Basecamp and Brewdog both got into trouble last month – so much so that Corporate Rebels deleted them from their bucket list of companies to visit. Looking at what happened, I think there is a difference between the two cases.
At Brewdog, ‘the way things get done round here’ bore no resemblance to the face the company showed the outside world. As is all too often the case with ‘brands’, it was all just marketing. Behind the hype was the same-old, same-old.
This is what happens when you don’t build your Promise of Value into the way your business operates.
In Basecamp’s case, the founders felt that ‘the way things get done around here’ had drifted too far from their core reason for being, and yanked things back. For me it was the yanking back that was mistaken here, not the realignment with their original purpose. And that realignment was always going to be painful, because they’d left it so long.
This what happens when you let yourself be seduced away from your Promise of Value by fashion.
There’s a difference between these two episodes, which I think it pays to think about.