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 . . . 

 DQ ADQ B
signageneonneon + hand-drawn window lettering and designs
staffno eye contactfriendly greeting
insectsyes, mosquitoes on babiesnone
decordatedcustomer art gallery
decorationsnoneparty theme with streamers
uniformsice cream smears on street clothesmatching Girl Scouts Thin Mints t-shirts
nametagsnonestainless with names and titles
waterolder fountainfountain + Dasani cooler
restroomsnonetwo
customersfamilieslittle league teams
wait10 minutesnone, with four people on duty
presentationcups shoved over counterBlizzards turned upside down to show thickness
brochuresnonecalendar of specials
charityno receptaclebox stuffed to over flowing

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


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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