Monday, June 9, 2008

Café Carumba – An Example of How to Create a Purple Cow Brand

My husband and I had a great experience at a local Scottsdale restaurant recently that is the perfect example of a business with a great brand. We had breakfast at Café Carumba in old town. Here’s a restaurant that is not afraid to be different. From the ambiance to the local happenings, everything was unique.

I think so often we are afraid to pump up our corporate identity a notch because we are afraid to be criticized. In order for everyone to like us, we have to have a bland, boring, see-it-everyday identity. There’s also the cost factor. Hiring a professional is not cheap. I remember in 1989 when I hired my first graphics person. I paid $1000 for a professional company identity that was definitely not the norm. It was a tough cost to cough up, but that identity served me well for over ten years and helped me land a very prestigious client who would never have hired me with a plain jane boring business card.

What, you ask, makes Café Carumba so different? Here’s a rundown of what impressed me:

Business card: an old sephia colored photo of a bikini-wearing-woman playing a guitar. They obviously used the services of a professional designer with some out-of-the-box thinking. Is this a safe photo image? No way.

Tagline: Spirited Southwest Grill – this has two meanings, spirited as in beverages, and spirited as in personality. I like it.

Most expensive margarita: $9,999.00. How’s this for different?

Events: Cantina Tuesdays, Wine down Wednesdays, daily happy hour, The Margarita Bar Tuesday through Saturday, and several others I can’t remember.

Advertising: tents on the table advertising nightly events with inventive names and enticing food and drink options.

Environment: concrete bar area that is out of the ordinary and artistic; bright colors on the walls; nicely decorated outdoor patio.

When the urge strikes me to grab a bite to eat, I will go to Café Carumba because they have a well designed brand that wraps up their promotions into a unique, purple cow package. There are plenty of restaurants. There are plenty of investment advisors. And there are hoards of business coaches.

The moral of the story is: if you want to stand out from the crowd, create a brand that's not boring. Safe is boring. A good brand is never safe.

No comments: