Branding with balls: Alamo Cinema – Brand Manage Camp 5

I loved hearing about the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain that started in Austin, Texas, in Jackie Hubba's session at Brand Manage Camp 2013. This struck me as an example of "branding with balls".

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 17.22.36

1. Have a point of view

Founder Tim League had a clear point of view about his brand and what he wanted to do. He wasn't in the game to just open another me-too cinema. He wanted to do something better, based on personal passion, as he explains on the website:

"We didn't have any qualifications except for one — we were devoted movie fans. We were lucky to find that to be most important qualification of all. Since then, have made the Alamo Drafthouse the theater for movie fans by movie fans."

2. Bake the brand into the product

The Alamo has a series of distinctive features that make it stand out from other cinemas. These include: We have a few simple principles that we uphold in our day to day operation

– No unaccompanied kids (Yeah, kick out those noisy kids!)

– Quality, fresh-prepared food and locallly brewed beer (Makes a change from a crappy hot dog and a coke)

And, most interestingly…

- A zero-tolerance policy towards talking and texting during the movie. If you talk or text, you will receive one warning. If it happens again, you will be kicked out without a refund

Don't you love that last point? In a world of digital addiction, its great to see someone encouraging people to switch off their phones and switch on their brains.

3. Follow through with conviction

Its one thing to say something like "No texting or talking". Its a whole other thing to actually follow through, as the Alamo do. And if you doubt this, just have a look at the video of a woman complaining about being chucked out of the cinema, put up on YouTube in un-edited form. Click below on the blog to watch it, or click here to watch on YouTube.

In conclusion, bravo to Alamo for branding with balls. I'll be sure to try it out if I'm ever in Austin Texas!