Communicating Brand Through Every Little Detail with Matthew Smith

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Learn how the CMO of The Madera Group keeps hospitality alive despite a pandemic with these 4 tips.

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Matthew Smith is what you could call a CMO squared – being the Chief Marketing Officer at The Madera group and one of their brands, Tocaya Organica. Matthew has seen tremendous success in building Madera’s brands (Hailey Bieber wears their to-go bag??) and we were lucky to have him on this episode. Here were a few of his main points, briefly:

1. Branding Is Critical, But Second To Product

Matthew emphasized branding throughout the episode and described how a good brand can really connect with people. And during COVID-19, that connection is being craved more than usual. However, the best branding and marketing in the world won’t matter if your product isn’t amazing. You may fool someone once but they won’t return. 

Matthew recommended reading a book called Purple Cow for more on this idea. 

2. Every Last Detail

Matthew had been at Madera for a little while before realizing what the core mantra of their brand was going to be: “every last detail”. He stumbled upon it when he noticed that even the door stoppers at one of their restaurants were sporting their logo – a detail that many wouldn’t notice but that would make a difference to those that did. So he ran with it.

As Matthew said, “Anything a guest is gonna see is gonna communicate to them something about your brand. What do you want it to communicate?”

3. Off-prem  New Brand 

With all of that talk about every last detail, the natural question that follows is about maintaining stride and homogeneity in a pandemic when a lot of traffic is happening outside the four walls. 

One of Matt’s suggestions was to redesign your to-go bags to best represent your brand. When he and his team created high-quality, luxury-looking bags, they were a hit and several celebrities were spotted with them! They attracted a ton of attention while not spending more than 29 cents per bag.

4. Think Creatively, Not Expensively

Look, using designer to-go bags obviously isn’t for everyone. But what you should take away from this podcast is the way of thinking that led to those bags. Identify every touchpoint in the new digital buying process and optimize it to best reflect your brand. 

Doing so is the only way to inoculate your restaurant from the raging pandemic. Even better? There’s no syringe. 


Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts. 

For more from Matthew, feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn

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