This week I saw some truly masterful branding.
Not from Apple, Nike, Coke, or any of the other well-known corporate branding maestros,
but from a restaurant that is unknown to many.
(But certainly not for long).
The restaurant is called Barton G, and while it has just opened in Los Angeles, it is already doing a roaring trade in Miami.
Now the food tastes great at Barton G, but the truth is that there are hundreds of restaurants with yummy food.
No, what separates Barton G from every other restaurant in the entire world, is the spectacular (bordering on outrageous) presentation of the dishes.
Imagine being served a steak with a 4 foot high fork stuck through it. Or tuna with a giant samurai sword on the plate.
Imagine a dessert that features a huge mechanical chicken that’s seemingly just laid enormous chocolate eggs. Or cakes served around the head of Marie Antoinette wearing a colossal wig of Fairy Floss.
Yes this is truly extreme cuisine – and the customers absolutely loved it. (Several times I actually heard other guests in the restaurant gasp when their meal came out).
So what has Barton G got to do with your business?
From a branding point of view, a lot.
1. Faced with competing in one of the toughest industries on the planet, the owners did not just try and produce a product that was just a little better than their competition. They sought to introduce a product totally unlike anything else available. (In your own industry, are you being too conservative with your product offering to get noticed?)
2. They didn’t try to be all things to all people. They made a stand. They wanted a segment of society to adore them, knowing full well that many others would never want to visit such a wild restaurant. (Are you trying to please everyone, and in so doing making your brand bland?)
3. They created a product that has everyone talking. (In a viral media world, are you delivering a service that deserves to get word of mouth marketing?)
Barton G has done so well in their industry for the same reason that many companies do well in any industry.
They aim to delight, not just compete.
They redefine the category, not just improve upon it.
They show commercial bravery, rather than being too timid to stand out.
To look at Barton G’s as just a restaurant is to miss the point. It is an example of strategic branding par excellence.