Inspirational Owners: May 2006
Graeter’s has been producing irresistible ice cream since 1870 and is a Lovemark of many. Its rich heritage of maintaining uncompromising dedication to product quality has made Graeter’s a part of the lives of generations of customers. Executive Vice President, Richard Graeter, shares his insights on Graeter’s and Lovemarks.
Lovemarks: Why do you think people love Graeter’s?
Richard Graeter: Customers love Graeters’s because of the experience it creates. It’s the taste; the experience it creates when you taste and share it. Customers choose Graeter’s to be apart of their everyday lives. It’s like a close family friend. Graeter’s is always there during happy times, sad times, quiet times and alone times.
LMKS: An idea associated with Lovemarks is the idea of Loyalty Beyond Reason. In thinking about your brand, how, in broad terms, do you define loyalty?
RG: Graeter’s has numerous examples of customers who have lived in Cincinnati (whether for a long or short period of time) and now live in other parts of the country. They are so loyal to the brand that they frequently have Graeter’s shipped to them where they live now. We even have celebrities who are originally from Cincinnati (like George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker) who are loyal customers and who extol the virtues of Graeter’s to their celebrity friends.
LMKS: Lovemarks is premised on the Love/Respect Axis and attaining both High Love and High Respect. How do you relate this idea to the way Graeter’s works from day to day?
RG: The connection our customers have with our brand are based on long-time family traditions, childhood memories and strong and passionate convictions. Generations of customers who love Graeter’s know there’s only one place to go for ice cream and one place to share a special moment; whether it’s spending time in one of Graeter’s retail locations, or picking up a pint at the local Kroger and bringing it home.
LMKS: Lovemarks recognizes that senses are portals to our emotions. Sight, sound, scent, touch and taste. Can you identify how one of the five senses – or a combination or interplay of more than one – connects most strongly with your product?
RG: Taste. Nothing compares to the French Pot Process Graeter’s still makes in two-gallon batches. Chunks of chocolate, all natural ingredients, high-fat content and a commitment to quality in every bite.
Sight and Sound. Visiting a local Graeter’s you’ll always find bliss. The anticipation is exciting. People are happy. People are loved. People feel loved. Whether sharing a cone alone or with a friend, we make the experience a memorable one. From a visual standpoint, the recent rebrand of Graeter’s more effectively communicates the heritage of the brand, with the high-quality that is synonymous with Graeter’s.
LMKS: Attributes associated with design, innovation and resilient sustainability are a part of the evolution from trademarks to brands to Lovemarks. How highly do you rate these attributes and why?
RG: Customers continue to drive our design and innovation. Our family heritage, tradition, commitment and passion to our customers and product have made our sustainability strengthen through the years. We place extreme high value on all of these attributes and realize without a doubt it is the customer who ultimately drives all of them.
LMKS: Aside from your own organization, there may be other businesses operating in other categories that you consider have the edge it takes to be a ‘Lovemark in Action’. Can you name a company, and what you Love or Respect about it?RG: Dewey’s Pizza. Gourmet pizza without being gourmet. No fuss. Down to earth pizza joint. Fun. Simple menu. Always fresh, consistent. Artichokes, goat cheese, pesto - you can’t imagine toppings such as these on a pizza…but will love it when you try it. And with names like Edgar Allen Poe and the Green Lantern - why not try something new? Nothing will quite compare.