I fondly remember a particular day when a young gentleman approach me at a festival. My husband and I had recently started another business and a unique business it was. My husband, aka DaddyO, had taken an interest in making his own ice cream. But being 100% Irish, he poured a full bottle of bourbon in the very first ice cream he made. We used a brand name bourbon and locally sourced honey and called it Honey Bourbon. It was delicious to say the least. He then went on to create unique ice creams with Vodka, Rum, Baileys Irish Cream, Guinness and pretty much every alcohol out there. His ice cream was an instant hit.
The young man at the festival said, “I want to do your marketing,” for which I replied, “Why would you want to do our marketing when you know nothing about us and what we do?” He said that he knew much about us from the branding that we had done on our tents, cart, cups, logo, and our card also. He could tell that we had great business minds because we had already done such a great job on our branding. That was quite a compliment so even though I would not consider myself an expert, I can give you a few tips on creating a brand loved by all.
Knowing we had something that was worth growing into a profitable business, we immediately went into business mode. We had to come up with a name. So, we called the family over and sat around the kitchen table and made a list of names. We settled on DaddyO’s Irish Ice Cream Pub. Every Christmas we used to sign the tag on a gift ‘from DaddyO’ (short for O’Brien) so my daughter in law would know which Daddy her gift was from. So DaddyO’s made sense. Since many of our flavors contained alcohol, we thought it would be fitting to use the words Irish Ice Cream Pub, something no one has ever done before. We quickly bought the domain name and created email addresses and worked up a website.
The logo was easy to come up with. We asked a caricature artist to draw a caricature of DaddyO as a leprechaun holding a beer in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other with a banner below that said DaddyO’s. I contacted a trademark lawyer and immediately started the trademark process. You need to start that early because it takes around 9 months to process and you could be turned down. That is exactly what happened to us. DaddyO’s was turned down so we had a backup plan and reapplied using the words Daddy O’Brien’s.
When you brand a company, you need to figure out who your audience or customer is and gear the branding towards them. We are makers of alcoholic ice cream, so we made our branding more adult looking than a traditional ice cream product. Our carts, website, and our shop center on the Irish theme with dark woods, red and green walls, stained glass windows and a fireplace. Now, we are not narrow minded and do want our brand to be loved by all, including the family. So DaddyO has made half of his flavor creations to be family friendly. So, our audience includes everyone. When we go out to a festival, we have one line for adult flavors and one line for family flavors!
If you want your brand to be loved by all, you must be involved in the community. Besides the storefront, we have our carts and logo on tents, and we bring them out to festivals, schools, sports games, breweries, corporate and chamber events. This will successfully lead people back to your store and build your brand in the community. I have created several coupons to give out as prizes for the schools and other organizations to use. We have spirit nights for schools, fundraisers, blood drives, pet adoptions, you name it!
When hard times come, like Covid-19, your community will remember how you have been kind to them over the years and they will find ways to bless you. Give them a superior product, superior service, make them feel special and you have built a brand to be loved by all.
About the Author
Lori and Frank O’Brien, aka MommyO and DaddyO are the creators and Co-founders of Daddy O’Brien’s Irish Ice Cream Pub. Located in Sugar Hill GA and in Lake City FL, Daddy O’Brien’s is a unique and hot concept combining Adult and family flavor ice cream creations made on site with an Irish theme. Their ice cream has won at least a dozen national awards and Frank has earned the distinguished title of Grand Master Ice Cream maker from the National Ice Cream Retailers Association. Daddy O’Brien’s offers franchise opportunities. Lori may be contacted at [email protected]