Authentic people make brands authentic

Authentic brands start with authentic people — people who express a passion for what they do and an interest in sharing that passion even if you don’t buy something from them.

I was reminded of this lesson recently when my family and I made our annual visit to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin. From July to September, a woods just off the interstate is fashioned into the English hamlet of Bristol circa 1574.  Both amateur Renaissance enthusiasts and professional entertainers adorn period dress and assume roles as minstrels, lords, and merchants each weekend from morning to evening.  And all of them make the faire authentic for me although not necessarily for the reason you might think.

You can have a lot of fun without the internet

The first time I visited a few years ago, I didn’t think I’d enjoy the experience. I imagined jugglers getting in my face while I tried to eat a turkey leg.  But my doubts subsided from the moment I began to explore the village.  The experience seemed so real, so genuine, and not because of the period clothing.  Rather, the boundless enthusiasm of the people felt real — their joy at expressing something bigger than themselves and their friendliness to everyone around them, regardless of who you are or how you dress.  That’s what counts.  Without their passion, the faire would feel phony regardless of how authentic the village of Bristol might look.

A happy couple out for a stroll

A case in point is the entertainer MooNie the Magnif’Cent, a minstrel who performs a highly popular comedy act.  The joy in seeing MooNie comes from his love of the audience, really, not just his stage antics.  It’s an important distinction.  You can be a competent professional if you do your job well.  But the bond you create with your customer, however brief the moment, makes the experience authentic.

MooNie playing with fire

Everyone loves MooNiE

Following are some additional images from a recent experience.  If you live anywhere near Chicago or Milwaukee, check out the faire before it closes for the season Labor Day weekend.

Robin Hood and Maid Marion share a difference of opinion

A joker delights children

The faire delights children

Yes, they do joust at the faire

Mysterious tree fairies

Try not to annoy her

One of the many village musicians

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6 Responses to Authentic people make brands authentic

  1. Maury Giles says:

    Nicely put and so true. These experiences prove the essence of your point.

    By the way, thanks for sharing, will have to make it out that way one of these years.

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  3. Drake says:

    Looks like you\’ve had a great time. 🙂

    Maybe I should go to a Renaissance Faire sometime. 🙂

    Ya know, In the short time I\’ve known about this blog, I\’ve already been amazed at how much detail and thought you put into your posts.

    Keep it up. 🙂

  4. This post reminded me a lot of the creators of Tapout clothing. They were such HUGE fans of mixed martial arts. It\’s not that they just makr clothing for mixed martial arts enthusiasts. They lived and breathed mixed martial arts themselves before they started their company. They were fans who made clothes for other fans. I think it really shines through.

    If you think you\’re going to try and create a product/service or market to a group of people who are passionate about something, you better be authentic in your intentions. I think a lot of people in your intended target demographic can tell when you\’re just trying to make a buck off of them or you really are passionate about the topic or market.

  5. The statement done by you \”Authentic brands start with authentic people — people who express a passion for what they do and an interest in sharing that passion even if you don’t buy something from them.\” is very true. People who are passionate don\’t do it for the money. there\’s a lot we can l;earn from them. Instead of running behind the money they focus their energies on the quality of theyr work and ofetn they come out with the best.

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