Building an Authentic Brand

There’s a lot of talk about what it means for brands to be authentic.  We’ve all seen brands that have a disconnect between their marketing messaging and their actions toward customers and employees.  How can we put authenticity at the core of our marketing efforts?  Well for starters, address your customers like they are real people, with lives outside of your product.  There are other considerations to have in mind when crafting brand strategy.

1)    Carefully Consider Brand Voice

Is your brand in any way relatable when you speak online or in traditional media?  While not every brand has to be as casual in their brand voice as, say, Wendy’s, speaking to your customers like they’re friends or family is always achievable.  At the end of the day, people don’t wake up looking to interact with a brand, so think of what else interests your customers.  What are they passionate about?  And what pain points might they have in their daily lives that your brand could solve?  Identifying these factors will inform your brand voice.

2)    If Your brand is Committed to a Cause, Stand Behind It

Customers aren’t dummies – they can tell when your brand is merely doing lip service by committing to a particular cause, especially if your other actions as a business don’t align with said cause.  Kat Von D Beauty, the indie makeup brand started by tattoo artist Kat Von D, gets it right.  Von D is a strong opponent of animal testing, and her brand reflects these beliefs.  The brand consistently supports organizations that protect animals, such as Project Chimps, and they weave this support into their messaging and products themselves.

3)    Don’t Try and Capitalize on a Movement if It Doesn’t Fit Your Brand

Pepsi is a great example of what not to do in this scenario.  Their much maligned and now infamous Kendall Jenner commercial attempted to capitalize off recent protest movements.  The execution was tone-deaf, and there was no reason for Pepsi to insert itself into that conversation.  Brands need to think about whether it is fitting to address a social or political movement, and how best to engage in the discussion if so.

4)    Use Your Platform to Dispel Myths About Your Category

One of the best ways to demonstrate authenticity?  Use your platform to get real with customers.  UK Feminine hygiene brand Bodyform has done just that, making it their mission to change the way we discuss and show the experience of having a period.  By consistently pushing the envelope with ads that are a far cry from the usual white-dress-wearing fodder we’re used to seeing, Bodyform has established themselves as an authentic and unique player in their category. The most important thing to remember when creating an authentic brand is that your customers aren’t fools – they can see through any half-hearted attempts at authenticity and will take their business elsewhere.

Crafting a Brand From the Bun Up

Sometimes there’s really nothing that hits the spot quite like a good old-fashioned burger.  Here at Launch, we like burgers as much as the next guy, and we were more than happy to partner with Texas burger chain Chapps Burgers to relaunch their brand.  We sat down with Dave Wilgus, Launch Principal, to learn more about the rebranding process.


Chapps Burgers, family-owned and operated for 34 years, spans 7 restaurants in the DFW metroplex and has a history of making great-tasting hamburgers. The family owners wanted to franchise their business and came to Launch to help them re-launch the Chapps brand. Our goal was to create an engaging brand story and cohesive brand experience that would attract new customers and franchise investors alike.


Customers told us that Chapps’ amazing burgers, quality ingredients and fair prices kept them coming back for more. Chapps’ long history of doing things right and treating people like family made them a Texas burger institution. The simple traits that made Chapps successful became our inspiration.  We created a brand that embodied their strong work ethic and passion for making a great tasting burger. We started with a graphic look and feel we call “Blue Collar Cool.” Classic and industrial in tone, the design direction takes its cues from an era of vintage craftsmen, when baseball tickets, painted signs and union logos were works of art. The voice of the brand is a common sense, no B.S. attitude delivered with likable, relatable wit and humor.


We try to use all customer touch points to get people to engage with the Chapps brand and tell our unique story. Starting in-store, we took advantage of every available square inch, down to the napkin holders. The new restaurant interior design incorporated the primary brand colors and graphics direction – modern industrial tone with a touch of vintage warmth. We used a white brick wall behind the order counter to hand paint brand graphics that tell the Chapps story and communicate our brand values. The new menu hanging above the counter reflects the modern vintage graphic look and feel of the brand with language that speaks to the quality of our ingredients and long history.

 Chapps Burgers Wall Mural

Chapps Burgers Wall Mural

We created five eye-catching posters with bold photography and smile-worthy headlines to help people understand what makes a Chapps burger so special.

 Chapps Burgers Poster Art

Chapps Burgers Poster Art

Packaging is another important way to tell our story in and out of the store environment. We used simple, recycled materials to make bags, boxes, and cups that continued the vintage graphic look and fun, memorable messaging.

The Chapps website gave us the opportunity to give people a big picture overview of everything the brand stands for starting with our history and the belief of the family patriarch that “we can make a better burger.” Mouth-watering photography paired with humorous headlines and copy feels warm and welcoming. Even if you’ve never visited a Chapps in person, you’ll understand how we became a Texas Burger Institution.

 Chapps Burgers Website Homepage

Chapps Burgers Website Homepage


Our limited budget was somewhat challenging but we were able to find ways, including more affordable printing techniques and materials, to communicate the brand story in-store and online.


Seeing the final results of all our work in the first Chapps remodeled store gave us all great satisfaction. And hearing that store sales were up – even better!