Somewhat by mistake I found myself reading something that Kevin Roberts had written – he apparently has a blog in NZHerald. This post was about new Queen Street, Auckland, Gelato shop – Giapo, and here’s what he had to say about it:
The store has been created as a Lovemark and is dripping with Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy.
What? To me that’s missing the point. Businesses create products not brands.
I walked past Giapo the other day, and it it could fit well amongst the several gelato shops in Fremantle – bright, clean design and so forth. It’s good to see.
However the Fremantle shops hold a valuable lesson for Giapo, as even with stunningly new design and beautiful friendly staff at rival stores the crowds just keep going to the place with the best gelato – Armano.
The reason is simple – Armano’s focus and rhetoric is relentlessly on the quality of the product:
There’s no such thing as bad gelato. But have you ever had really, really great, oh my God, I’ve died and gone to Heaven, this is life-changing, exquisite, fresh gelato? That’s what we make. On the premises. Every day. Why settle for good when you could have amazing?
…Amano is Italian for hand-made. And it is the perfect name our gelato shops, where you can watch the resident chef create fresh gelato each day. Our business was started by two Italian cousins with a dream to bring the delights of fresh authentic gelato to Australia.
…We don’t make gelato the easy way. We make it the right way. We believe that true gelato must be made fresh in-store each day, with the finest ingredients, a bit of science, and a lot of love.
So lets turn to new store Giapo, and look at their rhetoric from their Facebook page:
How do we make a change?
Giapo is born on these words.
We are not an ice cream shop. We are not a gelato shop either.
(emphasis mine). That is really not a good start.
Giapo starts with a smile…and you?
Giapo is an experience to live, a moment you never forget.
Our credo: give a child a smile. Our hope: provide this smile to everyone.How do we make a change?
Giapo is built to be different.
Innovation and design are all around the place.
Design creates our universe.
Innovations make it interact with us.
How do we make a change?
Giapo is constantly in this change.
We have a conversation with our customers.
We want to listen more than to be listened.
That’s how Giapo will improve.
How do we make a change?
Giapo is trying to give its own answer.
Making an ordinary moment feel as if for the first time.
Making an usual act become a special experience.
Making everyday life sounds like a journey.
How do we make a change?
Nothing about the quality of the gelato.
Here’s a less structured credo from owner Gianpaolo Grazioli’s blog. English isn’t his first language, but he can sure write:
“Giapo is in the business to give a child a smile. Our first responsibility consequently goes to the children, the youth, the mother and fathers, and all others who believe in our products. They are our lodestar. We believe in them more than in any marketer. In exceeding their expectations, everything we do must be of top quality. We must listen to our customers carefully and all the time. Giapo is a company based on courage and innovation. Giapo’s people do not fear of innovation and change because they are continously looking to develop the know how to manage its next attendant risk. Giapo’s strategy is based on perpetual innovation shaping its future day by day and winning with the consumers while changing the game continuosly. Giapo’s innovation come from the consumers and it is for them. Innovation and change to enhance and deploy our core strenghts that’s how Giapo wants to inspire the market and lead the next revolution starting from now. Associates will autonomously look for new training and empowering experiences according to the new goals. The focus will always be on the value creators addressing or eliminating the value destroyers, not annually but everyday. Goals will be stretched and the bar is raised continously. Giapo must engage human emotions. Sharing a passion that matters to our consumers, helping them to be what they want to be. Giapo’s brand stands for trust, affinity and looks for a loyalty beyond reason an emotional connecting point that transcends the products. Giapo will be a company based on organizational clarity. Everybody within the firm will know what is important and what is not. Transparency with the associates and the consumers is a key factor. Whatever we say we must do. Giapo is a people company. Giapo aims to build a cohesive team with a high level of trust between its associates. The focus is on achieving the goals of the firm and not just the personal success of each member. Giapo proposes itself as a University of Ideas. Giapo will reinforce its communication clarity through human system. Its people are his most important resource. And being just humble, hunger and smart will not be enough to work with Giapo, the candidate must fit within the organization principles. Candidates have to fit the value, the culture and cohesiveness of the firm. We respect the dignity of our associates and value their merit. Associates must feel certainty in their jobs and must enjoy their working place. We expect that all our associates are driven by a passion for learning no matter what roles they work on and learning means desire to know more. We will support sustainable entrepreneurship and we will plan to promote it through a coordinate license agreements system. Giapo’s associates will never stop to repeat each other the giapo’s principles and value to make sure that everyone are on the same page. Giapo’s associates will keep in good order the properties they have the privilege to use have and will strive to reduce costs in order to maintain reasonable prices without compromising the quality. Giapo is a serious supporter of an environmentally friendly world, we must encourage civic improvements and better health and education. Financial reserves will be created to provide for adverse time. Giapo’s associates final responsibility goes to its shareholders, business must make good profit. These are our principles and we believe that following them will make our objective achievable and our business a successful one.”
Again – nothing on the quality of the gelato.
Giapos has the Facebook page, Twitter account, Youtube page (with random customer interactions) and a website still coming. None of these focus on the product quality, and only the website is really necessary.
Fremantle’s Armano has a tiny website – pretty much all of the text is above – and a chain of stores that everybody recommends to their friends once they have tried the product. It’s that simple.
Gianpaolo’s dream can be realised – but only if they focus first on the quality of the product, the business fundamentals (pricing, flavours, cost control) and finally on marketing. This over-worked marketing screed is diverting from the core business proposition, which is simple – great gelato right next to the movie theaters on Queen street.
I’l now bravely take it into my hands to try the Gelato, and will report back. Here’s Gianpaolo, who has come out from Italy to give us great gelato – and we should be thankful.
<Update. I’ve now tried the gelato. Strangely enough there were no (well one) fruit flavours when I visited – it was all whites and browns. So I tried a Bacio and it was OK. Worth having, but no Armano. I’l pop back later to see whether fruit flavours appear. If not then I will really have my doubts.>