If you want to see an example of a company that does branding right, look no further than ChickFilA. Yesterday was Cow Appreciation Day at our local restaurant – a gimmick to give a free entrée to anyone who “wore anything cow-like.”

The entire dining area was full of people who got into the spirit. People wore white garbage bags with pieces of black garbage bags cut into cow spots; black t-shirts with cut-up paper plates as spots; printed cow pictures made into headbands or necklaces, cowbells, and my personal favorite, a piece of paper made into a cow tag for the ear.

ChickFilA did their part with the mascot cow outside taking photos, giveaways for the kids, a red carpet greeting guests, cow balloon arches and cow-patterned material covering the counter. It was festive from the moment you walked in but what really made it special were the costumes.

The restaurant could have easily generated an audience by giving away free sandwiches but by requiring people to dress up it added to everyone’s engagement and fun. “Anything cow-like” was liberally interpreted making it an incentive rather than a barrier and it allowed whole families to come in wearing handmade bovine attire.

The next time you host a promotion find a way to get your audience involved in creating the festivities. Instead of just a sale, make it an event to be remembered.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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