Rebranding isn’t an admission of failure. Anything but! It was fascinating to look at the process – when, why and how – that gave a nine-year-old company a completely fresh lease on life. A Texas-based, globally inspired meal delivery service, Flavorly’s transformation didn’t come without asking the hard questions. CEO Brian Altman and co-owner Abi Fourie highlight some of the real-world pitfalls and payoffs associated with taking an unblinkered look at where your company stands – and where you want to take it.
Founded in 2011, Abi’s now-husband Julius and his son Barry were inspired by their passion for cooking to start up a food truck business that has since grown into an online platform that serves customers nationwide. Their growth maps directly to their decision to take a pause and reassess Flavorly’s mission. That’s where Brian entered the picture, originally as a consultant who has now taken on a leadership role at the company.
“We really wanted to understand what is it about the business?” says Brian. “Why did you start it? What brings you joy? What’s going to make you get up in the good seasons and the bad and really push through?”
The answer was simple, if two-fold: Making fresh, healthy, creative global cuisine available to an untapped market and using a portion of those proceeds to underwrite Abi’s nonprofit, Clothed By Faith. Once they’d clearly defined their mission, the path forward became clear as well.
Setting Themselves Apart
The team’s next step was to identify differentiators, which include the unique range of dishes and tastes Flavorly curates; flash-frozen freshness with same-day shipping; and an “a la carte” approach that doesn’t require subscriptions. Brian points out that successful rebranding rests on a commitment to understanding the vision and then following it with a singular focus – not letting competitors distract from either the message or the mission.
Brian says that Flavorly’s process revealed a lack of clarity. Marketing dollars may already have been invested in things like logos or collateral, but it was still worth changing course. Everyone agreed that the company had lost its way. The team had to reconsider: “What was the vision? And they didn’t have it. That’s not uncommon, especially with entrepreneurial ventures. We began to draw it out of them,” adds Brian.
Suddenly it made sense to trade in Healthy Gourmet, their original venture’s name, in favor of Flavorly, which was much more suggestive of the variety of tastes and global orientation that reflect Abi’s upbringing in the UK and her husband’s and son’s South African heritage. From there it was a matter of re-imagining brand personality and audience, market opportunity and strengths. “With our previous brand we were basically doing all the things wrong about something we love,” explains Abi, who first connected with me as a subscriber to WorkLodge (a clean, safe, remote office space where she could take a break from pandemic home school craziness to focus on her work).
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Three key things to keep in mind when undertaking a rebranding:
- If you don’t identify with your brand, then change it.
- Find your niche and stay focused there, not letting competition distract from or dilute the vision.
- Keep joy front and center. Enterprises rarely survive through good and bad seasons.
At this point I chimed in with a word of advice: Rebranding isn’t always a panacea. If you feel you’ve lost the joy in your business, if you feel that inspiration is gone, don’t just assume that tinkering with something is going to fix it. Many factors – from personal burnout to pandemic impacts – are part of the calculus when it comes to considering where to take your business and how. Rebranding can make all the difference, but it can’t on its own restore purpose or excitement.
Intrinsic to Flavorly’s purpose and the joy the team derives is their dedication to Clothed By Faith, a Houston nonprofit that “demonstrates God’s love by providing a week’s worth of gently used outfits to suit the needs and style of people in need. A portion of every Flavorly meal goes to support this passion project, which has five locations and serves clients of all ages. Details about how to donate or request support available below.
- Flavorly grew out of a passion for global cuisine shared by father-and-son Julius and Barry Fourie, which Abi joined and combined with her thriving nonprofit, Clothed By Faith.
- Prior to rebranding, under the company name Healthy Gourmet, the entrepreneurial venture was adrift. Current CEO Brian Altman shares how he and his wife came onboard to help the founders refocus their vision.
- Rebranding requires a clear-eyed look at several factors, such as the heart of the mission and the unique niche that your product or service fills.
- Customer relations is a huge part of Flavorly’s success story, along with its unusual flash-freezing technique and a huge selection of dishes that span the spectrum of cuisines worldwide.
- The guests and Mike discuss subscription-based businesses, pro and con, and why offering customers the ability to order on demand without a long-term commitment is right for Flavorly’s model.
- At the heart of the company is an emphasis on being of service, in particular through Clothed By Faith’s mission to offer gently used outfits to those in need and foster dignity for all.
- “We took the risky step of moving away from fresh to frozen meals bad association with TV dinners.” (Abi)
- “It’s not just logo and colors. It’s more about the current brand and … does it line up with what your true passion is?” (Brian)
- “As soon as we became Flavorly, everything became easier. Because it resonates with us. Since making the switch we have a new passion for this business ignited within us.” (Abi)
- “When your messaging gets diluted and you try to be all things to all people you actually wind up being nothing to no one. That was really the biggest lesson.” (Brian)
- “God’s not interested in your ability or your inability. What he’s interested in is your availability.” (Brian)
Donald Miller’s Story Brand: https://storybrand.com
Mike Thakur is CEO of WorkLodge and Founder at the Gabriel Project. He is on a mission to change lives through entrepreneurship and sustainable social enterprise. With experience both as an executive roles both at established companies and multiple startups (commercial and non-profit), Mike is committed to giving back and creating environments that leave people better off than when they started.