About Slow Brand
Why Slow Brand?
In Italy in 1989 the Slow Food movement was started, a movement explicitly created to counter the fast food and fast life trends of the modern world. Since 1989 that movement has grown to an international movement with over 80,000 active members and an influence which is preserving local food traditions, heritage varieties and helping reshape the menus and the palates of countless restaurants and chefs around the world
I (Shannon Clark), am the co-founder of Nearness Function, a new brand focused ad network, a few weeks before we launched I was discussing the underlying philosophy we suggest to brands and I described it as a “Slow Brand” approach. My audience for that first discussion, however, were not aware of the Slow Food movement so didn’t immediately get my reference.
So what do I mean by a “Slow Brand” approach?
It seems to me that today fewer and fewer companies (and individuals) are investing in their brand, that many look for the fast (and they think easy) way to success and recognition and neglect to take enough time to build a Slow Brand.
But not a dumb brand. A Slow Brand is one that stands for something, for a consistent promise, for messaging that takes time and has respect for the audience.
Slow Brands can (and indeed I’d argue should) be highly innovative, should have powerful and often fast companies, while being built around a core promise that persists and informs all actions of the company.
This blog will be an exploration of what it means to be a Slow Brand. I will highlight companies I think are doing it very well (and at times some I think may not be doing a good job). Many posts will in keeping with the inspiration for the blog look at how companies in the food industry – both internationally and locally are building, maintaining and supporting their brand.
I am not, however, an unbiased observer. As I noted, I’m the co-founder of a new ad network, Nearness Function. As such from time to time we may be working with one or more of the brands I write about (or have written about in the past).
I will disclose these relationships to the best of my ability – my general rule of thumb will be to disclose active relationships if they are active as I write a post, I generally will not modify a past post but will seek to have a current disclosures page on this blog which I will seek to keep updated with the duration of relationships.
That is my plan. However it may prove unwieldy as the number of brands Nearness Function works with grows over time and as some relationships may be bound up in other agreements (confidentiality agreements for example if we are working with a brand before they launch publicly on a new campaign).
Thus in general I will tend to write about brands and categories which we are not directly working with, and when/if we are I’ll seek to disclose as much as I can.
But do remember that I do not claim to be unbiased or impartial. My business is built around the model that how you build, maintain, and enhance a brand is to take a long term, consistent, and ongoing approach to that process. What we help brands do is one aspect of that process, helping the brand be associated with great services and communities which relate to the brand’s long term approach and goals.
As I will try to do in this blog, we insist that all of the relationships we help build are always fully disclosed. A sponsorship package we help arrange may include a combination of things – traditional advertising (images, videos, and audio), in some cases copy read by a host of a program, at times products made available for prizes etc. But we will never do an undisclosed product placement to cite just one example and all elements we pay for will be clearly disclosed as having been paid for.
It is and will be an ongoing journey.
I encourage comments and debate, but will moderate comments by new commentators and I reserve the write to delete comments. In general I do not mind critical comments but I will broadly speaking enforce a “living room test” – if comments rise past a level I’d be comfortable with in a conversation in my living room, I may delete them – especially if they are anonymous, trolling, personally directed (either at me or at other commentators) or completely off topic (and I will be using Askimet among other tools to look for spam comments).