By Cody Wooten
AIGA and AAF teamed up this past July to bring the Nashville community, “Food For Thought,” a luncheon at Sambuca which featured award-winning designer, Michael Carpenter. Michael provided some hot insight into how his agency, Loaded For Bear, approaches the creative process and implements design thinking via the brand development of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. And it was freaking delicious.. I mean awesome!
Michael used a whole ‘hen’ approach to illustrate a brand’s voice, with every detail a potential storytelling opportunity. Using the available physical space, both inside and outside, he created subtle opportunities for brand engagement and a customer experience that is unique to each Hattie B’s location. Some even feature larger-than-life chickens that visitors/customers can take pictures with. No, seriously. This was one of many subtle, [or not so subtle, I guess] but very thoughtful elements Michael crafted into the overall brand development of Hattie B’s. This allows Hattie B’s customers to advertise (for free I might add) through pictures and social media, while also providing entertainment for when customers are standing in line.
Behind the scenes, Michael and his team must adapt to each client, legal restrictions, building codes, neighborhoods and their backstories, while striving to provide a seamless brand experience. This insight into the operations of an agency and how it has grown and matured from just 1 (Michael) to 9 employees was fascinating. This gave a perfect glimpse into some of the obstacles he faced when building the agency.
Exploring the creation of Hattie B’s from a branding perspective was a true inspiration, and helped generate ideas that you could take and build upon for your own creative and personal use.
The food was great, the people were great, the Speaker was excellent. If you were unable to attend the event, it is highly suggest that you NOT miss another one. You never know where you might find your next inspiration.
A HUGE thank you to AIGA and AAF for hosting this event, and providing an opportunity to not only learn, but to network among other creative professionals. Personally, it was a great opportunity to be able to come together, shares ideas, talk about projects, and form beneficial relationships with the creative community. Of course, this isn’t possible without the efforts of organizations like AIGA and AAF. So again, a HUGE thank you. I am very much looking forward to the next event, and once again have the opportunity to engage with Nashville’s incredible creative community.