Empowering Creatives Through Food

I wanted to take this time to interrupt your regularly scheduled internet scrolling to share a bit of the brand strategy of a fast-casual restaurant concept I’m developing named IPO. We’ll start with the initial concept and move into where it landed after being thought out a little more.

The initial concept was about owning your own sandwich. Grown from an observation of what normally happens in restaurants across the world. Customers treat modifications of menu dishes like it’s their own personal menu item. I have a background of 15 years in the restaurant industry and regulars always feel like they can own a piece of the menu. This concept can solidify it.

The concept was realized through the lens of wall street. IPO would stand for Initial Public Offering. We give customers a chance to “own” a piece of the company by creating and naming a sandwich, and adding it to the menu for everyone to enjoy. There would also be a running ticker of which menu items are the most popular on sandwiches, similar to stock prices. This concept was fine, but it was a brand without a strategy and stock ownership as a core was a little limiting. I really wanted a direction that would allow for far more ideas for partnership and customer interaction.

The rebuilding process began with the brand trait. The idea of choosing your own toppings for a sandwich and sharing it, is a direct connection to creativity. So the primary trait for our brand is creative empowerment. Which leads in to the brand purpose of empowering our customers to create. We let this lead into creating canvases within the restaurant space and digital platforms for customers to doodle and be creative.

Once we’ve given them the opportunity to create, we want to take their creations and give them an easy way to share it. Our brand promise is to share the greatest makers and creatives with the world, and designated selfie areas in front of the canvases, and quick share buttons on digital platforms will help us to keep that promise.

Our Brand Promise is to Share the Greatest Makers and Creatives with the World

The tone of voice for the brand is informal and friendly. I want to feel like your talking with your favorite bartender at your neighborhood dive bar, 0r shooting the breeze with the pizzaiolo at the corner pizzeria. I think the power of the brand is the direct connection it can provide to the community. The mission of the restaurant will be to remain involved in the surrounding community and be constantly drawing on it’s creativity. The voice of the brand is still in development, but I want to map out the user journey as it pertains to where we need to speak and converse with our audience. If we know where we’re going to speak with the customer, we figure out what we need to say, and lastly how we want to say it.

There’s definitely some competition in this space. We can win the battle of personalization and customization in this space very easily. No other brand allows you to order your sandwich by the name you gave it, built exactly the way you like it. At IPO, you’re the sandwich artist. The artist doesn’t work behind the counter. Sandwiches will also be able to built ahead of time online, and on our mobile app, so ordering is super fast.

At IPO, you’re the sandwich artist. The artist doesn’t work behind the counter.

This leads us into the X-factor of our brand. A big component of what we do will be facilitated by custom tech. We’ll have to be, in part, a tech company. We’ll need a custom Point of Sale system that allows for sandwich customization, databasing, and sharing. It will need to be congruent across mobile, web, and at the counter.

I’m really excited about the way the brand is shaping up so far. I’d love to hear your feedback. Rip it apart. I want this as strong as possible. Thanks for your time.

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