A meal for a meal

A couple of days ago I was having a breakfast meeting with the team I’m going to be working with on a big new brand. It was at a restaurant called Dishoom in Kingly street, just off of Carnaby street. It is one of a chain of Bombay Cafes, and is based on the old Irani Cafes of Bombay.

I was looking through the menu and, as usual, was wondering what to order when I saw something that made me smile. No, it wasn’t one of their dishes!

Sitting just above the Naan rolls was a promise. A promise to donate a meal to a charity for every breakfast that was ordered. The charity in question is called Magic Breakfast(www.magicbreakfast.com).

Wow, I thought, what a wonderful idea. It warmed my heart(unlike the cold cappuccino!) and it made the breakfast more enjoyable(great food by the way).

What was interesting was that this brand didn’t use it like a main marketing message. It didn’t shout out that this is what it does(well, I didn’t see anything).

It didn’t use this wonderful gesture to try to win more clients, to try to get more people through their doors. The question is, is this a mistake? Should it advertise this message more? Should it be at the front of their marketing? Who knows.

But what I do know is that a child that needs feeding at one of the schools in London is going to be fed.

Donating to charity isn’t unique. Lots of brands will donate money, often without the public knowing.

You could argue that this is wrong to do it this way because it seems like bribery. But because you didn’t find out till you sat down and ordered, it wasn’t. Not at all.

Unlike Toms shoes that tells you what it does (www.toms.co.uk).

So the question is, could you do something similar? Could you use a charity angle to be different to your competitors?

Have a think. And remember, Think Different.

PS. Great food, go try it out. www.dishoom.com

2,941 pigeons in a lift

I had a meeting on Friday at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden with Karl Pearsall. The meeting was on the 4th floor so I had to get the lift. As I pushed the button and waited for the doors to close, I noticed a sign, you know, the sign that tells you how many people are allowed in the lift. But this one didn’t just tell me that 9 people could get in this lift.

No, it also told me how many horses would be allowed in(1)! And bananas(5050)! And pound coins(10,526)! I couldn’t stop smiling. Here was a lift company with a personality(or was it The Hospital Club?). Whoever was responsible, and I may ask next time, they have a sense of humour. I loved it. It put a big smile on my face. And of course I had to take a photo. There was someone else in the lift and I had to mention it to him. I think he thought I was mad!

It actually had me walking out of the lift with a spring in my step and before myself and Karl even got started on our meeting, I had to tell him what I had just seen!

There are many ways to get noticed as a brand but having a personality, being cheeky, having a sense of humour, these are all great ways to not only get noticed but to stay in your customers minds.

The strength of a great brand is to be remembered. And talked about. And shared. And if you smile while doing all this….awesome!

What are you doing to be remembered? What are you doing to put a smile on your customers faces?

Boys toys & a haircut

You’re walking down the street with your kids and suddenly you feel your arm being tugged at.

You look down to see a beaming child pointing at the shop window. And suddenly they’re pulling you into the shop. What is it that has caught their attention?

That’s the power of something that is creative. The power of being different.

And I’ve no doubt that this has happened for this high street barber.

Recently while walking down Orpington High Street(not with my kids I hasten to add!), something caught my eye in a barber’s shop window. It was red and very shiny! It was a child’s car seat!

I took a closer look and of course, took a photo. It made me smile because this business is doing something that no other barber’s in this high street is doing (I counted about 3 other barber’s less than 200 yards away).

They are giving adults a great reason to bring in their kids for a haircut. Well, what will actually happen is that the kids will be dragging their mum or dad into the shop! What kid wouldn’t want to sit in a car seat while having their haircut? And if you’re a parent, you know how hard it is to keep the young children still!

I absolutely love this.

And you know what?

Anyone can buy this on ebay! So it’s not even exclusive to this barber.

But he’s the only one doing it. I’ve no doubt he checked out the competition first (something ALL businesses need to do) and saw that no-one else was doing it. Simple. But genius.

So remember, you might not have anything different to say as a business but if you’re the only one saying/doing it, you’ll get the customers!

Paddy Power


The majority of bookmakers offer you winnings on the first 4 horses.

Not PaddyPower.

They pay out on the first 5.

That’s a great reason to choose them and not William Hill or Ladbrokes.

What’s interesting is that they actually name these 2 big competitors in the ad!

Love it!

Most companies wouldn’t do that because it’s almost certainly going to result in a war of words.

PaddyPower don’t give a damn.

They are doing something different to their competitors.

PaddyPower is a challenger brand anyway, so I expect nothing less.

Love the simplicity of the offering.

Love their care-free ‘who gives a s!*t mentality.

I expect nothing less after seeing their work over the last year or two.

This is Why it’s PaddyPower you’ll choose and not Ladbrokes or William Hill or any other bookmaker.