I wrote the ten point modernist manifesto as an antidote to years of coming up with vision statements and missions. It flowed logically and came together quickly. I was really happy that it covered everything I wanted to, from philosophy and brand to manufacture and distribution.
I refer to it weekly. It's my map. If things feel off track and it's getting to me, I take a moment and read it - it's never failed to set me right. Here are two of the points:
- A product you can differentiate through quality and marketing
- I came from an industry where the product (money, basically) was more or less the same across the entire industry, as was quality of service. Competition was based on minute margins and minimal perceptual differences in service - they liked you or they didn't. Fragrance was attractive because there was a wide range of products and perceptions of them. I saw bad products with good marketing, good products with bad marketing, bad products with bad marketing (lips sealed). I wanted a good product with good marketing.
- Treat people fairly, with respect and humour and expect the same in return
- That industry I came from, lacking much in the way of differentiation, relied a lot on attitude and brio, most of it negative. I used to sit in meetings where, had it been my business instead of someone's business I was running, I would have walked out or asked the customer to leave. With Modernist Fragrance, I set out to deal with people I liked, people that were able to provide what was needed and do it in a way that was relaxed, respectful and cheerful. Basically, I tried to stop being an asshole. That's going okay, I'm told, for the most part.