Why Oh Why?
Time alone. Time with friends. Time with family. These are the moments I and many others value the most. These moments are the ‘why’ of Derek Rose. “What do you mean, why?”, I hear you ask.
Start With Why
I read a fantastic book by a chap called Simon Sinek entitled “Start With Why”. Ok, I didn’t strictly read it because I’m a tech geek, so I listened to the audiobook on my runs, but it’s the same thing with no pictures (if there were any in the book). Anyway, I digress. The point he makes, very well, is that brands and companies spend too much time telling people what they do rather than why they do it. He explains that people have a much stronger emotional connection to a ‘why’ than a ‘what’. Good enough for me. So there I was sitting in our monthly Management Meeting discussing how it is we sell pyjamas and swim shorts to my newer colleagues (we’re growing) when I realised this needs fixing. I knew I needed to communicate our ‘why’ both internally and externally. Apparently the people around me are not mind-readers so it was time to start dredging some of the stuff out of my head. I’m a big fan of the phrase “Better the fool who knows he’s a fool, than the fool who doesn’t”, so I went in search of someone who could help me put our ‘why' into words.
Enter the wonderfully gifted and humble Robert Bean of Robert Bean Branding (ok, maybe he could have come up with a better brand name, the irony). A gem of a gentleman who is a true wordsmith. I and my super talented management team were interviewed one on one by Robert and then spent two days locked in a room with him as he extracted words, thoughts and emotions from us all, mixed them up, added some seasoning and sent us on our merry way with our fully baked, tasty ‘Why’.
So What Did We Learn?
Well, we were all in it for the same reasons. Which was pleasant news to us. It turns out our ‘why’ has been with us since my grandfather started in the 1920’s and my father joined him in 1953. It has evolved more recently but the essence is the same. You see, the earliest ‘why’, for the Rose family, harks back to our origins and people’s bedtime. A super important, valuable, free time moment that we’ve been trying to enrich for customers since we made our first pyjamas in 1926. Our ‘why’ is, simply, that we are in business to help people enjoy their free time. When we say free time, we’re talking about the the time all of us value the most in our lives: time to ourselves; time with friends and time with family.
These ‘moments’ are at the core of our ‘why’. We want to enhance these moments for ourselves and our customers. We call the love of these moments and the desire to make the most of them, “Feel-good Living”. This blends the physical (‘Feel') and mental (‘Feel-good’) enjoyment of life, focusing on the positive nature of life and living.
So, after we did this working life got a whole lot easier. We no longer have to try and explain the logic behind why we make sleepwear and swimwear. We just explain to people that we’re here to make products that enhance their enjoyment of their free time.
So now you too are a Derek Rose expert…you know why we’re here and what we hope to achieve. In another post I’d like to talk about how we achieve it.
CEO, Derek Rose Ltd