You never forget a really bad taste (or a bad brand experience).

I have an idea! Let’s revisit a blog entry of mine from the past…. stay with me, now:

Just say NO: CraveMN restaurant in the Galleria
Friday, August 8, 2008 at 8:46am

Went out to dinner with a friend last night… we decided to try the new “CraveMN” in the Galleria. Girl with a tube top (a FANCY one) greets and seats us. Fine, whatever. It was still a nice atmosphere. Live music starts playing. All was well until women started parading around the restaurant holding up signs –LUCY in the Galleria — was written on one. I wondered if this was like the airport, and someone was here to meet a girl named Lucy, waiting out in the Galleria.

Not quite. The next fancy lady who walked by with a sign saw my puzzled expression, approached me with a smile and said, “We’re just modeling some clothes from other stores in the Galleria!”

Excuse me? I wanted to stand up and scream.

First movie theaters and advertising… now my DINNER?

I spend all day, all week, working on advertising. The last thing I want to see when I go out for a nice dinner is advertising crammed in my face.

I’m sure someone – maybe at Crave, maybe at the Galleria – thought they had a brilliant idea. “We’ll do live music! and a mini-fashion show featuring other stores! It’ll be a hit! The poor saps paying $26 an entree won’t even know that it’s actually an advertising strategy!!”

Ridiculous. Here’s an ad strategy for you:

Hey friends, avoid CraveMN. You’ll get way more than you paid for.


Back to the present. Two days ago I was working at a coffee shop in Uptown and noticed the guy next to me, looking at the online menu for Crave. And all I could think was, “NOOOOOOOO!”

And I remembered how much I hated that invasive fashion show during my meal.

Never been back there, never will. And look at me, I’m still telling people about it.

Lesson: consumers aren’t stupid. And they won’t forgive you for treating them that way. That’s why any brand experience should be built around their preferences and priorities, not yours.

One thought on “You never forget a really bad taste (or a bad brand experience).

  1. I think Saks Fifth Avenue cafe in New York started that trend. . . I was in grade school when I first witnessed this phenomenon and star struck. At that age, who isn’t? That’s what I aspired to be when I grew up. Now that I’m older (and at the age where people think I’m important), I know better.

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