The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Own Your Truth …

When I was in Sydney at Christmas, I fell ill.

I know you may feel that is karma, but it was pretty shitty.

So after going to the doctors, I went to the local chemist and it is there I saw this …

Proud To Be Cheap.

Words you don’t hear very often.

Either because everyone is trying to come across as ‘aspirational and premium’ or they’re repositioning price to mean ‘smart and discerning’.

And yet, not only did those 4 words stand out from everything else, they made me smile.

It owned its truth.

It said exactly what it was.

It was, quite literally, proud to be cheap.

There is something incredibly refreshing about that.

But more than that, there is something incredibly valuable about that.

Not just because – as I mentioned earlier – it stands out.

Nor is it because it allows them to minimize their investment in store experience.

[Though, the service I got was brilliant, and not just because I was expecting shite]

And not even because by saying it, they rob the competition from trying to diss them for it.

The reason I think it’s valuable is because it immediately feels more inclusive and approachable than so many of the ego brands out there and so attracts a certain sort of customer rather than trying to constantly chase or seduce them.

It’s a bit like Dolly Parton [yes, I’m going there].

She is very self depreciating …

When she said, “It takes a lot of money to be this cheap”, she was proudly owning who she was and accepting her tastes were not what society likes.

OK, so she was talking about her cheapens from the sense she has a lot of money whereas this chemist is talking about themselves from the perspective they don’t cost a lot of money … but owning their truth has immediately separated themselves from the sea of competition.

Years ago I wrote about an approach to strategy that I had which I called unplanning.

I’ve talked about this a lot – from James Blunt to Eminem – but really this about authenticity.

Knowing who you are.

Being true to who you are.

Living by the values that shaped who you are.

And accepting that in a World where brands are often shaped more by what the competition force you to do than what you want to do, by being yourself you will be different.


20 Comments

Before anyone says it – and because I’m already up – I know I am perfectly placed to write a post about looking and being cheap. You’re welcome.

Comment by Rob

You’re a natural.

Comment by Bazza

Your 8 Mile strategy in full effect. Funny it’s always cheap brands that own it and not the expensive, despite always wanting to communicate their “aspirational lifestyle.”

Comment by Bazza

Maybe because they’re truth is they have a lot less class than Dolly.

Comment by Pete

Cheap pharmacy to strong brand. Damn you’re good Rob.

Comment by Pete

Great post Robert. It should be read by CMO and ad grads alike. Maybe they will understand brand value is derived more by authenticity than price point.

Comment by George

Authenticity creates price premium.

Comment by Pete

what sort of fucking conversation is this shit?

Comment by andy@cynic

Excellent post Robert. The most pertinent sentence for me is, “by being yourself you will be different”. The holy grail which many companies fail to achieve because they spend their time trying to be different rather than themselves.

Comment by Lee Hill

That sums it up perfectly. Thanks Lee.

Comment by Rob

Dolly is the best.

Comment by Jemma King

You must go to Dollywood … it’s almost as amazing as she is.

Comment by Rob

You should pay for her to go. After all you subjected her to.

Comment by DH

Hope your trip wasn’t ruined too much, it was a family trip wasn’t it? Just to be clear, I’m totally fine with one of your freebies being ruined.

Comment by Northern

It was a family trip, thanks for your conditional compassion. Ha.

Comment by Rob

good work northern casanova, keep pushing the jammy prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

ill say this for you campbell, you own your truth. mainly because no other fucker would ever want it.

Comment by andy@cynic

Now that’s how you do a backhanded compliment.

Comment by DH

This comment is for tomorrow’s post. You should have allowed comments because the story is incredible as is the compassion you showed towards the taxi driver. Well done Rob, you are a special human.

Comment by George

[…] I wrote a while back, when you own who you are, not only does it mean no one can own you, but you find you attract […]

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