Hungry for the 'Non-Brand'
[Note: this is a re-post of something I wrote on Tumblr back in May 2014]
Byron Restaurants are expanding very quickly around London and the UK, so much so they have grown to a multi-million pound chain since 2007. All this without a logo or any house style you can put your greasy hands on.
The development of brand, Led by Ben Stott, has elements of a dynamic identity, but can’t be placed in the same camp as other dynamic identities, since each individual restaurant and piece of comms has a completely unique style. The only piece of consistency (other than the name “Byron”) seems to be the playful nature of each piece of implementation, right from the “coming soon” hoardings to the feedback postcards.
All this makes Byron one of my favourites pieces of branding at the moment. It’s joy to come across a new restaurant, as even though they’re a chain, each feels completely unique to the next, all with the reassuring nature of knowing the food you’ll get.
A particularly great example is the triple branded Waterloo branch on The Cut which utilised three shop fronts and three different logos. Plus the language used before the restaurant opens, like “Come in soon” and “I like big buns and I cannot lie” is really fun and sometimes brave enough to not even mention Byron (check the one using the NATO Phonetically Alphabet).
I’ve always admired an sideways approach to branding that throws the rule book out the window, and Byron is one the best I’ve seen. From the use of great illustrators such as Jean Julien to how each new opening is designed independently with its location in mind.
Grand job Ben Stott. Now, I’m hungry.