Selling the Table

April 12, 2012

I was at a Le Pain Quotidien bakery earlier today. The bill came in a piece of card that did a fine piece of corporate storytelling:

A la table

If you're sitting in a Le Pain Quotidien bakery, chances are you're seated at one of the communal tables. If so, take a closer look at the tabletop. Did you know that we make all the tables from the floorboards of old trains?

The card goes on to elaborate how the founder of the company came across an unusual table, and that became the basis of the communal tables in branches of Le Pain Quotidien.

In the grand scheme of things it’s such a small detail. When going to a bakery, whether or not it has a communal table is probably low on the list of priorities.

The story on the card however, does make anyone who reads it pay a bit more attention to the interior of the bakery. And more importantly, it tells a wider story about the values (community, craftsmanship, design) the company wants to associate itself with, as well as it’s storied history.

What’s the table in your business? What seemingly small and inconsequential detail of your business or your product tells a story? Have you bothered to communicate that story to anyone? If you haven’t, you shouldn’t be surprised if people don’t even notice that have a table.