After first opening its doors in Philadelphia in 1998, Philly Pretzel Factory has grown from a pretzel-slinging street cart to more than 140 brick-and-mortar locations nationwide. Additionally, the franchise brand that provides customers with authentic Philly-style pretzels has seen a 108-percent in.....
What would you consider Philly Pretzel Factory’s best marketing campaign to create awareness and drive sales?
National Pretzel Day is first, and our Super Bowl campaign is our second most effective campaign.
Where did the idea to give away free pretzels for National Pretzel Day stem from?
Dan DiZio, our CEO and co-founder, decided to do it. National Pretzel Day had always been celebrated, but we wanted to do something bold and something that would be a traffic driver. The ironic part is that people come in for one free pretzel, and then buy three more and a Coke.
How do you market for the Super Bowl to get people in the door for party trays?
For the Super Bowl, we do a large amount of in-store marketing and a strong radio push for awareness. We urge people to reserve party trays early and schedule pick-up times for convenience; some of our stores have done more than 500 trays in one day. What makes the pretzel party tray great is that it stays fresh the whole time, unlike lunch meat, so the shelf life is great for customers.
How have these campaigns been implemented system wide?
I believe in a multi-tiered strategy; stores need to have relevant POP to maximize the sale. My responsibility is to drive people into locations through a strong advertising campaign. The message and the medium need to match for the advertising we do, from newspaper to radio to digital. In-store advertising needs to maximize and complement the in-store sale.
What giveaway has been the most successful?
Hug-Me-Elmo before Christmas was our most successful giveaway on Facebook. We also did a lottery ticket giveaway that really drove traffic and engagement.
How do you decide on an in-store giveaway vs. a social media giveaway?
In-store giveaways are hard because it has to be properly executed through the employees and franchisees. I try to do most giveaways corporately so that a franchisee can focus on running the store.
How do you decide what to giveaway on Facebook?
We’re always trying to look for new things to give away and also provide fans with as many branded products as possible, as long as there is an interest. I like to give away t-shirts and “three free on me” cards for a positive touch on the consumer. At the end of the day, it comes down to your brand. Our pretzels are an impulse-buy product and our customers see Philly Pretzel Factory as a habitual experience. Social media is a good match for us as it’s impulsive, quick, and meets the same needs that our products do to our fans.
How would you say you have created a successful marketing strategy?
We’ve done a lot to refine the message; we created the brand statement and tried to make everything relate to that. Then, we created layered campaigns that include public relations, digital production, social media, at-home marketing and in-store marketing, and made them work together. I try to condense the message and hit people at all different levels instead of relying on one way to get them the Philly Pretzel Factory message.