on our recent trip up north, we didn't see too many strong brands. one notable exception was COWS - an ice cream chain headquartered on prince edward island (which is canadian for "prince edward island"). the signage was everywhere. the ice cream was voted "canada's best" by highly regarded ice cream expert, Reader's Digest. most influentially, everyone was wearing COWS t-shirts, which are parodies of well-known movies, TV shows, social networks, etc. (think wacky packages, but with cows.)
the ice cream, as it turned out, was fine but not great. however, by the time our stay on the island ended, we were at the COWS Creamery immersing ourselves in the brand with a factory tour. driving up, we felt a bit like the Griswolds driving up to Wally World, only Wally World was open and serving ice cream and john candy was nowhere to be found.
the tour was well-done and all the employees (sorry, "team members") were happier than Up With People dancers. all in all, a good example of how quickly (and yes, easily) a brand can establish a connection with its audience.