A company is more than an office, a website and a few cool products. Those things might pay the bills, but they don’t make people really like you. What keeps customers coming back for more and telling everyone about it, even when they have choices that are faster, cheaper or closer? A company’s personality, their brand, matters more than ever before in today’s world of constant communication and unlimited information.
We love helping clients create brands that their customers can’t get enough of. That doesn’t mean we’re immune to the power of amazing brands. If anything, we’re more obsessed with companies that let their killer personalities shine through in everything they do.
Portland Growler Company
What do you get when you combine clean design and impeccable craftsmanship? A line of products Chris can’t resist. He appreciates the beauty and quality of these handmade growlers far more than something mass produced. Plus, as the leader of our small team, Chris loves that Portland Growler Company is a small organization that realizes the advantages of a dedicated team working together to build something great.
This brand’s flagship product also just happens to hold beer. So there’s that.
Chris says, “I love how socially conscious Toms is. The ‘buy one, get one’ model is a great marketing differentiator, but it also helps people.” It doesn’t stop there with Toms. They work with HR8 too, and these days, advocating for gun control as a company takes real guts. “I give them a lot of credit for standing behind something that some of their target markets may not.”
Of course, none of this would have as much as an impact if their shoes weren’t well designed, comfortable and durable. There’s also the brand’s overall tone and style, with a simple design and clear voice that stands for something.
Rob walks into the office every morning with a Coke in his hand. Coca-Cola is a classic, even iconic, brand that plays on its heritage to connect with brand enthusiasts and occasional sippers alike. Rob puts his obsession into words better than we ever could; “Just the thought of the classic emblazoned script logo floating atop the emblematic sea of red has me salivating like a Pavlovian dog.”
Volkswagen has been building its brand for generations, which is part of the reason Rob loves it so much. The minimalist look and feel have him daydreaming about 60s counterculture: peace and love, long hair, and bellbottoms, not to mention the unmistakable Volkswagen Type 2 (or VW “Bus”). Rob arrives at Parkway every morning in his VW Atlas – it’s not quite a hippy bus, but it’s just about as close as you can get in 2019.
On any given day, Jenna’s wearing at least four things made by Nike. On top of quality products, their advertising has evolved over the last decade to better connect the brand to the people who use it most. With a humbled and renewed focus on strength, health and wellness, and community, the brand continues to empower athletes no matter what level they compete at.
“I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live in a city without Wegmans!” Jenna smiles when she walks inside and there are days she visits twice. Breakfast sandwiches and iced coffee are her go-to for Sunday morning shopping and the sub shop is the only reason she’s survived every Bills game she’s ever attended. She’s so hooked on the store brands she couldn’t shop anywhere else even if she wanted to. It’s not just a grocery store, it’s an experience!
Dana uses Tarte Cosmetics every day. Their products make her look more like a human every morning (her words, not ours!) while leaving lasting benefits hours after washing them off. She’s never been disappointed by any of their products and she loves what they stand for.
Their website and email blasts greet customers with bright, flashy colors and animations. Even some of their products are fun shapes, like pineapples and flamingos. Tarte knows how to talk to their fans too; they use language that sounds like you’re shopping with friends. “OMG, you need this!” They support your product choices just like a good friend should, letting you know, “We got your order and it’s really pretty.”
Clearly, Wegmans knows what they’re doing. Dana echoes Jenna’s sentiment when she says, “Wegmans makes going there an experience and that’s what I love most about them.” Their beautiful displays, hand-lettered signs and upbeat music make for a shopping experience way more pleasant than any of Buffalo’s other grocery store chains. Wegmans has a way of making you feel like everything in their store is healthy, fresh or good for you in some way – even if it’s not. You will 100% walk out with more than you went in for just because everything looks so good!
Officially, the brand is Magnolia, but the faces of the brand, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are what makes the brand so lovable. What started as a small store and construction company became a TV show, a small village of shops and now, their own Magnolia Network. There’s something for everyone within Magnolia: demo day, décor, DIY and even cupcakes. It’s like Martha Stewart with a better, Texan Martha.
Most Buffalo-based companies do a good job of championing our city, but Oxford Pennant is realllly good at showing people how cool Buffalo is. Their vintage designs are paired with American-made materials for a look that’s immediately recognizable, whether you’re in their downtown storefront or at a NYC holiday market.
Sometimes online brands have a hard time connecting with customers because they’re, well, online. Warby Parker crosses the divide with amazing customer service, week-long home try ons, and reimbursements for the cost of getting your glasses fit to your face at a local optometrist’s office. And they like dogs. So that’s cool.