When building and nurturing a brand, there are two key points you won't learn in business school.
According to Tom First, the baby-faced co-founder of Nantucket Nectars, creating a successful brand is not a democracy. It's also not about research. Instead, it's about choosing three or four smart people who "go with their gut."
What feels right? What resonates? Why does a name, a logo, an image or specific text work? Successful brands are built with passion and are anything but an exact science.
First, who with Tom Scott created Nantucket Nectars after meeting at Brown University in 1985, spoke to a small group of Monsters yesterday at the Copley Westin about brand building.
He was engaging and funny, conversational and witty. First said they started the business because they wanted to find a way to live on Nantucket year-round. They sold their blended juice off the back of a boat in Nantucket Harbor, creating a buzz. Soon, they were selling their juice to Stars Ice Cream and the Sconset Market.
When they did their first radio ad, they were totally unprepared, according to First. The 30-second spot had no script; instead, it was Tom and Tom talking about things that happened to them on the drive down. The honest, risky approach paid dividends as that ad propelled Nantucket Nectars into the New England summertime vernacular.
First admits creating and establishing a brand is a lot of work, but he stresses the importance of "winging it," "taking chances" and "going with your gut." You'll never see these phrases in a marketing or business plan. But it worked for this guy.
The Juice Guy.