The importance of naming your e-commerce brand correctly has been established as a crucial stepping stone in establishing your organization’s identity. Harry’s, much like many other examples of authentic branding, seems to have been a trailblazer in their industry. Not only is the name “Harry” a common male name, but it’s also not particularly glamorous. T doesn’t provide as much as a hint as to the nature of the company. It’s extremely abrupt. So, how is it, that a name like “Harry’s” can pave the way for a brand to become a tremendous name in its industry – a household favorite, in fact? And what can other small businesses learn from this valuable example of authentic branding?
Harry’s is a personable brand that embraces authenticity as part of their identity. They’re here with a clear-cut mission: to bring quality shaving products and tools to men without the hefty price tag that generally accompanies the popular name brands. They’re attainable. Stylish. They’re an example of authentic branding, there’s absolutely no pretense here. Their claim to popularity comes from their superior-grade shaving products that are designed, researched and tested, manufactured, and controlled by a team of over 600 engineers, designers, craftsmen, and chemists.
Jeff and Andy are two everyday men that decided to create a product that’s easily accessible to most guys (they particularly make mention of the annoyance of standing in a queue at a drug store waiting to be given a classy razor out of a cabinet) but still high quality. The success of their authentic branding strategy is largely thanks to their relaxed brand identity – its’ simply so relatable – but it’s not just that. They started with the end in mind, creating something that answered a demand. Men wanted great razors without the hassle, the pretentiousness, and the high prices.
Why their authentic branding sets them apart from their competitors
They’re bringing a great quality product to the average “dude”, believing that all men deserve a close shave that’s comfortable and kind to skin. So, who started this brand that’s become so iconic? In part, it lies in the power of a name: ‘We thought that other shaving brands portrayed an idea of a perfect guy with a perfect jaw but we wanted an honest brand that says we are for normal guys. We think Harry’s fits the bill. The name actually came from a grandfather figure of mine.’
Where every other name in the shaving manufacturing industry was touting this icon of a man with a perfect jawline and model-like features, Harry’s embraced the messiness of masculinity. The realness of being a guy. It turns out that this authenticity is so relatable, it became their major selling point, leading to other iconic names in the business, that are an established household name, creating product lines imitating this one. Authentic branding refers to how well your brand aligns its actions with its “ethos”. It can also refer to how relatable and real your brand is – is it something an average consumer can relate to or is it the icon of perfection consumers can only strive for? Authenticity refers to the former example.
Understanding “authenticity” in the branding game
Authentic branding is a new style of marketing that is proving that realness sells far better (in some industries) than perfection. Many consumers are more at ease with a brand that shows its vulnerability and invokes humor to set consumers at ease about their own imperfections. This is because consumers feel at ease with themselves. In the case of Harry’s, authentic branding has worked because their target audience is men, who are generally less inclined to uphold an image. Men are practical. They desire practicality and logic. There’s nothing quite as dress-down and average as the name “Harry”. It’s that “come as you are” attitude that has buyers flocking over, exactly as they are.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”