We ain't a band, but we sure know how to rock a bread rollJoe's Mum
Black Stripes burger franchise branding, an intro
This burger brand chain started life under a different name… Joe Mama’s was a small restaurant chain in Bahrain, famous for its delicious burgers and addictive fries, it grew to three different locations and a crowd of loyal customers. And that was pretty much it – a good restaurant, with decent food, nice music on the speakers but apart from that, a place like so many others. With nothing too distinctive about its brand, its marketing or its customers’ experience.
Like so many others in Bahrain and around the world, Joe Mama’s felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of struggling to keep the business afloat, Ahmad, the founder and owner of Joe Mama’s, decided to cut his looses and close doors.
But the passion never stopped sizzling. Despite becoming a successful entrepreneur at a very young age, Ahmad was a chef at heart. He knew that his food was delicious enough to succeed and that with a new, more strategic approach, he could re-build his business, re-open his restaurant and not just survive, but thrive.
Challenges we faced developing successful burger franchise branding
To fire off the project, we asked the client what he wanted to keep with the new burger franchise branding, change or get rid off for the new brand. From that conversation, the first task became obvious. We needed a new name and new visual identity.
‘Joe Mama’s’ was a name (and a logo) without much relevance. Plus, it was un-ownable, as another US-based food chain was using the same name, a liability we did not want to dwell on.
After initial market research into burger franchise branding across the globe, we knew that finding an original name that was without contention wouldn’t be easy. The client preferred to have a name which was untypical of the sector and spoke of his unique taste & personality.
The second hurdle was how to develop burger franchise branding from scratch, with just a name and a logo. There are thousands of restaurants around Bahrain, hundreds of them selling burgers, some of them even really good burgers. And even that is not enough – research shows that more and more, customers want an experience more than just a product, beyond the obvious.
Finally, the main challenge was how to communicate the new brand, both to old customers of Joe Mama’s and new ones, who would find and experience the brand for the first time.
Our strategic approach
We got to work developing a strategy for the burger franchise branding. After extensive research of the sector and brainstorming with the client, we found the angles that would eventually inspire the develpment of Black Stripe.
The new burger franchise branding needed to express the founder’s obsessive pursuit of perfection. The unattainable quest for the perfect burger and the perfect experience. The relentless practicing, repeatinig the same process over and over again, tweaking, perfecting, adjusting every single detail, like a musician honing his craft.
We combined this thought with the insight that several ‘old customers’ shared with us during our research. The fact that there was always good music playing in the speakers at the old Joe Mama’s. Ahmad picked the playlist himself – and he would not take requests. Ever.
So, we decided that the new burger franchise branding would be inspired by a universal language, synonym of freedom, rebellion and passion… and also a perfect reflection of the owner’s personality – rock & roll.
Wordplay would play a big part in the brand’s TOV, as this creates engagement with fans and non-fans alike – as customers learn what the musical references are, this would help the brand transition from Joe Mama’s to Black Stripe.
As identified earlier, we wanted the whole brand to feel rock & roll inspired, not just the name and the logo. The menu was simplified, more focused on their ‘greatest hits’ – Burgers & Fries.
Results of the rebrand
The brand is now in the first stage of its launch process, which will operate in a food truck format – inspired (and appropriately named) as Black Stripe’s ‘Tour Van’, just like a passionate, up-and-coming garage band.
The Tour Van allows the brand to start generating income while keeping their costs down – at the same time, it’s the perfect ‘vehicle’ for Black Stripe to start building a new following, which will hopefully translate into brand loyalty when the brand returns to its brick & mortar habitat.
With fully aligned collateral, including signage, uniforms, packaging and new menu design, Black Stripe’s future is now looking very positive and ready to rock out some delicious burgers.
To check out our other branding projects, click here.
Brand Auditing, Brand Naming, Brand Strategy, Visual Identity, Slogan, Tone of Voice, Graphic Design, Packaging, Social Media.
Want to work with us on a rocking (strategic brand development) new project?
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