Boobies, Doobies, and Chickies. Fascinations!

August 16, 2016

Diverse Brand Marketing Around Glendale, Colorado

This is the story about an interesting corner of the world. It’s in a place called Glendale, Colo. Glendale in itself is a remarkable one-of-a-kind place. It sits smack dab in the middle of Denver, but is an island unto itself with its own government, in unincorporated Arapahoe County (Denver is in Denver County). So, Glendale marches to its own drumbeat.

In Glendale, you’ll find all kinds of interesting places, such as Shotgun Willies, the Denver area’s most well-known strip club, the Smokin’ Gun Apothecary, a newly built marijuana dispensary located right next to Shotgun Willies (and, owned by the same woman), and Fascinations, a large department store of adult clothing and, ahem, accessories.

Glendale also boasts one of the country’s top Target stores, banks, restaurants, a large sports park and yes, nice people live there too. Soon, the city will also be home to a major mixed-use entertainment and retail district named Glendale 180. Combined, Glendale provides quite an eclectic mix of experiences!

And now, guess who is coming to dinner in Glendale? Chick-Fil-A! Right at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Yes, THAT Chick-Fil-A. The cows must be rejoicing. One of America’s most conservative and pro-morality companies who wears their politics on their breast have made the real estate location decision to put their next Colorado store adjacent to a strip club, a pot shop, and a sex store.

It begs the question, “why there?” And the answer must be that, at the end of the day, real estate financial success is really all about location, location, location…no matter what is next door or nearby. Those crazy pot smoking, strip bar drinking liberals in one of the nation’s most progressive markets (thank you, Rep. Diana DeGette) will soon be chowing down on a whole lotta chicken sandwiches.

But it also makes me wonder about Chick-Fil-A’s brand. I’ve never been a big Chick-Fil-A hater. From my earliest years in the shopping center business in Atlanta in the early 1980s, when they were a minor league regional chain, I saw how Chick-Fil-A provided opportunities and scholarships to needy kids. And in full transparency, I like their diet lemonade. But from a brand perspective, I find this location decision very confusing. Chick-Fil-A wants me to believe they are fun, family oriented providers of delicious fried chicken breast sandwiches with the most family values orientation of any fast food franchise. And they continue to insist on Sunday closure everywhere they operate indicating their true value statement. That policy even kept them out of the lucrative Denver International Airport, despite consumer demand.(Notice to Glendalites…no munchies on Sunday)!

Yet here they are, grabbing every penny they can from the vices of Glendale’s finest, despite the offerings next door. It sounds like a lot of brand confusion, driven by real estate location selection and financial greed over brand clarity.

Money talks…or should I say, clucks.

Jeff Cohn
Founder and CEO


What We Watched This Week – August 12, 2016