Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Making your brand mean more

When I saw this article on McCormick spice company's new retail store in Baltimore, I was reminded of an exercise I did with a consumer packaged goods client a few years ago to help them better understand their brand and create new products.

In order to help them bring their brand to life, we started the off-site session with a visit to The Weber Grill, a theme restaurant in Chicago built around the Weber Barbecue brand. After taking it all in (including the steaks and martinis), we spent the following morning imagining a restaurant bearing their brand by answering the following questions:
  • Where is the restaurant located?
  • What kind of building is it in?
  • Who are your best customers?
  • How do they feel when they enter?
  • What does the decor look like?
  • Who's the executive chef?
  • What does the waitstaff wear?
  • What's level of service do you deliver?
  • What's on the menu?
  • And finally, how do they feel after they've paid their bill?
It was an interesting and enlightening process.

What happened was the team went from thinking about the brand as a few well-chosen words and pictures in a powerpoint presentation to a customer-focused business that had to actively engage people.

So even if you're not planning on opening a retail experience for your brand, it's an exercise worth exploring to help make that abstract brand statement come to life in the eyes of your team.

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