There’s a big difference between a brand evolution and a brand revolution, and Buffalo Wings & Rings Marketing Director Diane Matheson pointed out her company’s rebranding efforts are definitely the former.
“We’re not taking a dramatically different perspective, we’re just refining and delivering the message in a way consumers will understand,” she said.
This is important for every franchise, but especially so for Buffalo Wings & Rings. Since the brand operates in the sports restaurant category, it often has to overcome preconceptions customers have garnered from visiting competitors.
The company conducted in-depth research to find out what consumers’ frustrations with the sports dining category were, Matheson said. It found that while many people enjoy the sports experience when they dine out, they also crave a more family-friendly ambiance, as well as fresher food. What’s more, many women are turned off by the “man-cave” feel of other sports restaurants.
Buffalo Wings & Rings also found that the all-powerful Millennial category views eating out as an opportunity to socialize and try new, flavorful foods. And while the company knew it offered all these positives with none of the negatives, it decided it could do a better job of letting its guests know what separates this buffalo from the rest of the herd.
“Imagine you’re at a game,” Matheson said. “There’s the bleacher level, where things are getting rowdy and maybe a little obnoxious. Perhaps someone is spilling beer on you and your family. It’s not a fun time. We are the club-level experience where every guest feels like a VIP. We’re still at the game, there is still a lot of energy and excitement, but the whole experience is more elevated.”
Through its rebranding efforts, Buffalo Wings & Rings is telling customers loud and clear: We know what you want, and that’s exactly what we’re offering – a dining experience that appeals to sports fans and foodies alike with a family-friendly atmosphere that can be enjoyed by Baby Boomers and Millennials equally.
“Our brand is growing pretty dramatically, and as that continues, it becomes more important for there to be a unified vision,” Matheson continued. “More people on the team makes it critical that everyone is on the same page and running in the same direction.”
Matheson went on to say Buffalo Wings & Rings’ rebranding efforts also shows its dedication to positioning franchisees for success.
“It shows we have our hand on the pulse of consumers and are constantly casting the net to understand what they want,” she said. “The category is growing, but there’s often a lot of frustration with our competitors, so we’re shifting with the consumers, giving them the experience they’re asking for and setting ourselves up for success not just today, but tomorrow, as well.”