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Accelerating an appetite for brand love in 2018

The sales figures from the retail high street giants suggests that the promotion dependent, undifferentiated middle market is a difficult space, mirrored in the reliance of offers and vouchers to attract consumers in the casual dining market. Brands are lacking the magnetism to make people want to visit. The power of distinctive brand experiences has never been more important. Being true to your brand whilst creating a locally relevant experience is the way to be more meaningful, memorable and appealing in the high street.

The magnetism of brand distinctiveness.

In a challenging climate it is all too easy for businesses to rush into the comfort zone of following the crowd. A recent visit to a variety of newly opened shopping centres demonstrated how this has resulted in a number of casual dining brands looking exactly the same, with the ubiquity of a previous ‘Jamie lite’ eclectic industrial aesthetic, exposed brick, coloured chairs…


Hospitality brands are under pressure more than ever to create an experience that customers love to spend time with - this is key to success in 2018. The way in which we spend what precious time we have is something that consumers are increasingly conscious with today’s hectic lifestyle.

The polarised middle market is competing with an adventurous, innovative surge of entrepreneurial brands launching with a street market and festival heritage. Street food inspired Pizza Pilgrims now boasts seven sites and more recently Butchies opened its first site for famous fried chicken. These brands have already engaged a fan base, fans who follow and share the buzz in launching bricks and mortar concepts.

Patty & Bun, now ten sites strong, started its journey at Wilderness festival where it became an insider destination. They created a gang made up of devoted followers who resonated with the brand and wanted to be a part of it. Patty and Bun is the perfect example of a brand with a soul, a story to unearth.

“Great burgers and great food is primarily what we do, but what’s important for us is that people get the full Patty and Bun experience rather than just food which is what people know us for. We are all Londoners born and bred, so when we go into a new area it’s really important that what we do there is right for that crowd – a cookie cutter approach just doesn’t work anymore – those days are gone.” (Founder Joe Grossman)


We have helped brands benefit from this localised approach recognizing a shift in brands consolidating their estates to curate an edited, engaging portfolio. It’s no longer about homogenous roll out but a tiered, nimble and intuitive model that is driven by the local, competitive mix.

Our second site for Aussie all day dining Antipodea in Richmond celebrates it’s very own unique location, Kew Gardens, with botanical references; our design for Richmond connects with the natural locality of Richmond woodlands and parks, whilst still keeping the Australian heritage & ethos. 

Materials are rich, earthy and honest evoking a relaxed warm evening feel. Key to Antipodea’s offer is the element of all-day dining, giving consumers a reason to visit at all times of the day. This was achieved by the addition of different lighting moods for day and evening, and applying a more elevated style to the bar area.  The space also takes inspiration from owner Jason Wells’ native Australia, with relaxed atmosphere and great quality food. The experience boasts a roaring fire at the heart of its experience, huddle round for the perfect instagrammable moment, it’s cosy and enriching atmosphere is guaranteed to visit more often.


It’s an exciting year ahead, conscious-dining concepts will continue to soar, entrepreneurial innovators will serve up the unexpected, localised visions will win and integrated instagrammable moments will drive design aesthetic.

Accelerate your brand love this year and be a brand that consumers choose to spend time with. One of the clear retail winners is British brand Fortnum and Mason, who have recently reported double turnover – Chief Executive Ewan Venters states “It is clear that the British public has fallen in love again with Fortnum and Mason.” This is due to connecting with local consumers and staying true to their heritage of unprecedented quality. Fortnum’s is one of the current success stories connecting with consumers because in the sea of sameness they stand out as being distinctive and special.

We ask our clients whether their experiences are truly representative of their brand purpose and work together to see how this can be amplified to create a sense of belonging, experiences that consumers love to discover, love to return to and love to spend time with.

Let’s accelerate your brand love…