Pink Taco. I’ll give you a second to get your snickers and eye-rolls out of the way. Good? Great.
To clarify, Pink Taco is named after their signature achiote-marinated chicken taco topped with fluorescent pink habanero-pickled onions. So we don’t know what that initial fuss was about. Grow up.
We love a brand that has a clear attitude right in the name. You know the exact kind of experience you’re getting. Even better when that identity is brazen and irreverent. Taking on their social media marketing was right in our wheelhouse.
Pink Taco is all about the party, so kicking off 2020 with a new location right in the raging heart of Miami Beach makes perfect sense. Especially with Snoop Dogg officiating the opening. On social media, we’ve turned their brand into a bender of feasting, boozing, skulls, and unsolicited pink taco pics.
Well, they were kinda solicited, because they’re exactly what the client and social audiences asked for.
Now to the trends!
1. Extra Reality
2. Power Distribution
3. Reward the talent
4. More than just “like”
5. Return to nature
6. Embrace Individualism
Oh yeah, that environment we mentioned, well, it’s becoming even more personal. We are further able to adapt our surroundings and services to our individual needs creating purposeful interactions that are designed to suit us best.
Who knew that our 11-year-old response to “what do you like to do?” was a premonition! Here we are as adults still just sitting around, “drawing and stuff.” Sure our tools may be a bit more advanced and our sketches tend to have a lot less dinosaurs and skate-parks (if you are reading this and have a dinosaur-skate-park concept you better pick up the damn phone) we still pride ourselves on putting pencil to paper to enrich our brands with some unique art. Check out some illustration samples below:
Start Here: Why You Deserve a Brand Session
Jump in with both feet. Just keep swimming. Ready. Aim. Fire.
We’re all for moving fast and being decisive, but there’s something to be said for starting at the beginning. When creating a new business, or trying to change the direction of an existing one, it can feel like you spend all of your time talking about it. And you probably are, but are you talking about the right things?
Even if you spend every hour of the day talking about your new business, it’s important to stop, take a breath, gather the team around the table, and have a real conversation about what you’re building. Not about which sconces should go in the dining room or whether you can afford that really cool oven, but about the guiding principles of your brand.
We know that sounds heady and intangible, but it’s actually very practical. A brand session is critical to bringing your team into alignment on the big picture—it defines your true north. You may have a perfect, complete vision of your new business, but if it only lives inside your head, it’s almost impossible to transform that vision into reality. If everyone on the team has a slightly different vision of the goal, you run the risk of ending up with a mish-mash of a brand.
We kick off every branding project with a brand session for one simple reason: to define the brand in a way that brings everyone together on the same path.
The session itself is what’s really important; a guided conversation that explores the most critical aspects of your new business. We’ll dig into the areas that are key to your success, things like: the values that are the foundation of your brand, where your concept falls within the bigger market, and the things that make you stand out from your competition.
We customize each session, based on each client’s needs, but what remains the same is the results. Not only do you walk out of the room immediately after the session with a better understanding of your own brand, but but we wrap things up with a brand summary report, ready to be shared with potential investors and landlords, and incorporated into training materials.
Bottom line? It’s time to start at the beginning and build a strong foundation for your brand. Then, you can get that cool oven.
If there’s one thing we recognize at Six Degrees LA, it’s that feeling good about where you eat is a must for all people. Shockingly, food tastes better when you’re not having an identity crisis and guilt isn’t choking you up! It may seem simple, but during our many years in restaurant branding, especially as a LA marketing agency with a whole range of clients, we’ve learned time and time again that the dining choices customers make reflect their emotions, desires, and yes—sometimes politics— rather than simply deciding on a food price point. To help make this more complex call, they rely on a perception of a brand from start to finish.
This past week, big restaurant branding headlines coming from Tom Colicchio’s Fowler & Wells in Manhattan and Brad Greenhill’s Katoi in Corktown, Detroit have brought the issue of naming and social responsibility to the forefront. As the NYT and Eater reported, both restaurants have come under heavy criticism for problematic monikers; their historical and cultural implications weighed on the conscience of customers and critics and, ultimately, lead to a need to re-name in order to remain loyal to the brand vision .
And then of course there’s the grumblings over Dunkin Donuts, who are playing the name-game in their own corporate way. Sometimes it’s hard not to throw up your hands and roll your eyes (Come on guys, you sell donuts— everyone knows you sell donuts), but this news cycle just confirms that ethics, ethos, and the bottom-line all drive choices to try and better represent a restaurant to a customer.
We won’t get political and dwell on whether motivations are always pure (because it’s a Monday and no one needs that kind of suffering) but as a LA marketing agency we know that branding extends beyond a name and into skills we’ve mastered— like restaurant logo design and photography revamps— and each element must reflect the brand identity. Usually the situation isn’t as extreme as the issues getting recent press attention, but our role is the same.
Clients come to us when they recognize a disconnect between where they see themselves and where customers see them, and we use strategy, aesthetics, and brand messaging to help create an experience that each guest can feel good about.
Don’t get us wrong, the big name on the sign is important. The one moniker lives beyond every medium, making it the single lasting impression of a brand. But if picking a whole new name feels like an insurmountable logistical nightmare (To-Go bag reprint? Legal footer EVERYWHERE? Bartender pocket squares, anyone?), that’s where we step in and help make adjustments to a brand identity through a whole spectrum of elements. We’ve helped with everything from VIP fundraisers to community murals to sticking logos on Magic 8 balls.
If you have the slightest inkling that you may want a name change, it should be addressed immediately. “Sooner-rather-than-later” couldn’t ring more true (Tom Colicchio and Brad Greenhill would agree, we think). There are tools we can employ to explore the possibility, from market research to guest surveys. Analytics + our instincts can help you be sure your company is making the responsible call.
Can’t wait for the data? Check out our “When Restaurant Branding Should Happen” infographic that takes our signature tongue-in-cheek approach to answering the pesky question.
In any case, fixing a perception problem starts with finding a partner that can handle the logistical and creative heat. Let’s talk— before the angry tweets roll in and well before the pain of chiseling out logos on all those beautiful engraved maple cutting boards.
by Josh, Creative & Design
Millennials, millennials, those damn millennials. Just the mention quickly diverges into a fist-shaking critique of their work habits, emotional sensitivity, and their cyborgian connection to social media. Well, we’re not here to jump on that conversation. We like millennials. In fact, with nearly $1.3 trillion in purchasing power and almost 50% of their food expenses coming from dining out, we LOVE millennials. Gen Z on the other hand, geez it’s like they are a bunch of socially conscious, risk-averse babies. Basically, the younger generation will never be as hard-working/enlightened/pleasant-smelling/athletic or as awesome as our generation, says EVERY GENERATION EVER. Continue Reading…
by Amanda, Marketing & Strategy
Recently, we had the chance to break out of our delicious Los Angeles foodie bubble and take a trip to the gateway of Yosemite: Merced, California. We created the brand identity for Bobcat Diner, a new restaurant concept with ambitious plans for growth. With the location and expansion plans in mind, we took inspiration from the iconic graphics of the National and State Parks to create a design that would resonate with the local Merced community, and work just as well in new locations across the country. We didn’t take it too seriously, though, with a tongue-in-cheek approach to the outdoors tucked away within the copy.
We were lucky to be brought in at the very beginning of construction, so you’ll find our graphic design work in the campfire logo, oversized trail maps on the walls (providing helpful directions to lunch and dinner over the mountainous milkshakes), and the guide to Bobcat Guide merit badges. The menus serve as a Guide Book, filled with hand-drawn illustrations for our Bobcat Guide Tips to accompany the menu of diner mainstays including breakfast skillets, burgers and sandwiches.
Once the design was complete and construction underway, our marketing team took over the restaurant’s pre-opening social media, bringing the brand’s outdoorsy voice to life and building anticipation for the opening. When California’s unexpected rain caused construction delays, we tackled the challenge of keeping interest high as the opening day changed, and changed again. When the grand opening finally arrived, we were there to capture the excitement before handing the social reins back to to the restaurant team.
All in all, we enjoyed our excursion into the wilds of Central California, and like the restaurant, we try to be true to the Bobcat Oath, even back here in Los Angeles.
We’re giving 2016 the finger. Ok, not THE finger. In fact some people don’t even consider it a finger at all. We’re giving 2016 a thumb – a “thumbs up” to be exact. Because honestly 2016 was solid. Bombarded by social-media bad mouthing it seems like a lot of people were pretty pissed about the whole year. We just don’t share that sentiment. Just look below. Good times were had, great work was done, and we still have all of our limbs (maybe a few injuries that we swear were NOT Pokemon Go-related). What else can be said? It was a damn good year.
In that regard, we’re giving 2017 an enthusiastic handshake. You know, the one that’s a little firm. Maybe just a little bit too firm, but not to the point of actually hurting – just firm enough to confidently say, “I’m in charge.” Yeah 2017, we’re going to own you. Ahhh, who are we kidding…give us a hug.
There are two evening activities in Los Angeles we recommend to visitors. Go to The Hollywood Bowl and go to The Edison (hey, we did that brand too!). Though the Edison is cool for the aesthetic and absinthe, going to The Bowl is just one of those quintessential L.A. experiences that combines the best in food, music, atmosphere and summer-SoCal outdoor lifestyle. And you can bring your own absinthe! (Update: Guess you can’t bring liquor in, just beer and wine. Anyway, bringing absinthe into a venue is both a reckless decision for your liver, the people around you, and you can’t even do the cool pour-over the sugar-cube spoony thing).
We see tourists in Los Angeles year round, but our favorite time to host friends and family is fall, when temperatures dip into the low 70s, afternoons are sunny and crisp, and the season brings festive touches to all our local haunts – pumpkins at coffee shop doors, gourds aplenty at the farmers markets…we finally feel ready to hit the town instead of being holed up in AC with our blackout curtains up. With the outdoor temperature on-point for frolicking around in a scarf with hot coffee, here are six places you must visit in LA this fall.
There are many old and tired brands out there that fail to realize the value of good branding and that their lack there of may be a reason for their shortcomings as a business. As a marketing and branding agency, we’ve created a handy (albeit snarky) infographic to determine whether your brand is fit as a fiddle, needs a check up, or is in dire need of an ambulance.
Ever wanted to take a short trip back to the 1970s, but without the avocado-hued appliances, shag carpet and other assorted “missteps” of the decade? We’ve got you covered. Just cruise up the 101 into North Hollywood and find yourself in the idyllic setting of The Garland. Stylish, modern, yet thoroughly nostalgic, it’s the best spot in LA to retreat from the chaos, but not get too far-out*. (*puns are very ’70s, the lack of internet access made people desperate for cheesy entertainment) Continue Reading…
The brothers behind Bicos Hospitality came to us to help them create and launch a new concept in Pasadena. They wanted to build a new, laid-back bar that was comfortable & sophisticated in equal measure – a destination for hanging out with friends, meeting a colleague for a drink, or taking a date. We were anxious to rise to the challenge and give new life to a 100 year old house. Check out the whole process below. We started with a name, then colors, logos, a story, hand-sketched elements, and Magnolia House was born.
Once we had the brand nailed down, we came up with ways to translate the heart of the house into every aspect of the experience. We designed the menus to feel like a library book, substantial and fabric covered and more inviting than the expected vinyl. The signage was given a similarly understated yet impactful treatment, and we also put together fun collateral pieces that harken back to an old-school pub vibe and blended seamlessly with the ambiance of the interior and the space’s history. The final products are shown here (along with the website, which we also designed).
And here’s a little of Magnolia House’s well-earned buzz: