One of the biggest complaints consumers have is that when a small company gets large and starts getting regional or national attention, the company sells their soul. You see this even more in the music industry when bands abandon their loyal, die hard fans and become commercial to sell more downloads & albums. Fans & consumers expect a company to change as they get larger in some regards, but many times companies leave behind what made them different and then they become another commodity.

Here is a great example of a company keeping their soul and holding onto their roots. I recently found this tea called Sweet Leaf Tea at Whole Foods and I found the company’s unique charm written on the outside. On the side of the bottle instead of saying the standard, “Refrigerate after opening” like most brands, this company says “Keep in icebox after opening.” It says the same thing, but the word “icebox” shows their old fashion, country background.

The back of the label talks about how they used to brew tea in pillowcases and they admit that they’ve grown past that now, but they still follow one particular piece of their history. They state that their “Mimi” taught them to never use ingredients that they can’t pronounce. The front of the tea even has a picture of their Mimi.

This brand is unique in their look and language and they focus on their brand differentiation by focusing on the ingredients they use and their history. When I see this bottle, I think of a couple of guys and their grandmother making tea instead of a factory with millions of bottles on a conveyor belt. Each bottle even comes with some of granny’s wisdom under the cap. You can find more granny wisdom on their website.

Do you have a favorite brand that has keep to its roots or maybe sold its soul?