Brand Interview – Kris Wittenberg – Be Good To People®
How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
Just over two years, but I thought of the idea just over three years ago when a woman was rude to me at lunch. I returned to the office, stood in the middle of it and asked (quite strongly) “Why can’t people just BE GOOD TO PEOPLE?!?! What is wrong with people??? I said out loud, “I’m going to put that on a t-shirt, “Be good to people!” I marched back to my office and got online to find that begoodtopeople.com was available (!!!). I took that as a “sign,” and bought the URL immediately.
At the time I was extremely busy with my other company, SayNoMore! Promotions, and shelved BGTP. I revisited it once the economy had tanked and we had gotten sued frivolously by our homeowners association. It was a very ugly, dark, lengthy, expensive lawsuit, but in the end, they conceded we had done nothing wrong and the best part is that Be Good to People was born.
Our mission is to spread this message globally, through social media and on fashionable tees and hip products that you see and use a lot throughout the day.
How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
We chose Courier New for two reasons, well three if you count that we just really liked it. The other two reasons are that it was the font used by the U.S. State Department until 2004, and the State Department practices diplomacy. What is a better example of diplomacy than being good to people? Also, it was one of IBM’s first typewriter fonts so it is really “old school.” Being good to people is a timeless concept, and brings to mind a simpler time when it wasn’t as necessary to have a movement to encourage people being good to one another.
How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
Our color palette (and everything in our line) is black and white. Because Being Good to People is so simple, it’s black and white. It’s one of my favorite parts of the brand because it so effectively resonates the message.
How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
We did it ourselves. Because of my 20+ years in promotional marketing and branding, I was able to lend some skills.
In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
Product (sold at our Vail farmer’s market) followed quickly by social media (Facebook and a little Twitter).
How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
We have used Facebook ads in two very brief (1-day) campaigns and they are great for getting fans. Haven’t seen it translate to sales too much, but we haven’t really put too much effort into analyzing. It’s great for getting fans though.
When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
We do it through my other company, SayNoMore! Promotions, which produces everything you can put a logo on including embroidered and screen printed apparel as well as every type of product.
Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
Not really. Though we can do print collateral, we really focus on actual products that are given away (pens, mousepads, totes, flash drives, awards, apparel, etc.)
Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC-certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
Yes, we are big fans of protecting the environment whenever possible in both of my companies. In fact, many of our Be Good to People products were chosen because they are reusable (grocery totes, water bottles, our fabulous and most popular acrylic cup & straw).
If you sell products, are they produced in the USA or abroad?
Both. We feel that Being Good to People means people all over the world. We try to manufacturer in the US, but many of our products are produced overseas as well, which gives people all over the world jobs.
Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
I’d love to have Be Good to People get some national press (The Today Show, Ellen, USA Today, People Magazine or WSJ). It is relevant to such a broad audience, and could be tailored to any type of reader or viewer. I really feel that when the national press gets ahold of Be Good to People our movement will truly take flight.
Do you donate to charities?
We put 5% of our sales (not after profit…straight off the top of all of our sales) into a fund from which we recognize and reward people who are being good to people all over the world. We are currently exploring different charitable structures for the future.
Be good to people.®
It’s so simple…it’s black and white.™
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