Grasse Dreams Up The Spirits, Feeds Them to Bigger Fish
June 4, 2010
Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction is a long name for a company that makes craft spirits and other handmade merchandise. But William Grant & Sons, the family-owned distiller headquartered in in the United Kingdom, isn't bothered by the unconventional name. They want Art in the Age's leading product, ROOT, and ROOT they shall have, for they've acquired the company from Steven Grasse and his brand consultancy Quaker City Mercantile
Building a Better Brita
Mavea's curvilinear new pitcher has arrived to enliven the relatively dry terrain of home water filtration.
Given the amount of decision-making that goes into paint chips and appliances, it’s funny that no one has thought to give the water filter a makeover. Not only is this water-spattered, boxy bit of plastic a blight on the sightlines of even the most stylish North American kitchens, there’s a comedy to the way that, mid-pour, the lid for a basic Brita will fall into the “clean” receptacle. And there’s a futility built into the way we set the little calendars and promptly forget to change the filter till there's actually something growing inside.
Frilly in Philly
May 29, 2010
Every once in awhile, you are blessed to meet an extraordinary person that you just know is going to impact your life in some profound way. It could be a best friend, a mentor, a lover… Or it could be a group like the Next American Vanguard. Over the past couple of days, I was privileged enough to be part of this incredible group of young urban leaders committed to improving American cities.
Pouring It On
In 2000, Brita GMBH, a German company that designs and manufactures consumer and professional water-filtration products, including popular water-purifying pitchers, made a decision that from a branding perspective seemed unthinkable. When it ended its 12-year-old licensing-and-distribution agreement with U.S. conglomerate the Clorox Co., Brita sold Clorox sole rights in North America to the Brita brand, which has become synonymous with these pitchers. The German company also agreed to a noncompete clause until 2005.
Today Brita is a fairly large company in Europe — last year's revenue topped $400 million — with the problems of a small business in the U.S. Its new Mavea brand is the underdog in water-filtration pitchers, compared with the Clorox-owned Brita brand it created.
Organic Spirits: Could Life Get Better?
Here’s a man who knows exactly what he wants. In 20 years Steven Grasse went from disgruntled ad man to happy-go-lucky organic farmer and distillery owner. For all you entrepreneurs out there, let Grasse give you a little push in the right direction. He opened his own ad agency at 23, operating by the business plan: sex+drugs+rock&roll=cool sh*t. After a successful run selling other peoples’ products, he decided to create his own, and he started with Sailor Jerry. Beginner’s luck? Probably not...
Hyper-Local Liquor: Tobacco Branding Pioneer Finds Redemption
With a business model that combines sex, drugs and rock n roll with, quote, "cool shit", you'd expect a talk by branding pioneer Steven Grasse to be provocative. But with a professional background in branding cigarettes and sneakers, you might not expect it to be particularly note worthy for TreeHuggers. However, you'd be wrong.
Because what do you do once you've made a fortune selling tobacco? Why, you move on to booze of course. But this is no ordinary booze. In fact, by combining ultra-local (and I do mean ultra-local!), sustainable agriculture with a love for cultural exploration and serious fun, I would argue that it is a beautiful example of where business should be headed. This presentation is worth checking out, whether you drink or not.