In a strange and literal turn of events, and in part reaction to the fabricated financed world around us there has become a clamor for brands with true heritage, roots, tradition and history.

In many ways the greater the brand heritage struggle, the deeper the hardship, the more humble the history then the more credible collateral a business has.



At the heart of this consumer desire is “trust.”

Always an essential of all brand relationships, but now not just “trust in performance,” in the prestige and prowess of propelling the consumer to super-human, super-attractive heights inconceivable, and apparently unobtainable without the brand crutch or particular product support. But an original and inherent “trust” based on reliability & honesty and built on many years of actually fulfilling and delivering the genuine brand values.

If this is a “Return to History”, there it is certainly also a “Return to Honesty.”

Certainly no bad thing and a growing necessity in this transparent Twitter world. For the “genuine” article it’s time to dust off the heirlooms, remove the dustsheets, and air all the dirty washing from a colourful past. “Where there is muck, there is brass. Untold Riches of a Humble Past”

Building a modern empire on historical trust is no “taken” however the likes of John Lewis have shown the way back to the future. John Lewis has used its constant elevation as Britain’s most trusted, most favourite retailer, to develop an omni-channel empire, where again ironically the honesty of the past is even more valuable in this popular, if still somewhat mis-trusted, future of ecommerce, online payment and reliable delivery. In deed John Lewis has put its historical credentials on the line, and online, and spectacularly shown that its brand reputation, its proposition and its values are no bluff.

Invisible, impersonal and increasingly international commerce has played well into trusted hands of trusted brands, and laid open the way for well-known labels to take their place at the new omnichannel table.

Brand such as Lyle & Scott, Fred Perry and Doc Martens have forged ahead on the road to building expansive portfolios of stores and enviable international sales, whilst the likes of Burberry have become international experts in cleverly combining the past into the future, for example, transforming the humble trench coat into an international superstar, adaptable, customizable, personable – fit for a modern world yet from an age where practicality and functionality were its only pre-requisite. Building future fashion on a fundamental functionality.

Such is the clamor for authenticity, and the desire to be loved and trusted that some not incredibly old but seemingly established brands have become experts in exaggerating and extrapolating the values and virtues of a truncated history.

Jon Varvatos hails from the derelict domissary in Lower East Side of New York where an unplastered shell of a store combines to sell menswear, music and mayhem in a bohemian temple to the modern man whose values appreciate a bygone age, whilst across in Soho the magnificent RRL store positively creaks and crumbles in distress under the heady weight of its decades of decay, and humble heritage. These brands from store to social are exceptional studies in the building of a story that encapsulates all that is now important to an established brand. And in many ways the attention to detail, the beautiful product, the exquisite display and attentive customer service are a current incarnation of all that they strive to duplicate and replicate from their histories. In their short lifetimes they have in many ways achieved the status and trust and integrity that older brands have taken decades to establish. A “fast-track to trust!”

Whether genuine or fabricated, antique or ambiguous …

we are all happy with the trappings of a brand that gives us trust and faith in the values of the past, at least, and more importantly hope and trust in a future which promises to be better for having such retailers and brands around.

Let us all trust in a common future where we are all richer in one respect or another, from an appreciation of a humbler past, and all that that implies.


VM-unleashed works with retail clients to unlock the product stories, and to integrate them into an inbound marketing retail calendar…


…here are a few people that we’ve helped that you may have heard of too…

Ferrari, Luxottica, Marks & Spencer, Primark, AllSaints, Carrefour, Camper, Cortefiel, Boots, Sainsbury, Sonae, Otto Versand, BonPrix, National Geographic, Flex, Gruppo Vestebene, Alessi, Eroski, Coin, Oviesse, Bally, Adidas, Sony, Clarks, Benetton, Orange, KappAhl, Imaginarium, Porcelanosa, Trucco and Ben Sherman.

some of our clients…

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if you would like to know more about our expertise, and how it could work for you, then please drop us a line.

+44 (0)7967 609849