Auntie Anne's has relied on being an impulse buy in high traffic areas like malls,but a new mall hasn't been built since 2006.If Auntie Anne's wants sustained long-term growth, it needs to become not just a restaurant we stumble upon, but a restaurant we want to seek out.
There are so many restaurant experiences inspired by the "man cave". As the strategist, I asked what a female-first version of the indulgent restaurant would look like. I saw that Auntie Anne's has the opportunity to become a restaurant experience designed specifically to women's preferences.
Reposition Auntie Anne's as the place for women to find the off switch.
Most people find Auntie Anne's in malls, airports, and rest stops,but a new mall has not been built since 2006. With one main revenue stream threatened,Auntie Anne's needs to rethink its business model and positioning.It needs to become a restaurant that people want to seek out, not just stumble upon.But what about Auntie Anne's is worth seeking out?
When we want an indulgent snack, we want the real deal.We love all 400 calories of buttery, salty goodness because it tastes good and fills us up.However, we often ashamedly scarf down a snack in the privacy of our homes or cars.Men, though, have plenty of places to publicly indulge.From Buffalo Wild Wings to Hooters, the "man cave" bar/restaurants are everywhere.This left us asking, "what would a female-first indulgent restaurant look like?"
Female snackers primarily snack to satisfy hunger, butthe second leading reason for their snacking is mood improvement (Nielsen said it, not me).Millennial women, in particular, could use some mood improvement.Racking up more advanced degrees than any generation of women before them,millennial women are feeling the pressure from co-workers, family, and friends tosucceed at work, be responsible with their money, while still having a social life.They could really use a place where they don't have to run the world.
The timing is right. We've seen culture respond to women's desires to be accepted for who they are.The rise in popularity of celebrities like Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, and Beyonce have sparked conversation around women's self-esteem, body image, and gender roles.They have all risen to prominence through accepting who they areand commanding that others do the same. The timing is right for Auntie Anne's tobecome the place where women can hang out, let their hair down, and scarf down some snacks.
Auntie Anne's is the place where you don't always have to be on.
With the new concept, we updated Auntie Anne's logo to give it a simplified, modern feel.
After repositioning Auntie Anne's, we felt it was necessary to redesign the restaurant experience.We created a self-standing Auntie Anne's restaurant and updated the menu offerings with Auntie's After Dark menu.
Lastly, to bring awareness to the new Auntie Anne's, we developed a print and out-of-home campaign as well as a branded content Auntie Anne's adult coloring book,so more people can think about taking life with a grain of salt.
We wanted to modernize the old Auntie Anne's logo while also simplifying it.Through a clean, handscripted typeface and fresh color treatment,we gave Auntie Anne's a fresh brand identity.
To make Auntie Anne's a restaurant worth seeking out,we definitely needed to update Auntie Anne's restaurant experience.We gave the restaurant a more welcoming feel, with white exposed brick walls and reclaimed wood accents.Additionally, Auntie's After Dark menu offers late night options like wine and fondue.
Last, but not least, we developed an Auntie Anne's adult coloring book.All the rage these days, coloring books provide adults a good stress release.Auntie Anne's knows all about releasing some stress, so we've developedan adult coloring book for everyone's childish indulgences.(sample below)