Donut Drama, Brand Disconnect ...


Here’s my second “Grab Bag,” pulling together a few vignettes that caught my attention.

Donut Drama

I’m a huge fan of The New York Times Dining section that appears every Wednesday.

How much drama can be found among a bunch of glazed donuts?

Actually, quite a bit if you’re Pete Wells observing the action at Federal Donuts:

A DOUGHNUT was falling, and everyone in the restaurant watched.

The woman behind the counter at Federal Donuts in the Pennsport neighborhood here might have reached just a bit too high, or else she never really had a grip on it. Whatever happened, the doughnut slipped from her fingers and began to tumble through space.

Almost all of the two dozen or so customers packed into the tiny room stood motionless, wondering if anything could stop the plunge.

The outcome was going to have a direct effect on one of those bystanders, who would not be getting a cinnamon-apple-walnut doughnut that day. Federal Donuts starts out each morning at 7 with somewhere around 150 glazed doughnuts, more on weekends. When they are gone, there are no more until the next day.

Empathy at the Expense of Brand Disconnect

Here’s a disconnect in brand-building you don’t see every day, particularly at a company like GE.

So much of GE’s brand-building revolves around “Imagination.”


Yet, GE’s CEO had this to say at a conference which went out on the GE Twitter feed:

“People don’t care as much about imagination at work – right now they care about work and jobs.” –Jeff Immelt

Cultivating empathy from the audience is a good thing.

So is self-deprecation.

Still, he could have said it differently.

Humanizing Customer Support

Would you rather get help from a virtual assistant or Jenn?

Alaskan Airlines concluded that Jenn was the way to go.

alaska air website

I attempted to dig further.

It wasn’t easy. Thanks to my superior interrogation skills, I was able to ascertain that her name is indeed Jenn.

ask jenn

That’s a wrap.

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