Mr Big Stuff
Sea Lane, Ingoldmells
Skegness PE25 1PG
Mr Big Stuff sells clothes for the larger man.
The opening to the 'about us' section of his website is one of the strongest I have read in a while:
"They're having a laugh"
Was my reply when I was told that Bev had had to pay over £20 for a plain white t-shirt from a big mans clothes shop in Nottingham.
Let's be clear, this isn't brilliantly crafted writing. (It would have been nice to avoid the 'had had' and an apostrophe has gone astray.) Nevertheless, the instincts behind it are sharp. The headline and opening sentence dramatically transport the reader to the moment, and the very conversation, when the business idea was conceived.
The text continues:
Annoyed at this I went home and had a look on the internet to see if I could get any better value for money. It was the same story: dire big and tall garments at inflated prices.
At the time I was working in the IT industry and so with a couple of friends and more than a few jars of Guinness in a local pub we reassured ourselves that we could develop something better.
Again, the instincts are spot on. The writer is constructing the classic 'challenger' brand narrative, rooted in a sense of injustice and annoyance at the current market landscape, and setting out to offer something better. Every brand should be the hero in its own narrative, and Mr Big Stuff instinctively understands this.
It's worth reading the entirety of the 'about us' section, but for now we'll skip forward to the end:
Like any business we are evolving and trying to improve all the time. We now try to stock only the best value for money lines in plus size clothing that have consistent size specs and quality. If a product is not right for us then it is not right for our customers. We don't operate a market stall here.
Our business ethic is simple. "We aim to treat our customers in a manner in which we would like to be treated ourselves"
Again, this may not be brilliantly crafted, but it is well conceived. The culmination of the story is a statement of defining ethical belief, as well as an acknowledgement that the tale is only just beginning. The final 'Steve' sign-off is a nice touch, emphasising the real human voice that is absent with so many larger brands.
All the elements of a good brand narrative are here in this copy: a distinctive voice, a human story, and a sense of driving belief. Clearly, the nature of his business makes it unlikely that Mr Big Stuff will become the next Apple or Gap. But this is a small example of a local business seeking to establish a distinctive voice through narrative and language. It should be celebrated.