Brand far bigger than one person
BakingBusiness.com, Aug. 18, 2014
by Dan Malovany

You just need to google Dave’s Killer Bread to get the story of the man and the brand. Dave Dahl was a felon who, upon getting out of prison, developed his “killer” organic bread about a decade ago. But Dave Dahl is human and had a few more problems recently (google his name for details).

So, how do his problems affect the brand? John Tucker, chief executive officer of the Milwaukie, Ore.-based bakery, said the brand is far bigger than one person. It’s about the organization — one-third of its staff are ex-cons — and giving people a second chance.

On social media, Dave’s has become a lifestyle brand. It’s about getting its fans — a nation of 100,000 BreadHeads, as its loyal disciples describe themselves — to sign up to get G.M.O. labeling on Oregon’s November ballot, for example. It’s about featuring its employee partners on Facebook. It’s Sandwich Madness (a meat vs. vegetarian bracket-style contest held during basketball’s March Madness) and other social media interactions. The company also holds real-world store demos and actively samples at community events.

Its strategy for success is not only word-of-mouth but also getting its bread into people’s mouths.