Will has a good post over here giving some sag advice to startups to be authentic. It’s a valid viewpoint, especially given the recent cases involving dodgy lead paint, poisonous toothpaste and killer dog food.
Recently we have seen a number of products come to market which leverage off some sort of pseudo authentic platform. Here in New Zealand, and in my industry, we see it in the Asian manufactured outdoor products that keep harping on about clean green/made OF New Zealand/born of the mountains etc etc.
Sorry to get all heated up about this but what the hell does it mean. A product that is manufactured in China, of fabric made in Korea, then shipped to Europe packaged in bleach filled packaging that is printed with chlorine inks in a million places saying “Made of New Zealand”.
Now don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with (for example) Icebreaker moving production to China. It’s a move that (if one buys into their rationale) they had to make to ensure qualitative and quantitative performance for their brand. The move I have no problem with, what I do have a problem with (and I’m not going to enter the debate whether or not Icebreaker are guilty of this) is covering up the offshore move with awful platitudes about shiny happy Asian labour and the fact that their former manufacturing workers have miraculously become graphic/product/web designers.
So, to get back to what Wil says, be honest, be open and most of all ensure that your product, your mesage and your people are authentic.