Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Pret: A Brand To Watch

I love going to Pret for my coffee in the morning. It’s not just another coffee place.

Pret is love.

I can tell how much they care about the food they serve. For one thing the presentation is so appealing. (I eat kosher, but God does allow me to admire a chicken hotwrap.)

All of their food is fresh. If you don’t see it on the shelf, it’s because they haven’t made it for that day just yet.

Their brown paper packaging is not only appealing in a basic way, but also tells me they care about the environment.

The eggs are cage-free. I didn’t need for that to be true, but I like knowing it. And that fact is proudly displayed directly even on the ingredient list for a simple egg salad sandwich.

Pret is love. They love the bounty of nature, their ingredients, and they take good care of the planet, too, with thoughtfully designed trash receptacles that actually make me want to recycle.

The staff works as a team. They seem to genuinely like each other, from what I can tell.

Their good feeling translates into a customer service ethic that is very much on point and in sync.

They will even fill my filthy Starbucks cup with coffee and 2 shots of espresso. No sneering at other brands. No judging the fact that I haven’t washed it. Just because I ask.

Pret is a great brand because it is a philosophy of life that translates to every single thing they are selling. Even their brownies are handmade, and each one is carefully titled a “love bite.”

The Pret brand philosophy is obvious, but they take great care to tell you about it, too. They just seem very proud of who they are and what they’re about.

If they take this much care with a pepper…

If they go this far out of their way to tell me that unripe avocados are “horrid”…

If even their napkins proclaim their values…

Then I feel really good about being there, and buying their food.

They have a good attitude as well. Like, in order to write this post and show you all the good stuff here, I had to take photos. They asked me about it, and then let me keep going. I appreciate their trust.

Did I mention that they always double-stamp my loyalty card when I come in here? (I’m pretty sure they are making money off me anyway…they aren’t cheap but the coffee is far superior to any other chain in the city.)

As a side note, as much as I love the Starbucks brand as well, it is obvious to me that in comparison with a place like this, they are on the decline.

My main metric for this is the staff. No matter where I go, they always seem to be going through the motions.

Concurrently, and in a similar way, there is handwriting on the boards but it seems very “prepackaged.” The snacks are also pretty good, but they have the feel of something that was outsourced too much, to people who once had passion for their craft and then lost it.
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All opinions my own. Photos by me.