Eighty-mmm-case to DapperinDeed (Pt 4): Why isn’t your name a “name”?

(Catch up with our story here:  Part 1, 2, 3)

Rebranding is tough but it needed to be done.  After endless bottles of Oban 18 and countless brainstorm sessions, DapperinDeed was born.

But why DapperinDeed?  Why didn’t they name their new brand a “name?”  After all, the standard protocol in fashion is to name your brand after yourself.  Think Vince, Lemaire, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker, Georgio Armani, Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo, John Elliot and John Varvatos.  Well “Mike” is as bland as white on rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm and “Bert” most closely associates with a fuzzy yellow Sesame Street character.  Names were a dead end.

More importantly, DapperinDeed holds a meaning that is very near and dear to the entire company.  Remember how this idea came about.  It started with a trip to visit U.S. based non-profits in Southeast Asia.  It was based on the belief that it is better to teach how to fish than to give fish.  It’s rooted in the personal conviction of 2 co-founders that for-profit organizations can do as much good, if not more good in certain cases, than non-profits.  DapperinDeed made the most sense.  It serves as a daily reminder that they work for more than a paycheck.  They operate for more than their clients.  There’s a greater purpose.

It’s the belief that “Dapper” is not just a compliment given to a man who is dressed smart. A dapper man is also a gentleman in word and deed. Compliments tastefully. Holds the door open. Shares an umbrella. Conducts business with honesty. Speaks with integrity. And he does all these things even when no one is watching. Dapper in appearance, Dapper in Deed.

The most common question Bert and Mike heard after the rebrand is, “that’s a cool story but why didn’t you make it known from the start?”  Well, they didn’t want it to be a marketing gimmick.  They didn’t want to manipulate the cause, the NPOs they worked with, for personal gain.  They just wanted to run a solid company while making an impact behind the scenes.  So why the change of heart?  Bert and Mike have been humbled by many relationships they’ve made since launch.  Advisors and mentors have encouraged them to make their story known.  They’ve been coached that it’s not an all or nothing deal… that you can share your story while doing so tastefully and without ego.  Most importantly, they realized that people actually do want to know the story and be a part of it.

Since the rebrand, DapperinDeed has partnered with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and will send proceeds of sales to this organization which focuses on teaching entrepreneurship in America’s low income communities with an emphasis on staying in school.  Welcome kit bags are hand made by FreeSet, a company which rescues women from the sex trade in the red light district of Kolkota, India.  Clothing bags were sourced from a company called Bright Hope, which builds schools in India.  Accessories are made by Sauk Saum, a freedom company who employs men and women rescued from human trafficking in Cambodia.  They’ve also created jobs for individuals from the slums of Bangkok and hope to continue a program there to teach entrepreneurship and Business 101.

“Our goal is to have as much of our product, from marketing to supply chain, pass through the hands of  individuals who need the help.  We’re grateful for every single one of our clients as they’re the reason we are able to do the things we do.”  — Mike, Co-founder

It’s early.  It’s just the beginning.  Or re-beginning, I suppose, of a brand.  Our goal is to make it as hassle-free as possible for you to look good.  We know that if we can deliver stylish looks we’ll also be able to leave a positive footprint in the world.  Just know that when you join the DapperinDeed family, you’re contributing to a story and adding momentum to a positive movement.

Thanks for reading about our story.  We hope you’re encouraged to create an amazing legacy in your individual lives as well.  A life where you’re dapper in appearance and in deed.