Thursday, July 21, 2011

Which wich is be-wichingly clever

The best compliment one marketing creative can give to another? The jealous feeling of "Damn, I wish I did that."

You may profess, as many of my non-marketing friends do, that you "don't care about marketing and signage and all that branding nonsense," but you're probably lying. Overall, Americans have become more appreciative of design in recent years. We want the products we use and the places we go to  have a personality and a nice aesthetic. Is anyone mourning the loss of the old, cluttered, dimly lit McDonald's restaurants?

Anyway, my go-to lunchtime sandwich joint has long been Potbelly, which has the whole rustic chalkboard with a side of live music thing going on. But I was intrigued by the arrival of Which Wich to Block 37 and headed out for a brief walk in the heat to give them a try today.

So glad I did. Not only do I love all of the choices and customization options, I like the whole setup. Mark up a paper sandwich bag using a red Sharpie, pay, and watch as your bag slides along a clothesline from prepped to finished. Actually, it is tough to tell which bag is yours because the marked-up side faces the sandwich-makers. Next time I'll doodle on the back before I turn it in so I can see how close my tasty buffalo shrimp sandwich with blue cheese, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato is to ready. If you can't visit a location, their website does an excellent job of mimicking all of the shop's key components: the bags, the clothespins, the bold "hand-crafted" yellow and black iconography.

Incidentally, while I'd ordered my sandwich "untoasted," the guy behind the counter accidentally toasted it and begged for my forgiveness and patience while he made another. I told him it really didn't matter, toasted sounded good to me (and it was), but he pushed a free drink on me as compensation.

Incidentally, Which Wich encourages back of bag doodles and displays them in store.