The best contemporary entrepreneurs aspire to make brands to join, not just “buy.” As a critically important means to that end, we must create brands people feel, not just “consume.”
The gig is up on aseptic, cold, purely transactional relationships between brands and people. Those relationships don’t mean anything and are disposable, like a flimsy cheap paper plate.
“Form follows function. But both report to emotion.” Willie Davidson, Harley-Davidson Co.
At GOODLES, practically everything we do is driven by feeling, hardwired. Imagine a flywheel of warm energy connecting our team internally to people out in the world, and back again, over and over. From the thousands of iterations in the kitchen before we felt our food was good enough to exceed our impossibly high standards for what we wanted people to experience when they took their first (and thousandth) bites, to painstakingly (make that pleasurestakingly!) working over every last microscopic detail in our brand world, we have stopped at nothing to gush out feeling. And the spigot won’t close.
We want people to feel great about what they eat, how we interact, how they interact with others. It’s early, but… how’s it going?
Regarding detail. I’m a fan of Mies Van Der Rohe, but “Less is more” doesn’t apply here. Sorry, Mies, when it comes to building great brands, more is more. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Roller skates, unicorns, and dune buggies, oh my. And wait until you see what is coming up next. “Oh my” could become “Holy (expletive)!”
I also mentioned team. I’m older than most people think, and have been around the block a few times. I am not sure I have ever been part of a crew—the team in Santa Cruz, our investors, our partners everywhere— with such positive electricity and chemistry. We are all attuned to feeling and each other, and even went through an exercise to create our own GOODLES playlists: what does brand sound like to you? (First on mine: “Flying Theme” from E.T., and we’re all Elliott.)
Serendipity is a huge factor in how we even came together in the first place. Is there a higher power that decided it’s meant to be, this is it, now is the time? Or did I just get lucky? Whatever the cause, it feels fantastic on a daily basis to be able to work with these incredible humans, and I’m forever grateful. I’ve always told my students and clients that consumers can discern which brands are run by people who are enjoying their work, and which ones aren’t. Those in the former camp win every time. Let’s see if that precept holds.
So here we go, the USS GOODLES is ready to set sail. As we prepare to pull up the anchor today, a different song is in my mind. Sing along and kick the bass drum with me: (Ooga chaka ooga ooga chaka, bomp bomp) “I’m hooked on a feeling, I'm high on believing…”