After a week in the Pacific Northwest visiting Vancouver and Seattle (the city British Columbians say is “just like here but 2 hours south”) I can say without bias that the brands I’ve experienced are some of best work I’ve been witness to in some time. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been working in healthcare too long (aka the bar is very low) or I just slowed down enough to notice something that was NOT directly client-related.
We visited a great little pizza place called Serious Pie near the waterfront in Seattle. I had about 30 minutes to wait, sip my basil water and look more closely at their tragically hip logo. I’m not even certain what it is but it captures the “hot pie” masterpiece that I would eat for dinner that evening. A crusty light clam pizza baked in a large oven to perfection. The beet salad, one of the best I’d ever eaten, included a few minutes debrief with the Italian head chef who shared his perspective on combining blueberries and beets with the right amount of other magical things. What came through was a love and passion for the craft that was felt in every bite. This crazy Pinocchio type character represented the warm and friendly experience with a bit of excitement and magic baked in to every dish.
The other brand was Storyville Coffee. Pretty tough to be differentiated in the Seattle coffee scene, but this one pulls it off. Yes, the coffee is excellent, I’d expect nothing less it is Seattle after all. The brand is a child holding up an airplane in a motion that is pure 5-year-old skipping with joy. I didn’t even want coffee, but I left with not only a latte, but a cookie shaped like a child’s airplane. It was delicious. What does any of that have to do with coffee? Nothing, but it’s fun and memorable and sometimes that’s just enough to compel a purchase of something you don’t need.
Now I have to make a marketing point. Your brand is not the mark, or font or color palate that you select. Certainly, those things should represent that brand and leave a brand impression. But your brand is the experience you deliver to your customers with every single interaction. Regardless of your business, be it B2B, B2C, healthcare, fintech, retail or restaurant your brand is the overall impression you leave with customers based on interacting with your organization.
It was the perfect close to a foodie trip that no doubt added a few pounds and some good memories and just a few moments of doing absolutely nothing. For a nun, that’s quite a treat.