Brand Admiration Part II – WKH Team

Remember two weeks ago when we wrote about which brands we like? If not, click here to read part one of this blog post! This week, we’re continuing with the rest of the WKH team on which brand they trust, love, and respect according to this criteria from Marketing Profs.

Trust: achieved when a brand helps its admirers feel empowered, in-control, confident, or relieved of a particular pain point.

Love: fostered when a brand stimulates senses of warmth, gratitude, nostalgia, and empathy.

Respect: earned when a brand’s beliefs, principles, hopes, and vision are in harmonious alignment with the people it serves.

When three of our team members were prompted with this criteria, three companies came to mind: Stride Rite, Outpost Richmond, and Virgin.

Patty: Stride Rite

Trust: Until you have kids, making decisions like “what brand or product should I trust when it comes to my children?” is like a revolving door and can be difficult. When it came to their feet, it was an easy one for me. The tag line “built for childhood since 1919” really speaks to trust – trusted for close to millennia.

Love: I grew up wearing stride rite shoes. Mom insisted that the “shoes on our feet were the best, good shoes meant good feet.” Mom put orthopedic, custom fit shoes on my feet which I had to endure for many years – I had a low arch. This meant; limited styles that were very practical, always ‘lace ups’ – slip-ons, sandals, slides or sneakers – “not enough support.” Fast forward 25 years later and children of my own…I’ve been a stride rite customer since the boys could walk. They’ve enjoyed the ‘light up’ flashing sneakers while I’ve enjoyed the invention of Velcro that replaced shoe laces.

Respect: The focus and ongoing development of products designed for the unique needs of children made my choice to stay with the brand an easy one. The up-to-date styles and ‘kid appeal’ of the designs made it fun for the kids and shoe shopping an adventure! The company’s goals, their request that we do what we can to be a champion of kids, their partnership with Soles4Souls to fight poverty around the world, has certainly earned our respect, and our business!

Sarah: Outpost Richmond

Trust: Outpost, a bike shop and grocery, opened November 2015 and has been an important addition to my neighborhood. Every visit is beyond friendly and the staff are very helpful. I am yet to come out empty handed when I have to stop in for a forgotten dinner ingredient and usually end up with a bottle or two of their excellent wine collection or some local ice cream sandwiches for dessert. I know that everything purchased there will be great quality, and the cycling advice they give is solid. Outpost has gone above and beyond by consistently reaching out to their neighbors via different neighborhood groups asking for suggestions on any items we would like to see stocked, general feedback, and letting us know when their deli cabinet has been replenished with goodies.

Love: Being able to walk to Outpost already makes it a win but knowing that when I get there I can try the fresh bread samples or partake in their Friday night wine tasting is just another reason to pick it as my grocery store over the big chain monsters elsewhere. It is clean, friendly, and the store just looks really awesome inside.

Respect: The emphasis Outpost puts on local produce really cements the community feeling in the store. I know that what I am purchasing is as fresh as possible and that by shopping there I am not only supporting the store but local vendors and small businesses. It’s great for me and great for RVA. Also, Outpost is dog friendly! Where else can you buy locally sourced dinner ingredients, get your bike fixed, fill your growler with a VA craft beer, and walk your furbabies at the same time?!

Patrick: Virgin

Trust: Whenever you interact with a Virgin company, you expect great customer service…it’s what the entire organization’s reputation is built on. The big difference is when things go wrong, which in the real world happens fairly frequently…Virgin seems to have an ability to make the pain go away both by their customer approach and by going further than they need to in order to compensate your inconvenience. On several occasions when using Virgin Atlantic, I have been stranded for a variety of reasons – in every case, the airline took responsibility, booked me into hotels, called me to check everything was OK and update me on my flight status, gave me a free ticket as compensation and upgraded me on the next flight.

Love: If my parents were coming to visit me in the US, they would always fly Virgin. They took advantage of the door-to-door service with limos to and from the airport as my father was in ill-health. Virgin always took great care of them – handling check-in and passport control on their behalf and escorting them to the aircraft. The thing my folks raved about was how attentive, polite and caring Virgin staff were compared to other airlines they had experienced.

Respect: Richard Branson’s reputation for being genuinely interested in people and a down-to-earth fellow is legendary. He leads by example and his employees display a reverence for the work environment he has created, his sense of fun and his accessibility. When you read the stories about his treatment of employees, it is hard not to share their reverence for him.

Next time you go to reach for your favorite product, think about why you trust, love, and respect it.

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