BRAND STRATEGY & EXPRESSION
Widening the reach of a storied regional restaurant group with a fresh brand restage.
Los Sombreros is an upscale Mexican restaurant chain with locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa. It enjoys a loyal customer base who enjoy solid connections with the servers and chefs and come to meet fellow fans of the award-winning food and drinks menu. The new owners completed renovations in all locations, expanding the patio and bar spaces. They came to BRANDKIND to help find new lovers of their delicious Mexican cuisine.
THE CLIENT'S BRIEF
As new owners of a well-established restaurant change, our client was looking to signal changes to welcome new customers while nurturing diehard fans.
BRANDKIND did a brand audit of how the brand showed up on-premise, in the competitive marketplace, and online for new and existing customers. Beyond owned channels, we looked at review sites, delivery platforms, foodie bloggers, media, and social channels. We also visited competitors' restaurants and signage site opportunities.
A deep brand audit revealed some low-hanging fruit and some game-changing insights.
Mexico's cuisine is complex and our client wanted to bring the best regional cuisine back to Arizona. Their team, including their chef, traveled to different regions landing on Oaxaca's restaurant scene as Los Sombreros' reference point. BRANDKIND helped them choose a direction out of the many experiences found in Oaxaca, the cuisine capital of Mexico.
RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
We took a research "trip" down south to Mexico to explore the cuisine and culture, finding a single picture that has inspired a new brand platform.
Using our tried and test impact strategy workshops, we got the Los Sombreros team aligned on the target audience that would sustain their business. It was a complicated challenge in a thriving marketplace of business professionals, families and tourists. We chose dining experiences to win that matched the strengths of our brand and offering.
BRANDKIND guided the strategy development with our tried and tested impact workshops to define target audience, and gain insights on occasions for the brand to own.
To capture the many dots that made Los Sombreros unique, BRANDKIND created a story that communicated the quality and respect for contemporary Mexican cuisine, now widely acknowledged worldwide. We conveyed the team's genuine passion for bringing that to its existing fan base while creating new news to attract young professionals and tourists spoiled for choice in one of the country's busiest tourist destinations.
We also worked with the client to introduce new menu options for the patio dining experience and re-organized the menu communication to highlight signature items.
Los Sombreros enjoys a story that connects contemporary Arizona with contemporary Oaxaca while paying tribute to the deep traditions of Mexican life around culinary innovation.
BRANDKIND updated the brand asset library with new food, location, and vibe shots, promoting strategic occasions to drive incremental revenue opportunities. To convey the layered complexity of the dishes, we presented the photography on textured backgrounds that referenced Oaxacan culture and symbolism.
The brand restage was led by a refreshed feast for the eyes and a palette with food and location visuals accented by Oaxacan colors, patterns, and textures.
Our strategy captured the key occasions when our cuisine and ambiance would interest our target customers. We pivoted the entire marketing calendar to answer customers' needs around personal and professional social gatherings. We created and promoted the experiences, partnering with major mezcal, beer, and seltzer brands to make Los Sombreros the obvious choice in the marketplace.
Perhaps the largest compliment was when a leading competitor altered their Cinco de Mayo plans to try to match the celebratory vibes we created.
We devised and activated a marketing plan to help the brand win with an occasion-based strategy.
Our clients were pleased and invited BRANDKIND to advise on other brands in its portfolio as well as the launch of a new service business.