Tasting PR | Branding Consistency: A Tale of 2 Dairy Queens

"I don't mean to offend them. It's just so obvious how much cooler and better the other Dairy Queen is." 13 year old field marketing researcher

How can two stores in the same franchise be so different? An innocuous trip for ice cream turned into a lesson in branding consistency. 

Driving home from a late night trip to the bookstore, we stopped at the Dairy Queen A in the next town over. One person's order reached us after we left, so we agreed to stop at another Dairy Queen B, our hometown favorite, to pick it up.

What happens when you compare and contrast two five to ten minute customer interchanges at two different branches of the same place?

Here's a non-scientific look at how our experience compared . . . 

signage neon neon + hand-drawn window lettering and designs
staff no eye contact friendly greeting
insects yes, mosquitoes on babies none
decor dated customer art gallery
decorations none party theme with streamers
uniforms ice cream smears on street clothes matching Girl Scouts Thin Mints t-shirts
nametags none stainless with names and titles
water older fountain fountain + Dasani cooler
restrooms none two
customers families little league teams
wait 10 minutes none, with four people on duty
presentation cups shoved over counter Blizzards turned upside down to show thickness
brochures none calendar of specials
charity no receptacle box stuffed to over flowing

What if both columns matched exactly? Which store has better word of mouth?

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About Barbara Rozgonyi

Barbara Rozgonyi publishes WiredPRWorks.com and directs CoryWest Media, an integrated social media marketing and PR firm. As Social Media Club (SMC) Chicago’s founder, Barbara is a recognized spokesperson for brands, bloggers and the social media marketing PR industry. Barbara invites you to join the Wired PR Works community on Facebook or to contact her regarding interviews, partner promotions or speaking engagements at 630.207.7530.

  • Branding is always tough, no matter if it is a a franchise or any other business. But great observation either way!

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  • Even if it’s a franchise and they might take decorations and brochures differently, being nice to customers, making sure they don’t wait long and that they have a nice time shopping is a must! Even if the stores, uniforms and other such details were identical, the way staffers treated their clients would have made it harder for DQ A to get recommendations.

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  • It always surprises me too how different DQ stores can be. It seems like the most extreme of all the franchises in the difference between stores.

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