Here’s an interesting headline.
Versace Bans Kangaroo Skin After Pressure From Activists.
I always find headlines like this interesting.
Notwithstanding the fact that we have to beware of journalists.
And their journalistic shorthand.
If what the journalist has written in the article is true.
(Versace ‘OK’d’ it, apparently).
My tiny brain can’t fathom why any brand would want to say anything at all like this.
And definitely not out loud.
Here is what I actually hear Versace saying.
When I read headlines like the one above:
We are Versace.
The gap between our values.
And your values out there as a consumer.
We’ve just shown this because the only reason we’ve stopped shooting kangaroos in the face to make handbags.
Is because we’re concerned that activists may influence you the consumer to not buy our other stuff until we do.
This short story is not about whether you are for or against killing kangaroos for fashion.
Although that is a crucial sub-plot.
This short story is about brand values.
And the fact that Versace have none.
What Versace do.
If the article is to believed.
Is whatever it takes to get sales.
(In a category that is already about 60% oversupplied).
And that – I’m my mind – makes Versace a maker of very fine things.
And at the same time.
An utterly, utterly shit brand.
The future of branding includes authentic values.
Woven into every single pore of the offer.
Not because someone tells you you have to behave a certain way.
But because you are compelled to behave like that.
Because it is all you know.
And because if you were told you had to go against what you believed in.
Only then can a consumer build an enduring relationship with you.
Because only then can they match what you believe.
To what that they believe.