Is Your Brand Authentic?
At the event, Hope explained that marketers constantly strive to reinvent themselves only to find that if the essence of their brand image is not based on authenticity, it is doomed for failure. According to the Authentic Brand Index, “at its heart, authenticity is about practicing what you preach; being totally clear about who you are and what you do best.” Hope also discussed how to keep your brand image real and provide an authentic experience for customers.
Before delving into how Jersey Mike’s maintains its own authenticity, Hope lauded Coca-Cola for staying true to its brand identity (versus PepsiCo’s perpetual logo alterations). He then cited examples of established brands attempting (read: failing) to branch out to other markets such as frozen dinners from Colgate, disposable underwear from Bic, and Zune, the now discontinued line of digital media players from Microsoft.
A staple of the shore area, Jersey Mike’s Subs is a franchise restaurant chain with more than 600 stores open and under development in 33 states. The first store opened in 1956 in Point Pleasant and was originally called Mike’s Subs. When the company began franchising in 1978, Mike’s Subs became Jersey Mike’s Subs to capture the authenticity of where its famous sub sandwich was born. Hope noted that in all of its corporate and franchise locations across the country, the menu and signage are the same, staying true to its brand. Jersey Mike’s is also a charitable organization that gives back to the communities where they operate. Hope explained that prior to each store’s grand opening, the company aligns with a local charity and a percentage of proceeds (from the first five days of operation) are donated to the non-profit organization.
Jersey Mike’s is clearly a company that has striven to maintain its brand authenticity. As Hope outlined, remaining true to its brand identity has enabled the company to maintain its customer base over the years that come back to Jersey Mike’s for an authentic submarine sandwich.
Is your brand authentic? Let us know how in the comments below.
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