Nominated for Best Turnaround Pub 2016

We've been seriously doing the business for our hospitality industry clients in recent years. As B2B Business Development consultants, we've raised revenue by up to 30% for clients including Bill's, Drafthouse, Laine Pub Co, Thaikhun and Whitbread.  Our work as B2B development agency for the recently opened PubLove Exmouth Arms in Euston has helped win a nomination for Best Turnaround in the Pub Awards 2016. Congratulations to Ben and all at PubLove!

Status Update - Lunar Lemon in PubLove!

We are proud to announce our ongoing engagement with this fabulous London-based pub company:

Best Place Inns changes name to Pub Love: Best Place Inns, the London-based pub and hostel group led by Ben Stackhouse, has changed its name to Pub Love. The award-winning company launched the new brand at its summer party on Monday following months of submissions from staff. Working with creative agency Lunar Lemon Productions, Pub Love was chosen from over 400 suggestions with the contributing staff members receiving £500 cash. The new company brand was kept secret until Monday evening where it was unveiled in a fanfare of mariachi bands, award-winning burgers, and branded t-shirts for every staff member. Founded in 2007, the company operates boutique hostels above classic London pubs and serves handcrafted artisan burgers under the Burger Craft brand in three of their sites. “Pub Love is about creating that unforgettable experience for our customers, guests and staff – one that they will fall in Pub Love with,” said Stackhouse. The company also opened its latest Burger Craft kitchen in Victoria yesterday. Burger Craft’s signature burger, The Juicy Bastard, was voted one of the top five burgers in London by Twenty Something London. This is the company’s fourth London burger kitchen opening in under six months."

 

Live is dead. Long live live!

Why the big interest in all things live at the moment?  Festivals, book slams, gig-going, retail theatre, all day cafes – all on the rise.  Who knew?  Despite the fact that you can live life on-line, slumped on your sofa with a ready meal and your favourite box-set for company, it seems that the messy, unpredictable thing we call real life experience still has the power to get us out of the house and dipping into our wallet with gusto.

After an intense love affair (Well never go back to boring old live and it's associated costs) with virtual and digital life, big brands are waking up to this phenomenon and realising that big-splash ad campaigns and social media campaigns do not always hit the spot.  Of course live events can never reach as great an audience as a tweet or a TV ad, not in terms of stats.  But there is increasing evidence that it is not just breadth of reach that is important but depth; what good is it if an ad reaches 2 million people, but 90% of them have forgotten it completely within 24 hours.  It has got lost amongst the billions of images we are bombarded with every day, we filter it out..

 IT DONT MEAN A THING IF IT AINT GOT THAT ZING

 It seems that live experience is stored in a different part of the brain, that it is ‘thick’ where other forms of communication are ‘thin.”  Live events are juicy, they are remembered for longer, in richer detail and with greater attachment and emotion.  They engage the customer or consumer on a whole new level, creating that elusive sense of brand loyalty every organisation craves.  Live events lend structure, focus and a certain magic to any campaign.

So, next time you look at your numbers, remember the number of people reached is not the same as the number of people moved or engaged.  Sometimes one (relatively low-cost) powerful event (perhaps then transmitted via social media) has the power to make people laugh and share and talk about it for months, giving exponential word-of-mouth reach to one clever live idea.  And that translates into a loyal customer-base and increased sales.

 That is why the live element of a campaign is often the secret ingredient which brings all the others to life.

 Live is the umami of the marketing mix.  Ignore at your peril!

"Heard the one about the broker, the barista and the memory-stick maker?"

 When we say we do 'Brand Story" people sometimes crinkle up their faces and raise an interested (or mystified) eyebrow.  Sounds interesting.  Yes, I think we need that... but what is it? So, listen up.  Here we go: 

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves form our identity.  The stories an organisation tells itself about itself forms its Brand Story.

An organisation’s Brand Story needs to be strong, positive, coherent and engaging.  If it is not, everybody suffers.  This is particularly pertinent in the wake of what we might call corporate trauma; when an organisation encounters loss or major restructuring or negative coverage in the media. 

Major change and upheaval can lead to a weakening sense of identity.  This, in turn, undermines performance, clouds strategy and leads to conflict, stress, loss of motivation and innovation, fragmented communication and instabliity.

Repeated attempts at rebranding via advertising campaigns and conventional marketing strategies are not always enough.  A call to name Brand Values and live by them is often received with cinicism by staff and clients/customers alike and has limited benefits.  Many well-intentioned and costly interventions just don’t go deep enough.

"Brand Story provides invaluable content for Social Media"

Once the preserve of expensive centralised campaigns via press and TV, Brand Stories can now be spread to millions by pressing send.  The barriers have gone and many organisations have only just caught up with this idea, realising that a story is being told already through every tweet, post and update.  And theyd better get around to giving it some sort of shape.

The mythology surrounding a brand is hugely influential and hard to change. Great if you are Virgin, or Apple, or Innocent.  Not so good if your brand story is less than heroic.  And worse if your organisation is cast as a villain or a fool by the media.

The question of course is:  What is our story?  How can we agree on it and own it? How do we craft it, cascade it, embed it and live it?

WHATS YOUR STORY?

The good news is that every organisation has a positive Brand Story waiting to be discovered.  Every brand has a heritage to celebrate.  Every brand has brand heros at every level with transformational stories to tell.

Brand Story needs to be unearthed and told.  And then told again and again at the water cooler, in the Board Room, lift and bedroom, and through every form of internal and external communication.  Until it becomes so much part of the infrastructure that you don’t notice it any more.

 

LLP BRAND STORY PROCESS

 

PHASE 1 CRAFTING THE STORY

 Targeted interviews with key staff at every level.

Writing and selection of Individual Brand Stories via live storytelling events.

First Draft of Master Brand Story.

PHASE 2 CASCADING THE STORY

Coaching of the leadership to tell the Master Brand Story  and Individual Brand Stories

Identifying existing communications channels to carry the story.

Creating new communications channels to carry the story.

PHASE 3 EMBEDDING THE STORY

Second draft of Master Brand Story, taking feedback and amendments onboard.

Traditional and digital communication channel audit

Writing and dissemination  of Tweetable Tales and Facebook Fables

Leadership equipped with examples of the story inspiring action and positive outcomes.

PHASE 4 LIVING THE STORY

Annual live and virtual storytelling events to enrich the Master Brand Story

Story champions identified and rewarded

 

LLP BRAND STORY CASE STUDIES

We served as storyteller for BT Global Services, humanising the tangled spaghetti of technology talk that surrounds major account management and IT outsourcing deals.

When morale was at rock bottom at a NHS trust that had been slammed in a TV documentary, Lunar Lemon lifted morale and key performance stats.

Starbucks needed to turn their business plan into more than numbers. Lunar Lemon injected a hot shot of story to bring shared understanding and motivation that the leadership team could cascade to front-line staff.

Coutts had been badly damaged by the financial crisis and needed to re-connect staff and clients with its 300 year old story of overcoming obstacles. 'Coutts - The Next Chapter', a touring storytelling roadshow turned the page for all the people who attended. The happy ending... loyalty and long-term investments.

RBS Global Banking & Markets needed an essential story. Something that could be told by anyone working for the bank to anyone; lift, pub, boardroom, bedroom. Lunar Lemon crafted a hundred word essential story on the 'beauty of a billion dollar bond'.

Intercontinental Hotels had created a set of 'Winning Ways', values that the whole organisation could live by and grow with globally. Lunar Lemon brought meaning, feeling and momentum to each winning way by crafting a master story to humanise these values.

The Savoy Bullet

Ever wondered why there is a strange-looking fracture on the window of the Savoy Grill?

We asked Tanya Pemberton, who is Gordon Ramsay's Event's person.  Here is her story:

When the hotel was first opened in 1889 the D’Oyly Carte Room used to be a jewellery shop. At the time there were many “firsts” happening; this was the only building in London at the time which was lit by electricity throughout the building, The Savoy was the first hotel in the world that had toilets, showers and hot running water in every room, the American Bar was the first bar where they allowed ladies and gentleman to sit together in the same room and was also the first bar where they started mixing spirits and made the first cocktail!

So the American owner of the jewellery shop imported bullet proof glass to install for the very first time in the UK.  Nobody believed that glass can catch a bullet. Later that year there was a very small and unsuccessful armed robbery during which the shop’s own security guard fired a shot indoors and that shot left the mark on that glass window that overlooks the forecourt.  After that, the owner never changed the glass, proving to visiting dignitaries that they were safe from assassins at the Savoy. 

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 The bullet-marked glass become 1st degree listed property in 1998 and that it why it was not changed during the last refurbishment.  

 

Unsung Heroes of Hospitality No. 1 - Pauline Barlow, Bill's of Brighton

Pauline Barlow at Bill's of Brighton

Pauline Barlow at Bill's of Brighton

 

'I like a bit of Jazz Hands in my Customer Service.'

says Pauline Barlow at Bill's of Brighton (while jazz-handing us a complimentary jar of Chilli Jam - yum!)

We Vespa through rush-hour traffic in wind and rain to get to Pauline for our Monday morning meetings.

Pauline is the hollandaise on our muffins and starts our week off on the right note.