In my line of business, I come across a lot of branding, some of which is mediocre and some of which is really great. “What makes great brands and great branding?” I hear you ask. Well, for me, if a brand is well considered, then you should be able to pick up or view any part of that company’s communication and it should reflect their brand image (whatever it is they want to portray, from rustic to luxury, family-run to international business). All of their public image should be thoroughly thought through. For example, restaurants should not only consider their interiors but everything right down to menus and napkins. Sounds obvious maybe, but a lot of brands forget the small stuff and certainly forget about consistency.

First up on my list of great brands is ‘LEON’, a set of UK restaurants. It’s first not for any particular reason, just because hubby and I were there recently and we both agreed on its greatness. Their tagline is really simple – “Tastes good, does you good” and it really is good. You can read their company vision here and view a yummy menu here. Have a good look around the site – notice the language used throughout (familiar but not over-familiar), the imagery (based on old family albums for that truly personal touch) – it’s the ‘inclusive’ new way of communicating to customers. I’ve had lunches there over the last 2 years and they have always been, well, consistent; not to mention down-to-earth and committed to their cause. Most importantly, the ingredients haven’t changed (I’ve noticed other companies who start off with the best and then decrease the quality of their ingredients over the years as business costs increase).

Images from LEON’s Old Compton Street store, courtesy of their Facebook page.

Each restaurant is styled differently but always portrays the same brand personality – funky, personable, warm and accessible. It doesn’t end there – they have published three lovely cookbooks and I’m sure there will be loads more to come. I only hope they can now master the tricky business of expanding whilst keeping their personality in tact. I’ll be watching…