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  • THE 4 THINGS THAT MAKE A GREAT ARTISANAL CAFE DELI, FOODIE BRAND 06/08/18

    AKA The common sense (most cost effective) approach to creating a great cafe deli, restaurant, foodie Brand.

    To create a great foodie brand you need to think about more than branded packaging, website, signage and the interior design of the shops. This is all massively important but there’s a stage that comes before it – creating the actual Brand itself!

    Strong brands have fans rather than customers. People become aware of them and what they stand for without ever looking for them.

    If there is one thing to aim for in creating a brand it is surely this. But how to go about it?

    Strong brands are not just about overt statement. They are actually far more potent when based on word-of-mouth. That is 
to say, when they become ‘discoveries’. And particularly when those discoveries become ‘destinations’. Where your customers become fans… and go on to become evangelists on your behalf. They then start telling their friends and, well, you can start to grasp the positive impact that that can have on your business.
    Keep this in mind.

    1. BRAND VISION: STAND FOR SOMETHING
    It all starts with a very big idea… a cunning plan… an 
ideology. Fundamentally, and I can’t stress this enough, you must have a very clear view of what you stand for and what you want to achieve.
    An easy way of thinking about this is as “what you want to be famous for”.

    2. BRAND VALUES: ACT CONSISTENTLY
    This is about how you act as you go about achieving your vision. You’ll need three or four statements that become guiding principles for how you operate. No more, no less.

    Brand values are also an excellent way of checking if something feels right for your business. They will inform not only what you do in terms of marketing, but also the way your whole business operates. For example, selecting new staff… because you can realistically start to ask “does this person embody our values?”

    3. BRAND TONE: THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COME ACROSS.
    Very few brands leap out of the wallpaper of commercial life to penetrate our defenses. The ones that do generally feel like they connect at a visceral level, but it is actually more scientific than that. It is fundamentally about personality. In fact, whilst identity is the most visible aspect of a brand, it is personality that is arguably its most pervasive.

    It forms the basis for how you come across in written, verbal and non-verbal communications. Your brand’s personality will drive its tone-of-voice, which in turn will be articulated through the language that you use. Which, if you pitch it right, will zing directly to the heart of the people that you want to connect with.

    4. BRAND IDENTITY: LOOK AMAZING.
    Your brand’s identity is the most immediately tangible aspect of your brand. But whilst the man in the street tends to think of logo as ‘brand’ there are actually a whole array of other potential assets within our visual armory. This is good news because these days most names, icons, colours have been done before in some format or other. The trick is how we use each of these constituent elements in relation to each other to energize our brand’s own particular DNA.

    In purely quantitative terms we can list our potential identity armory 
as logotype; primary, secondary and tertiary fonts; colourways; iconography and style of photography. The second aspect is more qualitative – how we use them in relation to each other. We tend to refer to this as the brand’s graphic identity system.

    IN SUMMARY.
    When it comes to creating a powerful brand there is no silver bullet but get these four elements right and you’ll be travelling a long way in the right direction.

    PAUL THWAITES.
    Paul Thwaites is an ex international brand consultancy director who now runs Zut Alors – a small, hot-shop brand creation consultancy that specialises in the foodie and artisanal sector.

    Paul has lectured on the pragmatic approach to creating a brand at Oxford University and City of London University.

    Zut Alors provide an end to end brand creation service from brand definition and identity through to designing packaging and interiors.

    Featured: our artisanal foodie, cafe deli & restaurant brand creation work for Burgista Bros, SuperSmoo-V, Misu, Sweet Cheesus, Champagne+Fromage

  • THE 4 THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE A GREAT START-UP BRAND 02/04/18

    AKA The common sense (most cost effective) approach to creating a great start-up product or service Brand.

    To create a great start-up product brand you need to think about more than branded packaging, website, signage and the interior design of the shops. This is all massively important but there’s a stage that comes before it – creating the actual Brand itself!

    Strong brands have fans rather than customers. People become aware of them and what they stand for without ever looking for them.

    If there is one thing to aim for in creating a brand it is surely this. But how to go about it?

    Strong brands are not just about overt statement. They are actually far more potent when based on word-of-mouth. That is 
to say, when they become ‘discoveries’. And particularly when those discoveries become ‘destinations’. Where your customers become fans… and go on to become evangelists on your behalf. They then start telling their friends and, well, you can start to grasp the positive impact that that can have on your business.
    Keep this in mind.

    1. BRAND VISION: STAND FOR SOMETHING
    It all starts with a very big idea… a cunning plan… an 
ideology. Fundamentally, and I can’t stress this enough, you must have a very clear view of what you stand for and what you want to achieve.
    An easy way of thinking about this is as “what you want to be famous for”.

    2. BRAND VALUES: ACT CONSISTENTLY
    This is about how you act as you go about achieving your vision. You’ll need three or four statements that become guiding principles for how you operate. No more, no less.

    Brand values are also an excellent way of checking if something feels right for your business. They will inform not only what you do in terms of marketing, but also the way your whole business operates. For example, selecting new staff… because you can realistically start to ask “does this person embody our values?”

    3. BRAND TONE: THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COME ACROSS.
    Very few brands leap out of the wallpaper of commercial life to penetrate our defenses. The ones that do generally feel like they connect at a visceral level, but it is actually more scientific than that. It is fundamentally about personality. In fact, whilst identity is the most visible aspect of a brand, it is personality that is arguably its most pervasive.

    It forms the basis for how you come across in written, verbal and non-verbal communications. Your brand’s personality will drive its tone-of-voice, which in turn will be articulated through the language that you use. Which, if you pitch it right, will zing directly to the heart of the people that you want to connect with.

    4. BRAND IDENTITY: LOOK AMAZING.
    Your brand’s identity is the most immediately tangible aspect of your brand. But whilst the man in the street tends to think of logo as ‘brand’ there are actually a whole array of other potential assets within our visual armory. This is good news because these days most names, icons, colours have been done before in some format or other. The trick is how we use each of these constituent elements in relation to each other to energize our brand’s own particular DNA.

    In purely quantitative terms we can list our potential identity armory 
as logotype; primary, secondary and tertiary fonts; colourways; iconography and style of photography. The second aspect is more qualitative – how we use them in relation to each other. We tend to refer to this as the brand’s graphic identity system.

    IN SUMMARY.
    When it comes to creating a powerful brand there is no silver bullet but get these four elements right and you’ll be travelling a long way in the right direction.

    PAUL THWAITES.
    Paul Thwaites is an ex international brand consultancy director who now runs Zut Alors – a small, hot-shop brand creation consultancy that specialises in the foodie and artisanal sector.

    Paul has lectured on the pragmatic approach to creating a brand at Oxford University and City of London University.

    Zut Alors provide an end to end brand creation service from brand definition and identity through to designing packaging and interiors.

    Featured: Our brand creation work for PLAANK, nitenite Cityrooms, SuperSmoo-V, Bagboard, Pilcro

  • THE 4 THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO CREATE A GREAT ESTATE AGENCY BRAND 01/04/18

    AKA The common sense (most cost effective) approach to creating a great estate agency Brand.

    So, you’re looking to launch a new estate agency. You’ve got a big idea, a good track record working for others in the area and a potentially great product – you know it will fly if you could just get people as enthused about it as you are.

    Therefore, based on the adage that a strong brand is built on an engaging proposition backed up by a great experience, you’ve got exactly half of what you need for success. What you don’t have is the stunning brand proposition.

    You know that you need to tackle the dreaded B word but where to start? Money’s tight and one thing you know for sure is that at this early stage in the growth of your business you can’t afford a big consultancy. If that’s the case, I hope these few words help…

    I’ll start by saying that branding isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a black art. It’s not all about paying a band of expensive consultants to go off and ruminate for a couple of months and then deliver back a tome that makes a thwack on your desk directly commensurate with the the size of your wallet. It can, and should, be a lot simpler.

    Let me go as far as to say that if you can’t write the essence of your brand on the palm of your hand you’ve probably got something wrong. Because if you have to reach inside your pocket for a prompt-sheet it means that you won’t have ‘got it’. And if you haven’t got it nobody else will either.

    So what is it that should be written across the palm of your hand?

    Well, firstly make a cross to divide it up into four sections. That’s because this is the number of things that you’ll need to articulate – no more and no less – for your own benefit and that of everyone your business will come into contact with. Everything else, no matter how important, falls within this core proposition.

    1. STAND FOR SOMETHING.
    In the top left hand quadrant you should write the words “The Big Idea” or “Vision”, whichever you prefer. This first quadrant deals with where your business is going. It’s the big goal on the distant horizon that you are aiming for. It’s what you are going to be famous for. It’ll also be the basis of the ‘notes for editors’ on future press releases.

    You’ll need one simple statement of intent that everyone can get behind – your staff, your investors, the media and, most importantly, your customers. And it should not be an uncomfortable amalgam of two or three sentences American-styli, nor should it ever use words like “exceed” or “expectations”!

    Needs a bit of thinking about, yes. But it’s worth considering that at this early stage in your business you are in a far better place than most big corporates– because you know what you stand for already. You are fresh, have no baggage, no history and therefore no nasty credibility gaps to bridge. All you’ll need is a good independent person, or small team, to help guide your thinking and to help you to package the balloon of ideas that comes out of it into a proposition that means something to the outside world.

    There you have it. Simple? Well, no, actually. But then it isn’t that difficult either.

    2. LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.
    In the second quadrant you should write “Values”. You’ll need three or four key words or statements that define how your business is going to act as you aim towards your business’ “Vision”. This’ll set the culture of the business, or to put it another way, you could say it’s “how we do things around here”.

    You’ll then be able to apply this as a template to everything that you do – both operationally and from a communications perspective. It’ll help to ensure the money you are spending on communications is not funding a black hole of disparate activity, but instead is all aiming towards one vision-and thus building long-term value in the business.

    Equally, it’ll mean that you’ll also be able to apply the same rationale to things like choosing outlets, suppliers, future products and employing staff and training them – because it’ll be easier to ask the question: “does this person fit the way we do things?”

    Having defined these first two slightly more intangible elements we can now work on the two aspects that everyone can see: “Identity” – which is perhaps the most tangible, and “Language” – which is the most pervasive.

    3. MAKE SURE THAT YOU COME ACROSS CONSISTENTLY.
    So, in the third quadrant write “Personality and Language”. This deals with the way your business comes across in written and verbal communications.

    Look around you. We are bombarded with advertising messages every moment of every day – and we are becoming ever more adept at filtering them out. The brands that are cutting through are the ones with a believable story, the ones that use engaging language to win their audience. Nobody can have failed to have noticed (and smile at) the messaging on the back of an Innocent drinks bottle.

    Win people over this way and they become evangelists on your behalf – and good PR is vital when you don’t have a big budget for other activity. Just ask the guys at Serious**.

    In fact, Serious** is a great example. A waste management company – its issue was that it couldn’t get onto tender lists for large businesses and local authorities. It could have rebranded as something inane like “Alpha Waste Management Solutions” but instead they used self effacing humour to front up to what they do for a living – which is basically shovelling s**t. Hence the name Serious** and a thousand audience-smile- inducing puns were born. Self deprecating humour has a direct link to wit and intelligence. It also suggests that the people behind it are the sort of people that you’d actually like to deal with. The result was that they went from being very much a tertiary choice to going to right the top of many tenders.

    4. PRESENT YOURSELF CORRECTLY
    The final quadrant is all about what the man in the street thinks of when thinking of Brand. That’s how your business looks – “Identity”. This is all about appropriating powerful visual elements such as colours and icons that become synonymous with you – much as in the original sense of branding cattle. It’s about creating something magical that energises every touchpoint.

    Well there you have it.

    Clearly great brands are not just built on powerful and inspiring brand stories – they have to be backed up by equally powerful delivery of the product. There’s nothing new there and forgive me if I’ve appeared to state the obvious. But that’s all branding should be… simple… and to an extent, obvious. And the more effective it’ll be for it.

  • OBJECTS OF USE, OXFORD 14/03/18

    This is a great little emporium that opened in Oxford late last year. A study in subtlety, virtually non-branded… yet powerfully branded because of it. The attention to detail and authenticity is superb – for example check out the plug sockets. And from a colour palette perspective it’s tonally perfect.

     

  • MONMOUTH COFFEE, COVENT GARDEN 06/02/18

    Blimey, Monmouth Coffee Co must be doing something right…! A small, authentic cafe brand that clearly has a big following!

  • THE 4 THINGS THAT MAKE A GREAT CAFE, DELI, RESTAURANT BRAND 02/02/18

    To create a great café deli brand you need to think about more than branded packaging, website, signage and the interior design of the shops. This is all massively important but there’s a stage that comes before it – creating the actual Brand itself!

    Strong brands have fans rather than customers. People become aware of them and what they stand for without ever looking for them.

    If there is one thing to aim for in creating a brand it is surely this. But how to go about it?

    Strong brands are not just about overt statement. They are actually far more potent when based on word-of-mouth. That is 
to say, when they become ‘discoveries’. And particularly when those discoveries become ‘destinations’. Where your customers become fans… and go on to become evangelists on your behalf. They then start telling their friends and, well, you can start to grasp the positive impact that that can have on your business.
    Keep this in mind.

    1. BRAND VISION: STAND FOR SOMETHING
    It all starts with a very big idea… a cunning plan… an 
ideology. Fundamentally, and I can’t stress this enough, you must have a very clear view of what you stand for and what you want to achieve.
    An easy way of thinking about this is as “what you want to be famous for”.

    2. BRAND VALUES: ACT CONSISTENTLY
    This is about how you act as you go about achieving your vision. You’ll need three or four statements that become guiding principles for how you operate. No more, no less.

    Brand values are also an excellent way of checking if something feels right for your business. They will inform not only what you do in terms of marketing, but also the way your whole business operates. For example, selecting new staff… because you can realistically start to ask “does this person embody our values?”

    3. BRAND TONE: THINK ABOUT HOW YOU COME ACROSS.
    Very few brands leap out of the wallpaper of commercial life to penetrate our defenses. The ones that do generally feel like they connect at a visceral level, but it is actually more scientific than that. It is fundamentally about personality. In fact, whilst identity is the most visible aspect of a brand, it is personality that is arguably its most pervasive.

    It forms the basis for how you come across in written, verbal and non-verbal communications. Your brand’s personality will drive its tone-of-voice, which in turn will be articulated through the language that you use. Which, if you pitch it right, will zing directly to the heart of the people that you want to connect with.

    4. BRAND IDENTITY: LOOK AMAZING.
    Your brand’s identity is the most immediately tangible aspect of your brand. But whilst the man in the street tends to think of logo as ‘brand’ there are actually a whole array of other potential assets within our visual armory. This is good news because these days most names, icons, colours have been done before in some format or other. The trick is how we use each of these constituent elements in relation to each other to energize our brand’s own particular DNA.

    In purely quantitative terms we can list our potential identity armory 
as logotype; primary, secondary and tertiary fonts; colourways; iconography and style of photography. The second aspect is more qualitative – how we use them in relation to each other. We tend to refer to this as the brand’s graphic identity system.

    IN SUMMARY.
    When it comes to creating a powerful brand there is no silver bullet but get these four elements right and you’ll be travelling a long way in the right direction.

    PAUL THWAITES.
    Paul Thwaites is an ex international brand consultancy director who now runs Zut Alors – a small, hot-shop brand creation consultancy that specialises in the foodie and artisanal sector.

    Paul has lectured on the pragmatic approach to creating a brand at Oxford University and City of London University.

    Zut Alors provide an end to end brand creation service from brand definition and identity through to designing packaging and interiors.

  • RAPHA, PICCADILLY 06/01/18

    Another thing I love about London is that there’s always something new opening in the cafe deli, foodie brand field. No more so than around Soho. Rapha is particularly innovative and interesting because it combines a cafe brand with a cycling themed retail experience. I particularly like the Citroen panel van. Nicely done.

     

  • THE COST EFFECTIVE WAY TO CREATE A BRAND PT1 17/07/17

    Looking to create a brand on a tightish budget? Read On.

    So you’re a budding entrepreneur. You’ve got a big idea and a potentially great product – you know it’ll fly if you could only just get people as enthused about it as you are. Therefore, based on the fact that a strong brand is built on an engaging proposition backed up by a great experience, you’ve got exactly half of what you need for success. What you don’t have is the stunning brand proposition.

    You know that you need to tackle the dreaded Brand word but where to start? Money’s tight and one thing that you know for sure is that at this early stage in the growth of your business you can’t afford a big brand consultancy. If that’s the case I hope these few words help…

    I’ll start by saying that branding isn’t, or certainly shouldn’t be, a black art. It’s not all about paying a band of expensive consultants to go off and ruminate for a couple of months and then deliver back a tome that makes a thwack on your desk that’s directly aligned with the size of your wallet. It can, and should, be a lot simpler.

    Let me go as far as to say that if you can’t write the essence of your brand on the palm of your hand you’ve probably got something wrong. Because if you have to reach inside your pocket for a prompt sheet it means that you won’t have ‘got it’. And if you haven’t ‘got it’ then nobody else will either.

    So exactly what should be written across the palm of your hand…?

    I’ll answer that in Part Two.

  • JAMIE’S DELI, BATH 06/07/17

    Loving this. Particularly the neon sign.

     

  • MILAN AIRPORT 06/06/17

    One of the few airport foodcourts I’ve found that you actually want to spend time in. Great interior and brand design ambience.

  • PASTA BOLOGNA 06/01/17

    Beautiful and subtle food branding. This modern take on fresh pasta-to-go shows how simple branding can be very effective and complementary to a simple product.

     

  • SWISS AIR 05/01/17

    My favourite airline identity.

    A simple typographic brand identity, this is a prime example of ‘simple is often best’. And in doing so it appropriately represents Switzerland’s national carrier and the country’s culture. Well apart from cuckoo clocks that is…

  • BRAND & IDENTITY EXPLAINED 17/11/16

    If you are looking to create your own brand for a firm, a product or a service this breaks down what you need to think about. It’s actually quite straightforward. In fact it’s all about common sense.

    Firstly, Brand versus Branding? Well, for starters, one is a noun the other is a verb. In other words, the Brand itself is a thing and Branding is the activity that you do with it. Obviously you need Brand (the thing) in place before you can start communicating it.

    What is a Brand? It is the encapsulation of a series of feelings and emotions that are attributable to a particular product or service.

    Your Brand is made up of two principal elements:

    One./ What you promise. This is known as the Brand Proposition.

    Two./ What you deliver.  This is known as the Brand Experience.

    To explain further, your Brand can be broken down into two elements. These form a virtuous circle – what you promise to the market and what you actually deliver. One drives the other – if they don’t then the Brand will not work. In essence, you need to deliver what you promise. If you don’t your Brand will be short lived.

    The Brand Proposition.

    This can actually be further broken down into four core elements:

    One./ Brand Vision.

    What the business is going to be famous for and the space that it is going to own within its own given market place. This is often known as the Brand’s Vision or Mission.

    Two./ Brand Values & Culture.

    How the business will act as it strives to achieve the above. These are known as Brand Values and you ideally only need about 3. Any more that that and your people won’t be able to remember them easily – and the critical thing here is that they have to be able to live them in order to deliver the Brand’s Experience. These values set the culture of the business – ie “the way that we do things around here”.

    Three./ Brand Personality & Language.

    How the business comes across in written and verbal communications. This is perhaps the most pervasive part of a brand – the part that can really engage and connect with its target audience.

    Four./ Brand Identity.

    The identity, or identity system, is all of the visual elements that come together to represent the Brand – the Brand’s Visual DNA if you like. These include the logotype or wordmarque, or both; the colours, icons and fonts that it uses; and the style of photography that it employs.

    The Brand Experience.

    This is about what you deliver, whether it’s a product or service. Every brand touch point – in store, online, on the phone etc.

    Brand Communication.

    This is what we do once you’ve defined your brand. This is the verb part – the ‘Brand-ing’ – and covers advertising campaigns, online, environments, packaging, point of sale, stationery etc.

    In Conclusion.

    Therefore it is important to recognise that… Brand is all of the elements described above; Brand Identity is only a part of Brand; Brand Logo is only a part of Brand Identity.

  • GREAT MERCHANDISING, REGENT ST 14/07/16

    The art of good merchandising..!

    I have to say that this is one of the best pieces of window design that I’ve seen. Brand identity in synergy with product design to create brand theatre.

     

  • UNION JACK’S, COVENT GARDEN 23/03/15

    Another quality restaurant brand from Jamie. Particularly interesting as it’s created as a space within a space by use of glass walls.

  • BURBERRY, XMAS 01/12/14

    Burberry did an inspired piece of brand installation in the Piazza at Covent Garden on the run up to Xmas. Apart from being beautiful to behold it’s a great example of a brand’s values translated into another medium.

  • CITY OF LONDON UNIVERSITY LECTURE 15/10/14

    I’ll be speaking at City University London on the subject of ‘Creating An Awesome Brand’ Tuesday 4th November 6-7.30pm.

    http://citystarters.co.uk/bootstrap-business-seminars

  • COMPTOIR LIBANAIS 15/09/14

    These guys seem to be opening all over the place. They have a great look and feel – they glow with warmth. Just simply stopping and looking gives me a warm feeling. This one is in South Kensington and is an essential stopping off point between the tube station and the ice rink in front of the Natural History museum.

  • GETTING ESTATE AGENCY BRANDING RIGHT 17/04/14

    We seem to have become one the UK’s major estate agency branding specialists over the last few years. And why not, afterall the principles involved in creating an estate agency brand – whether it’s for a chain of estate agents or a one office business – are exactly the same as for creating the brand for a high street retail chain.

    You still need a compelling brand proposition, powerful graphic design and your brand’s values need to be lived at every brand touch point – not least the brand language and tone-of-voice used through all communications from the website, through to brochures and property guide advertising.

    Perhaps the main challenge that is particular to the estate agency industry is ensuring that the branding of For Sale and Lettings boards stands out against not only other agent’s boards but also the flora and fawna of the gardens in which they appear. It often means working counter-intuitively – tactically – working backwards, with the board design informing the creation of the brand.

    We came up with an interesting branding solution for Finderkeepers, who are the largest lettings chain in Oxfordshire. Our aim in redeveloping their brand was to position them as the friendly, accessible, independent alternative to national agency chains. In this sense we used colour strategically in order to get the boards and vehicle branding right. Five core brand colours were selected and each board or vehicle uses on of them. So on one road it’s quite possible to see five different coloured boards that are all still clearly from one brand.

    This branding approach has worked particularly well. Research has shown that, due to the novelty and visibility, their boards are more recognised and “appear to be everywhere…”.

  • AESOP, MARYLEBONE 14/03/14

    This is a great brand. I don’t know much about their products but their shops are arresting in their beauty and attention to detail. The interior fit outs are amazing – and different. It’s difficult to stand out in this day and age but check this out – bare brickwork, aged ironwork and carpets of leaves INSIDE the store. Very original. This is the Marylebone store but, amongst others, there’s one in Covent Garden and a concession in Selfridges.

Blog Continued