When good brands go soft (and soggy)

We love seeing brands being born, specially ones that connect with our love of good food. From the day we discovered Lord of the Fries, we loved it. They made the kind of chips we loved back in Dublin, real potatoes, double fried , served hot, crispy with a soft fluffy centre, Yum. We even made special trips into the city for some real chips and their yummy vegi-burgers. We told everyone about them,  we’d revel when introducing friends to the ‘best fries in Melbourne’.

Lord of the Fries

It all started out so right, a simple well delivered brand promise; real chips made with love. Everything was so on brand (even if at times it seemed a little haphazard) from the simple menu, basic iconic packaging, friendly engaging staff, simple strong brandmark it was all about the fries, the best fries and nothing but the fries.

On Sunday night we had occasion (and excuse) to drop by the Elizabeth st store for a late dinner and a little treat. It couldn’t have been more disappointing. A box of greasy, soft, over-salted fries, deluged in sauce. More sauce than chip. It was almost heart breaking. We felt cheated, another brand we put our faith in and reputation on had let us down.

It’s great that you’re expanding your franchise empire and extending your offer with nuggets, rings and dogs. But if you can’t get your core product right, the product you base your whole brand around, your just another crummy fast food joint, over-promising and under-delivering. Melbourne, and the world, has enough of these, we don’t need another.

Lord of the Fries get your act together, taste a chip when you’re salting, make sure they’re as good as they should be, if they’re not, we can wait a minute. Make it part of the theatre of your brand delivery. It’s a far better brand gesture to hold yourself up higher standards in a visible way then to let them slide hoping no one notices. Too many brands do it and it’s us, your customers, who loose out. So Lord of the Fries we’re giving you a ‘heads-up’. Your on notice, your about to loose us forever and nobody wants that, most of all us. All we want is what you promised; the best fries we’ll ever try.

Don’t let us down.

If you’d like to talk to us about making and keeping your brand promise give us a call, we’d love to chat brand.

Derek Carroll
Design Director

8 Comments

  1. How many times do we hear of a brand stretching itself for commercial benefit, but in the process losing the essence of what made it a success in the first place. With this form of social medium, what used to be a private grumble is now a widely shared piece of communication with the potential to have a real impact on brand equity.
    Sure that makes life tough for brands, but as he head full-speed into the age of brand authenticity, it’s time for businesses to put more focus on getting their brand strategy, brand communications and brand experiences right.
    Better to hear it from someone who cares.

  2. That is a shame Derek. Lord of the Fries have such a great brand offer with their name and visual style but an absolute shame that their product lets them down. If you get the fundamentals wrong the whole thing can come crashing down around you.

  3. I agree with you, I also appreciate Lord of the Fries food and the concept.
    I have been going there for a few years now and maybe once or twice had a bad experience, but 99% of the time the food and service has been exceptional and unique.
    As you stated their fries are “real potatoes, double fried , served hot, crispy with a soft fluffy centre, Yum”.
    I don’t quite understand why after one bad experience you felt the urge to criticize them in a public forum?
    Even more puzzling is you adding “If you’d like to talk to us about making and keeping your brand promise give us a call, we’d love to chat brand”. Seems like a weird way to drum up business???
    You’ve left me bewildered!?

  4. The point is that you only need to fail once delivering on a brand promise to damage your brand. If you promise ‘the best fries you’ll ever try’ you’ve got to deliver, otherwise you’ll lose customers, customers who are free to talk about their experience.

    As David pointed out brands need to be more sensitive than ever as people are free to post their feelings online and do so more and more. The company may own the brand, but it only exists in the minds of it’s customers.

    As a brand specialist who’s helped companies successfully realise and express their brands all over the world I feel perfectly at ease using our own blog to comment on what I see as a missed opportunity for brand and offering our services to them and anyone interested in best branding practice.

  5. A great post Derek although a shame about the truth of it as I too have been impressed with their fries in the past! I also like your idea on building some theatre around their brand delivery, a simple yet very powerful brand gesture.

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