Inspirational Owners: November 2006
LÄRABAR is a brand of natural energy bars and a product of Humm Foods, Inc. Their company philosophy is Simple. Pure. Delicious. Founder, Lara Merriken, shares insights on her brand and Lovemarks.
Lovemarks: Why do you think so many people feel passionate about your brand?
Lara Merriken: While most people associate energy bars as a tasteless necessity, LÄRABAR has filled a niche. Made from only simple ingredients of fruit, nuts and spices, LÄRABAR also tastes indulgent and delicious. As a result, people feel that they have discovered something very special. Our product touches a lot of different types of people - from those that have special and restricted diets to those that simply want a convenient product.
LM: How do you relate ideas of Love and Respect to the way your business works from day to day?
LM: At LÄRABAR we love what we do and we respect that our company is supported by a community of people that love what we do. This translates into the quality of our products, how we treat our customers, how our team works together and how we give back to our community.
LM: An idea associated with Lovemarks is the idea of Loyalty Beyond Reason. In thinking about your business, how, in broad terms, do you define Loyalty?
LM: Loyalty can be defined as caring deeply and standing by something no matter what. As a business, the relationships we create at every level - who we source or raw ingredients from, who makes our product, who sells our product, to who ultimately consumes our product. We are loyal to the people who support us and help us to make a product that we are proud of and believe in.
LM: Can you identify how one of the five senses – or a combination or interplay of more than one connects most strongly with your product or service?
LM: LÄRABAR is presented in a simple, colorful, inviting and unique package. It’s the first contact people have with our company. On the back of our package we tell the story of how LÄRABAR was created and what we believe as a company.
Every LÄRABAR is named after an indulgent treat and is made to taste exactly like that treat. For example, Cherry Pie - one of the favorites tastes just like Cherry Pie. So when someone eats a LÄRABAR it should remind them of the indulgent taste they love with incredible health benefits.
LM: Do you have an inspirational experience that you often use to show how you feel about your brand and why it’s so special to you?
LM: Our customers are truly the inspiration for our company. Their feedback keeps us going and lets us know that we are making a difference. The fact that they take the time to let us know is incredible to me because I cannot remember a time when I actually wrote into or called a company that I loved.
LM: Name 2 or 3 other companies and what you Love or Respect most about them.
LM: Tattered Cover Bookstore (Colorado) - This bookstore opened in Denver when I was a teenager. It’s a one of a kind bookstore that carries every book imaginable and has an incredible environment: lots of cushiony chairs to sit on placed in nooks and crannies all over. It’s a place where I go often to meet with people (they have a coffee shop) or just to get lost in looking at the books or magazines. It’s a community landmark in Denver and I will always buy my books there.
Sushi Den (Colorado) - This sushi restaurant is like no other. Two brothers opened it in Denver about 25 years ago. They both have a love and passion for sushi and are still both making sushi with their staff today. Over the years their restaurant keeps getting better and better. Everything they make there - from the miso soup to the salads to the sushi - is done with love and passion. Every meal I have there is special even if I’m just there for a casual meal. No matter how many new sushi restaurants open in Denver, I will always be loyal to Sushi Den.
LM: What are 5 of your Lovemarks?