Integrity Brands

1

Art—great product—drives the bus.

Without it—literally, truly, nothing else matters.

2

Science is the bus.

Great creative visions can and will founder on the shoals of poor execution.

3

Great brands result from great products.

Not the other way around. By itself, the logo doesn’t mean a thing.

4

Products are great when they are right for a specific, clear customer.

Great companies know their customer intimately.

5

Great leaders are product-focused.

Operating genius is hugely important, but it’s the product vision that’s indispensible.

6

Great leaders build great cultures.

A vibrant culture, with a clear, shared viewpoint, focused on the customer, translates a vision into an institution.

7

Retail and brand-building business dynamics are opposite.

Retail is fast, and broad, and changes every day, in response to the customer. It’s about listening, and experimenting, and re-assorting. Brand-building is narrow, slow, focused, and purposeful. It’s about designing, and convincing.

8

Oversight is different in creative businesses.

It’s not about financial metrics or strategic plans. It’s about people, and vision, and viewpoint and conviction, and a shared sense of commitment and values.

9

There’s the vision. And then, there’s tomorrow.

The vision reflects your conviction, and guides where you’re trying┬áto go. It’s what lies on the horizon. Tomorrow tells you whether you’re getting there. There’s no in between.

10

It can be a winding road.

The customer may be intrigued; then disappointed; then thrilled. You need to hang on and stay with it. So (harder to achieve) do your investors and board members.

11

Failure is inevitable and valuable.

Your product will fail. The assortment for a season will fail. That’s an opportunity. Next season will be better. The brand will get stronger.

12

Investors need to be partners in conviction.

Investors need to have personal conviction about the product, and to be—or relate to—the customer. Otherwise—how can you really understand what’s going on?

13

Investments should be simple—and support the business.

Creative businesses don’t harken to financial engineers.

14

Governance Matters.

Create an oversight system that’s simple, sustainable, transparent, and fair—to everyone.

15

Values Matter.

Build a culture that reflects the best in all of us—empathy, kindness, honesty, fairness—a culture founded on doing the right thing.