Einstein Bros. Bagels had long ago established themselves as the quirky, fun breakfast, bagels and coffee brand. And, like so many brands do, they had over time started to lose sight of both their core promise and menu. Problem was, with competition like Starbucks noshing on a bigger and bigger piece of their market share, they had to re-establish what had once made them so inviting to a hungry, bleary-eyed nation on their way to work.


Looking through their current state of the union, we quickly identified two core pieces of their equity that had gone overlooked. The first was their name. And though Albert Einstein's Estate's lawyer had them on speed-dial, we wanted to flirt with the idea of intelligence again. Albert was not the only smart person in history - and who knows, he might have loved their Cinnamon Rasin bagels had he lived long enough to try one. The second - the "shmear". It's a word they created and one we'd even overheard customers ordering at their competition.


And with a near perfect alignment of the sun, moon and stars - "Shmear Genius" was born. Normally we'd go running from that sort of puntastic pablum - but it played to Einstein's lovable sense of quirk.



The other challenge was a loyalty program that'd actually, you know, create some loyalty. We figured, "hey - if Starbucks wants to serve bagels, we'll borrow a few lines of their code. A universal truth is that every wallet has numerous half-punched, deteriorating lumps of cardstock that once said, "Tenth One's On Us." Seeing as how you're already tweeting about getting a bagel anyways, we figured we'd just use the thing you're already holding.



Admittedly, I am the sort of person who still rides the shopping cart full speed through the parking lot and adds " bed" to the message on my fortune cookie - so seeing the coffee and bagels rattle around sympathetically to the gyrometer on my phone really never got boring.


Plus, it's always a fun (if not exhausting) week at work when you're able help a great brand rediscover what made it great in the first place, and reclaim its rightful place in the consumer's mind.