Entrepreneurs wanting to build a brand that’s going to last should make as many decisions as possible based not on a first-order principle but a second-order principle, says Tony Drockton, the Founder and “Chief Cheerleader” of Hammitt, a brand that focuses on luxury handbags and small leather accessories.
“A first-order principle is ‘I do this, and this is what happens.’ A second-order principle is ‘I do this. This is what happens. And then, later on, this is the result of that happening, the long-term effects,” Tony says.
He says that many handbags in America are made with the first-order principle.
“Second-order principle is the luxury brands of Europe,” he says. “That’s what Hammitt is built upon. … It’s a longer-term play for us to build something that never falls apart and breaks down. But what it does is it builds that long-term trust so that they have more and more of their friends and more of our bags in their closet.”
Hammitt has been in business for 15 years; a longevity Tony attributes to editing.
“I think for any entrepreneur, the secret to longevity is saying no – a lot,” he says. “The secret to a great brand in fashion is to edit, edit, edit. … Believe it or not, we are five times larger than we were just four years ago in size, and our collections are half the size of what they were.”
Despite the downturn in the economy, Tony sees nothing but sunshine ahead for his brand.
“I feel secure. (Hammitt) was built during the worst of times. This is our time,” he says. “This is when a brand like Hammitt becomes the staple because we’re not luxury. We’re not so gaudy that people would be embarrassed to wear it when going through recessionary or tough times.”
In Part 2, Tony talks about:
* The thought processes of first-order principle and second-order principle.
* How quality affects the relationship with retailers.
* A closer look at Hammitt’s products.
* The production and design process.
* Why editing is essential to longevity.
* Why the downturn in the company might not hurt Hammitt.
* Where to find the brand’s products.
Join Ramon Vela and Tony Drockton as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.
For more on Hammitt, visit: https://www.hammitt.com/
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