Inspirational Owners: May 2006
Anne Geddes is an award-winning photographer whose pictures of babies celebrate the life and love of children. Kel Geddes, Director of the Geddes Group, shares insights to the values which underpin Anne’s work and that of the company as a whole.
Lovemarks: Lovemarks is premised on the Love/Respect Axis and attaining both High Love and High Respect. How do you relate this idea to the way Anne Geddes (the brand) works from day to day?
Kel Geddes: The values which underpin Anne’s work, and that of the company as a whole, are Protect Nurture Love. These values are reflected in the imagery, the quality of product, the style, the uniqueness that is Anne Geddes. It’s evident in everything that we create, in our actions, in our behaviour as a company and as individuals.
LMKS: When the essentials of a Lovemark was being formed, Mystery was always at the top of the list. Great stories feed the Mystery. Do you have any examples of how you use ‘story telling’ to add Mystery to your business?
KG: Anne’s images tell the story that we wish to share so effectively. I think that when most people view one of Anne’s books, it is the sense of mystery that initially draws them to sample her work. The resolution of the mystery element is found as the message is evident and clear in the viewing of the images contained within.
LMKS: Lovemarks recognizes that the senses are portals to our emotions. Sight, sound, scent, touch and taste…from packaging to music, from an intangible “feel” to the shopping experience. Can you identify how one of the five senses – or a combination or interplay of more than one – connects most strongly with your product?
KG: Sight is evident in the actual images; a natural fit as our company is based on “photographic inspiration”. The importance of this element can been seen in the quality of our product packaging, our web site www.annegeddes.com and Anne Geddes baby garments.
We address the sense of touch in the quality of paper we use in Anne Geddes books and calendars. Attention is paid to the weight of a book, its feel in the hand when you pick it up. Touch is also a very important aspect in the clothing we produce as the “hand feel” of garments, especially with ‘clothes for babies’, is a vital element in the final decision to purchase.
Sound is an important element when you walk into our flagship store at Downtown Disney. Sound is also an enhancing element when Anne’s images are set to music. (Watch this space!) As for scent, the very subtle fragrance that we use in each of our plush pieces add that special something that complements the hand feel and appearance. We are still working on taste. For Mothers Day promotions we often add a gift box of See’s chocolates as a ‘gift with purchase’.
LMKS: Shared experiences show us where we belong and who cares about us. Do you have an inspirational experience you could share that you often use to show how you feel about your brand and why it is special to you?
KG: Quite frankly there are too many to mention. Due to the special nature of the imagery that Anne produces, we are often involved in that very special and wonderful event - the birth of a child. The emails we receive on our website tell us that we are connecting with people in a special way. In Anne’s next book due in Fall 2007, there are many of the inspirational stories that have shaped our world and encouraged us to continue to promote the values that are important to the future of our planet.
LMKS: Aside from your own organization, there may be other businesses operating in other categories that you consider have the edge it takes to be a ‘Lovemark In Action’. Can you name 2 or 3 other companies, and what you Love or Respect most about them?
KG: Apple computers comes to mind initially. The innovation, energy, design and relationship they have with their customer and the sense of community that they have created under Steve Jobs’ guidance is admired.
Pixar has to be mentioned as its sense of family entertainment and outstanding quality in animation hits the mark with the market.
Disneyland is an organisation that delivers on its promise. Once again having that knowledge of community and being able to deliver so well on a promise of such intangible values as fun, family and pure enjoyment, as well as safety and value.
LMKS: What are 5 more of your Lovemarks?
KG: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Disney, See’s chocolates