I came across Pomme Bebe as part of my work with the Merage School of Business, which is focused on the art and science of strategic innovation.
I usually write about large national brands, so why post about this start up formed by two UC Irvine alumni? Because I believe marketing leaders at Fortune 500 companies could learn a thing or two from this new venture.
Pomme Bebe's positioning wonderfully simple: Fresh organic baby food. No marketing over think. No spin. It is clear, relevant and differentiating to young health-conscious mothers.
The company's founders understand their customers and have created a unique retail experience to reinforce the brand promise. At its retail location in Newport Beach Pomme Bebe offers moms and their babies a tasting bar to sample the food and decide which concoction the bundle of joy prefers. Moms can relax and socialize in the bebe lounge while enjoying a fresh squeezed drink. The store also offers a drive-up service for moms who need to pick up an order but can't get out of their car while baby is fast asleep. Indulgent? To be sure. But the brand is not trying to be all things to all people (another important lesson).
Lastly, the brand design feels joyful and optimistic and is applied consistently across the packaging, website (which offers moms the convenience of ordering online) and the in-store experience (a lesson perhaps drawn from Apple).
This is a start up with great potential to scale.
They’ll go far.
Even with the economy sliding, with the race for the Whitehouse, and following yesterday's news from Starbucks, over the next 18 months I think we'll be seeing more honesty in the branding of small start-ups. I also think we’ll be seeing bigger losses and deeper cuts for bigger players that think they’re bulletproof.
True, a time of economic uncertainty might appear to be a crazy time to launch a new venture, but when a company starts small and its leaders roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, work hard, and plug away day in, day out, solving real problems and solving them well, they’ll be remembered for all the right reasons.
I can’t help wondering how many brands will catch on to the notion that, to survive and thrive, it will pay off for them to spend time offering real proof of their sincerity. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is how we do it. This is what we offer.