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Bear Naked Granola—A Brand Story I Like

This entry was originally posted on February 9, 2006 at the old Brandstory blog (link available for a limited time).


A few weeks ago, while searching around for an afternoon energy boost, a coworker turned me on to a new product—Bear Naked Granola. He said, not only is it good, but it’s a small company started by two high school friends. I was intrigued.

He was right. This granola is good. Very good. And it all started in Kelly Flatley’s kitchen. You can read the entire story here. Of course, a story this good has been told before. In this case, many times.

The Bear Naked story is the American dream. Two kids, who don’t know any better, succeed at doing something they love. They max out credit cards. Mix batches of granola in mom’s kitchen (only using ingredients you can pronounce). They cook all night, then work all day to grow the company. They hire other friends to help out. And after a bit of effort, their product is carried in 11,000 retail outlets nationwide.

The branding is terrific. Bear Naked has a great logo, and clean, distinctive packaging. They are proud of their story and make it a prominent part of their website and packaging. They offer Bear Naked gear for evangelists to wear (just save your packages and send them in). And they have a blog (though it looks as if posting new content isn’t a big priority).

Most importantly, the product tastes fantastic. It’s no wonder that when Bear Naked offers samples at retail locations, sales increase 4x. I’d love to hear the pitch the sample people give. If they’re smart, they share more than a spoon full of granola, they share their brand story.

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