10 SME brands that walk the walk

When I speak at events, one of the questions I am nearly always asked is to name some examples of “good” brands.

I always take that to mean the names of organisations who keep their promises and as a result have strong aligned brand (I leave moral judgements on “good” to others).

Inevitably, when I am asked my mind goes blank and I reach for my go-to examples, among them Patagonia (#1 on nearly any list I make), Toms Shoes, Apple and Walmart. But one of the attendees at this event was more interested in some local fodder.

Here in Australia it’s a bit of an uneven picture (well, not just here actually). At the big end of town, examples of what not to do more readily come to mind. But within small and medium enterprises there’s no shortage of solid brands to admire – here are nine that I like from across a variety of sectors.

Carmans: Because when you combine hard work with standing behind your products great things can happen.

Aesop: Because superlative isn’t just talk – it’s embedded from philosophy to delivery.

Mr and Mrs Smith: Because when great experiences are your product you have to have a robust approach to ensuring they are.

Atlassian: Because “Don’t #@!% the customer” is the best, ballsiest value statement ever.

Haul: Because their products are “rubbish” and they are proud to say so.

Cochlear: Because they continue to be trailblazers for Australian innovation.

Hub Melbourne: Because people working for themselves need a better place to collaborate than the local coffee shop (with apologies to Benjamin Franklin).

Hepburn Wind: Because building consensus and investment for renewable energy generation for a community takes lots of cups of tea.

Deck of Secrets: Because no matter where we live or visit we all love a good secret spot.

Broadsheet: Because there is lots to love about a magazine that cares about content not controversy.

I’ll espouse on these in more detail next week. But in the meantime don’t take my word for it – check them out yourself. And while you’re thinking about it, let me know some of your favourites in comments below, I’m always looking for great examples of brands that are kicking ass and taking names by staying true to who they are and what they believe.

See you next week.

Michel is an independent Brand advocate dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com. You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan

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