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  • Brandy Kemp

How to Ruin a Brand’s Aesthetic in 3, 2, 1……

Updated: Apr 27

Starting a first job can be a rite of passage, filled with both excitement and a fair share of mishaps.

My first experience into the working world began at Pizza Hut in the 80s, a place that many of us remember with a sense of nostalgia. Back then, Pizza Hut had a distinctive aesthetic: those iconic big red cups, plants hanging from every corner, a small arcade, a jukebox, and stained glass lamps.

And who could forget the piping hot pizza, served in a pan so hot it sizzled dangerously as it was brought to your table? One of my first experiences delivering a pan pizza to a table turned into a memorable cluster. I knew the family I was serving, which only added to the embarrassment when the pan, placed on a wet cork, slid off and skidded across the table towards the mother. In an attempt to save it, she ended up with a large greasy stain on her shirt - a shirt I'm certain was ruined.

Fast forward to a spring cleaning day at the restaurant. At 16 I was tasked with spraying all the plants and cleaning their leaves. Without questioning, I took a spray bottle and started.

The restaurant looked spotless and smelled fresh once we were done. However, a few days later, the leaves on all the plants began to turn white, then dropped off, leading to the plants' ultimate death!

Little did I know, the bottle contained bleach, not leaf cleaner. In my attempt to clean, I had ruined the aesthetic that was so central to Pizza Hut's charm - the hanging plants were, after all, a big deal.

This was a valuable lesson. We all make mistakes, some more impactful than others. The mishap with the pizza pan and the incident with the plants taught me that sometimes, even with the best intentions, we can cause unintended harm.

However, it's important to not let these mistakes keep us from making decisions, particularly when it comes to branding or trying new things. Despite my mishap, Pizza Hut didn't close its doors (although there are no Pizza Huts in this area now).

The takeaway from these early work experiences? Sometimes what you think is the right thing might turn out to be "bleach in disguise". But it's through these mistakes that we learn and grow. Whether in our personal lives or our professional endeavors, it's crucial to move forward, apply the lessons learned, and continue to innovate and take risks. After all, it's often from our most memorable mistakes that we learn our most valuable lessons.

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