Painting a Picture - The Art of a Memorable Brand Experience

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Even a picture painted on a tiny (exquisite) morsel of chocolate truffle. How, you ask? Let me tell you a story...

A recent experience from the local food community comes to mind... a culinary scavenger hunt (#culinairehunt) with food-themed challenges taking place at local small businesses around Calgary - restaurants, farmers' markets, gourmet food stores, wine shops and the like. Out of two dozen or so venues, one really stood out from the pack. With flying colours - literally. And it only took about 7-10 minutes to make a lasting impression.

Hotel Arts created a memorable brand experience for the #culinairehunt participants with its hands-on chocolate truffle painting challenge. Chef Nicole Buckton hosted a mini (edible) art class on painting chocolate truffles. We were surprised (and delighted) with this fabulous opportunity to channel our inner Picasso. Here's why this was a brilliant stand-out (the overall experience, not necessarily my painting skills!)…

1. Simple yet elegant
In just a matter of minutes, we had a stronger appreciation for the finesse and craftsmanship of pastry chefs in the art of plating. What was so extraordinary about this experience was the enthusiasm and interaction with Chef Nicole in painting our little morsels of chocolate truffles. It was a simple and elegant concept that was elevated into a truly accessible experience for the audience.

2. Thoughtful and unique
The mashup of art and culinary experience was articulate, thought-provoking and highly experiential. Although the challenge lasted only minutes, we really appreciated the thought and effort that went into designing this unique customer experience.

3. On-brand
Stylish. Modern. Gourmet. Luxurious. Delicious. Whimsical. One-of-a-kind. Hotel Arts did a stellar job of reflecting its brand attributes into this customer experience – from the moment we stepped into the foyer with the vibrant, hand-blown glass art ceiling to the selection of the gourmet chocolate truffles. Every moment of the experience was authentic and true to their brand.

4. Personal
There’s no doubt that personality goes a long way – both in social media and F2F interactions. We appreciated the opportunity to meet Chef Nicole in-person, learn a thing or two about dessert and the art of plating, and continue the conversation via Twitter.

In the age of social media and a bigger (and noisier) marketing arena, more and more brands are all vying for precious airtime and attention of an (often multi-tasking - and distracted) audience. And with tough economic times comes tighter budgets among B2B customers, less disposable income for B2C customers and a smaller appetite to shop. So how do you stand out and present a compelling brand story and experience (on a budget)?

Keep it simple yet elegant, thoughtful and unique, on-brand and personal, while creating a really rich experience.

Looking to create a memorable brand experience for your customers? Let's chat.

- michelle