic thinking. Concerned more with ever-changing appearances than … Continue reading

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When Product Creation becomes Brand Legend

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I visited Lego in Billund the other day.  I should say “I made a trip to Legoland, the ‘real’ land of Lego.” For this small town in rural Denmark not only hosts one of the namesake amusement parks (and a Lego-hotel, … Continue reading

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Aesop – Fabled Brand, Fabulous Marketing

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 – the Australian boutique Beauty Care brand founded in 1987 – intuitively masters the art of “class branding”.  It is a perfect case to illustrate key principles that – when lived by – can lift  a brand above the masses.  Of course their … Continue reading

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Warhol – At the Edge Between Mass and Class

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The most frequent or observant of our readers might have noticed our pop art theme and Andy Warhol himself popping in and out of our header art.  “What has that got to do with ‘moving brands from mass to class?’, you might ask. … Continue reading

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