Entrepreneurs Paul and Olga Garibian are young parents who want to contribute to a healthier world for their children and for future generations. With the fashion industry being one of the world’s largest polluters, they saw an opportunity to do things differently. The vision of their startup is to be an ethical clothing brand that delivers on premium quality. They focus on one product – the t-shirt – and have worked hard to improve every step of the supply chain in order to empower everyone from farmers to consumers to play their part in making the world a better and healthier place.
The problem they came up against was that there seemed to be a perception among consumers that ethical clothing would be more basic and wouldn’t be able to match the quality of other luxury brands. They also found that the customers they were targeting were not willing to pay a premium for ethical clothing. The audience they had reached did not seem to share their values and felt that the price point was too high.
After reading Brand Real: The Startup Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Effective Branding and Building Values-Based Organizations, Paul realized that their branding and positioning were not clearly defined and aligned with their values, which was why they were struggling to reach the right audience. They asked us to work with them to help crystalize their branding and clarify their messaging in a way that put their values front and center. The challenge was to communicate The Classic T-Shirt Company’s point of difference in order to reach those consumers who are already willing to pay a premium for high quality tees and who share their commitment to ethical and sustainable business.
"Shortly after we first launched our luxury ethical t-shirt brand, The Classic T-shirt Company, we realized that our branding and positioning was not fully aligned with our values. We knew that we could not build a lasting brand without reconciling some of those issues. After reading
Brand Real: The Startup Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Effective Branding and Building Values-Based Organizations, I knew that we need to define and clarify our brand archetypes, positioning statement for different stakeholders, and most important values. The framework in the book made senses and was written in a way that resonated with my partners. To build a brand that lasts, this was too important for a us to tackle on our own; therefore, we made a critical decision to hire Vasken and his team to help us build our brand messaging platform. We could not be happier with the result. We received vital recommendations and guidelines for our brand that we embraced and implemented."
Inspiring and Empowering the Rest of Us to Make Positive Decisions for The World We Live In.
Working closely with Paul, Olga and their team, we developed a full and coherent brand strategy that centers on their values and their point of difference: luxury ethical clothing. We took time to understand the founders, their values and their vision for the business, and carried out research into the market and competition in order to define their positioning. Of The Classic T-Shirt Company’s major competitors, none were able to offer the same premium quality alongside ethical, sustainable processes. We therefore determined that their point of difference is that ethics and quality go hand in hand. They are able to achieve this by focusing on just one product and getting it right, from start to finish.
Our strategy was therefore to highlight these values across all brand messaging, and to position The Classic T-Shirt Company to reach and connect with like-minded consumers who share these values. We developed a concise and coherent positioning statement, as well as compelling messaging for all stakeholders. We then re-aligned the website content with the newly defined brand positioning and targeted it at the desired customer base: 22-55 year-olds who value quality products and are willing to pay a premium for this, as well as sharing the company’s commitment to doing good while doing well. At every level, we ensured that the brand messaging clearly and powerfully communicates the values that are the foundation of the company so that people who share those values will immediately connect and be motivated customers.
We also worked with the team on their packaging, including an engaging and evocative story insert to include with every purchase. This reinforces the fact that The Classic T-Shirt Company is a values-based organization that seeks to empower and inspire its customers to help make the world a better place.
The Classic T-Shirt Company Is Pioneering A New Way of Doing Business in Fashion.
The team at The Classic T-Shirt Company embraced our recommendations and implemented them immediately, creating a solid foundation for their brand. Building on the success of their premium men’s crew necks, they now offer a full range of t-shirts for both men and women, but they remain committed to the value of doing this one thing well. They have proudly set themselves apart from the competition as the premium ethical clothing brand that brings together quality and integrity. As a result or their values-based messaging, their brand is exciting, inspiring and motivational.
The Classic T-Shirt Company is already thriving in the US, and the team have set their sights on global expansion. With every decision they make for their business, now and in the future, they are able to continuously come back to their branding, positioning statement and messaging and ensure that they are staying true to their values. It is this integrity that connects with their target audience on a personal, human level and makes their startup one to watch.
"I have read so many self-help books, but Brand Real: The Startup Entrepreneur’s Guide to Effective Branding and Building Values-Based Organizations is in a league of its own. Written specifically for budding entrepreneurs by the branding guru, Vasken Kalayjian. Vasken takes the reader on a journey of branding and instilling specific values to any start-up. The author highlights ways of achieving success in any business. This is done in a clear and logical way. He articulates on how to attract tech-savvies into an organization. He elaborates on how organizational values can turn a small start-up into a multi-million dollar company. Without giving any spoilers, let me hasten to say that, Brand Real, is a book that gives budding entrepreneurs an in-depth coaching on building business empires using a variety of tools and techniques."