And I simply can't get enough of these guys:
So I did a lecture last week in a Brand Management course. The content was about brand authenticity - a great chapter in Mark Uncles' great text, written by prof Mike Beverland from the University of Bath. Mike talks about seven stories a brand might tell as it presents itself as authentic. And one of those stories is the story of the "Artisanal Amateur". I dwelt for some time on how the Qwoff Boys positioned themselves as the "scruffy wine lovers" in that class last week.
I've been to quite a few things at the Qwoff Boys' place, and the odd meeting with Andre. Last year I wanted Andre to come out and talk to my students about authentic branding and to my (pleasant) surprise got this:
Hi Cullen, love to help – not really our area of expertise though.
We've done it okay ourselves, but it's a different matter representing the subject with authority.
Would be happy to offer some personal insights from our own experiences, as long as that's how it's pitched – would do that without powerpoint or anything, just maybe a 10-15 minute chat on the subject.
It didn't go any further, only because of my immense respect that the guys weren't really playing the "I've made it I can brag about it" game. I was just a little quietly embarrassed at asking.
The Qwoff Boys started up a group buying site a year ago. I was watching with interest.
The entire leadup was about this great group buying site - at the time they were talking about "get your mojo on with vino". As the days ticked down I was ready for it, and then...
The day before, somebody's legal department got in touch with the Qwoff Boys and told them "Mojo" was out of the question. With (I expect) the coding skills of Oli Young they changed some stuff and stuck it back to to "Mofos" that owned the "Mojo" trademark. No biggie.
Mike Beverland spoke about making the most of unexpected events, and this was one of those things.
So recently catch of the day stumped up some money to become a big shareholder in the Mofo business. How does a bunch of scruffy wine lovers deal with such a challenge? Well, in Aussie style they take the piss out of themselves.
So that's how it goes with authentic brands and bright power. They draw you in, make you want to be close to them and make you love their success.
And I love their success. May there be a great deal more of it.