The CEO of Kind Snacks Doesn’t Follow Trends

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Brand as business bit:   A recent “If I Knew Then” piece on Young Entrepreneur featured gems of wisdom from Daniel Lubetzky, the CEO and founder of KIND.  (KIND makes those good-for-you and good-tasting bars in colorful packages that you buy at Whole Foods et al.)

His comments about not jumping on trends stood out to me in particular because “Great brands ignore trends” is one of the principles I discuss in my upcoming book, What Great Brands Do:  The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest (Jossey-Bass, January, 2014.)  It sounds counterintuitive, but following trends comes with great risk.  Lubetzky explains:

“At KIND, we avoid jumping to react to passing trends. Instead, we thoroughly evaluate whether or not new product concepts meet or exceed the expectations we’ve set. It is our belief that a brand is a promise and a great brand is a promise kept… It’s easy to jump on “hot” trends and feel like being first to market will be the sole driver of results in terms of brand awareness, sales and revenue. My hope is that in seeing my early mistakes, young entrepreneurs will learn to pause, focus on quality above all else and fully vet decisions to ensure that they always live up to their brand promise, as that will result in sustained success. [emphasis mine]