Home > Uncategorized > Creating an identity.. simply

Creating an identity.. simply

I’d blogged about bars before so don’t think I spend a lot of time in them.

But over the years I have been to quite a few in different parts of the world. All in the line of duty.

What I found is that while the bars all do the same thing, serve drinks to parched customers, they use a few simple devices to differentiate themselves from the rest.

While there are many I am listing just the most common ones, and then one new uncommon one I discovered this weekend.

Music : This is the most widely used technique. The nature of music played differentiates these places significantly. It is the easiest way to attract the segment you want. Hence you have bars that play jazz, blues, rock, hip/hop, bollywood, anything loud and it draws in those who prefer that type of music. There’s also the difference between live and the ipod version. So music in its various forms.

Alcohol : Clearly this is the obvious way of creating a differentiator. Getting the product right. So some places specialise in a category eg wines, single malts, beers. Others do one thing really well. Like say Martinis or Mojitos or whatever they believe will get the right type of folks in.

Location : If one is lucky to get a good location that creates the uniqueness that would be terrific. This is hard to do, given that good locations cost more and sometimes may not command the premium that a simple beer can take.

Food : Historically bars were places where people went to drink, but slowly bar food is growing in importance and getting to be a differentiator to be added to the mix. There’s a bar in Singapore that is renowned for its steak sandwiches, given for free during happy hours. The drinks are not bad either.

Staff : To my mind this is seldom, if at all used as a differentiator except in the case of Hooters which is probably the only place of its sort that I am aware of.

So there you have it and I believe most bars use some combination of the above to create their own identity, This in turn attracts a certain type of clientele and thus a brand is built.

Which brings me to last weekend. We were at a bar and they were serving Mojitos in jars. IKEA jars like the one below (without the lid of Mojito containercourse)

That was certainly unique. And as I looked around every table had these jars filled with Mojitos and people looked rather pleased with themselves about it. Clearly a talking point had been created.

Sometimes that’s all that is needed to build a brand’s identity. From scraps gathered at different points of the experience consumers form their version of the brand. As a marketer it is one’s responsibility to provide these unique scraps that help build the brand.

One doesn’t need big budgets for this nor a big advertising campaign. Just some creative thinking.

So how are you doing this?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,
  1. March 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Sounds like a tourist trap. The novelty of this will soon wear off. I don’t see you (or other visitors) going there again and again. (Unless the Mojitos are kick-ass, reasonably priced and there’s good food to go with it.) Sounds a bit like Goa Portuguesa in Mumbai…They have a guitarist in attendance – an import from Goa (or most likely, Mahim) who insists of stopping by your table to play a song or two. It’s mildly amusing the first time, after which it can get seriously annoying. This kind of place is probably aimed at the passing traveler who can attempt to get a fleeting taste of Goa in Mumbai.

      March 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks Asif for dropping by and commenting. You are right. As I said brands are built by scraps that consumers pick up through several interactions. To me the Mojito in a jar is just that, a scrap. A starting point. A differentiator. One scrap does nothing. Looking at the explosion of faceless drinking joints around, I was remarking at the attempt of one to stand out. Clearly more needs to be done! Cheers



  2. sumedhasaraogi
    March 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Good point Harish..the ‘differentiator’ is the key for the brand to be noticed…
    sustaining that probably requires more efforts and budgets?

      March 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Yes agree totally. Start with something different and build on it. The differentiator gives opportunity to build a story for the brand. Else it’s a lot of me toos with the hope that communication or something else will help it win.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


      Harish Vasudevan

  3. subhas
    March 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    there is a community aspect, you love to meet those regulars and then there is the pool or the darts that people love to go along for, nothing like a good chilled pint of amstel light served by the good old bartender who you have been seein for many years, he recognizes you by name,he knows your brand and your pace and few other things that you spilled over a heavy night… That is what I call
    the c-factor, community cheer factor – cheers for the drink

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