What is organic branding? Contrary to the modern connotation of the name, organic branding has nothing to do with ecology or farming practices. In short, it is branding from the inside out. Rather than creating a small organic business brand and then changing the company culture to match it, organic branding is creating a brand based on the company culture itself.
There are several good examples of large businesses succeeding at organic branding, such as Google. This company is fun, innovative, and caring through and through, so it makes sense for these to be core parts of the brand personality. However, for the most part, organic branding is the specialty of small businesses. Focusing on branding your small business from the inside out will give you a huge advantage in a marketplace dominated by corporate giants. One example of this method of finding small business success is New York chocolatier Sweetriot.
While Sweetriot is first and foremost a company selling upscale dark chocolate, the socially conscious values of the owner and founder, Sarah Endline, permeate the company. The brand mission is “to create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for our next generation.” This focus permeates the company, creating an organic brand and a small business success.
First, the name of the company suggests both the deliciousness of the product and the somewhat revolutionary mission. This naming infiltrates the company, with employees officially called ‘rioters’ and consultants titled ‘rioting gurus’. The first day of work, usually called orientation, is instead called ‘Riotation’.
Second, the logo design shows that this is not your average brand of chocolate. Instead of an image reminiscent of sweets, a thumbprint (actually belonging to the owner’s sister) with the continents etched in negative space takes center space. The company name is written in bold red, in slightly off center writing that gives this logo design a revolutionary feeling.
The product packaging is another key part of the brand. The treats are sold in earth-friendly tins that can be recycled or reused for a variety of purposes, rather than paper or plastic wrapping. The tins are decorated with the work of emerging artists, supporting the community in a way that is undeniably in line with the mission statement.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the product Sweetriot is offering is healthier than the average candy bar. Made with anti-oxidant rich coca nibs while being free of common allergens such as dairy and gluten, this chocolate can be enjoyed without guilt. In fact, with all natural ingredients and a far healthier profile than most candies, this company is relatively unique in that it is offering a health food with all the satisfaction of a treat.
Sarah Endline is not the only person who believes in Sweetriot. Not only are the employees inspired, the owner has a 100% close rate that most small business owners would envy. While not all small business have to be revolutionary to survive, this story is just one example of how organic branding can lead to small business success.