Creating a loved brand by telling a story: Tether
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Stanley Hainsworth has been creative director at Nike, Lego, and Starbucks—all brands that have become iconic through good design. He just finished designing the new Gatorade bottle, too. Hainsworth clearly has a remarkable eye for style, but he insists that the key to creating a brand that attracts fans, that people love, is telling the company's story.
Hainsworth says that companies like Apple have a persona. "You could describe what Apple is as a person, because of the personality they've created," he explains. "So when we work with tech startups, the first thing we have to figure out is their story—what sets them apart in the marketplace."
Now at the helm of Tether, his own design studio and retail space in Seattle, Hainsworth keeps looking for new challenges. "When I left Starbucks, people thought I'd want to work someplace really hip, like Diesel or Apple. I told them I wanted to work with Microsoft and Wal-Mart—two great American brands that have never told their story well. They both have incredible stories, if you think about the startups that they were at the time—it's unbelievable. Bill Gates, what he went through, and his story: it's never been told well. They've never used it to their advantage. They've become a product company with no soul."
"Great companies read your soul," says Hainsworth. "They give you something you didn't even know that you needed."