The Greene Turtle finished the last stage of its company’s rebranding last month.
“We wanted to show that we’re not just a sports bar and grill but more a neighborhood gathering place with a heavy sports theme,” says vice president of marketing, Chris Janush.
The goal of the campaign was to expand the audience, he adds, after a brand audit last year showed that most consumers associate a sports bar with a drinking crowd, a male customer base, and substandard bar food.
“We were doing a pretty good job of getting families and moms and women in but not enough, and the brand audit also showed there was a pretty good segment that was unaware of The Greene Turtle,” Janush explains.
Through the rebrand, the company hopes to make The Greene Turtle a go-to location for sports viewers, and participators—be they the participants themselves or the moms and dads who support their kids’ sporting endeavors.
The rebrand included a new menu, a website overhaul, a new tagline, and three weeks ago the chain launched a new TV and radio advertising campaign.
One of the goals of the rebrand was to boost entrée sales, and they have increased since the rebrand, Janush says, for two reasons: New entrées have been added and changes have been made to others.
Two chicken entrées that come with two breasts are now available with just one, so are lighter fare, more appealing to women. And the physical presentation of the menu has altered from a book format to a tri-fold, meaning entrees are seen immediately.
“By the time you got to the entrees [in the booklet] it was menu fatigue or you’d seen enough that you didn’t bother,” Janush explains. However, with the tri-fold, everything is in front of customers’ eyes as soon as they open it up. (Desserts, soup and salad, and kids’ food is on the back.)
“We tried to bring the entrées to the forefront so they’re more of an option for people,” he says. Previously, customers had often decided on appetizers before they reached the entrée section.
The menu itself has changed as well as its presentation, with 10 of the 11 entrée items new or reworked (four reworked, six new).
“We put some items on there that would appeal more to women and are a little more health conscious,” Janush says. These include a blackened tilapia entrée, a black and blue salad, a Greek salad, and a Caprese appetizer.
“They’re new things but what you’d expect. We’re not trying to go so far off the path of a casual dining restaurant,” Janush adds.
A healthy kids’ dish has also been added: grilled chicken with cucumber slices, ranch dressing and apple slices.
The website overhaul focused on the location and the menu—the two main reasons consumers visit restaurant websites, Janush says. The site was also made much more visual with food and customer photos. “We’re trying to show the brand through images,” he points out. “It’s more engaging if you’ve got a lot of great photos.”
Now under Location, the site will automatically show browsers their closest store, which they can have the site remember. A click of a button will also bring up directions.
The Greene Turtle’s new tagline is ‘Feed Your Passion.’ “That’s our brand focus. People said they liked the fun environment, the energy, of The Greene Turtle. And we felt they were talking about passion. ‘Feed Your Passion helps explain in three easy words what we’re about,” Janush explains.
The TV commercials were most recent part of the rebrand (along with radio and mobile) he continues, “bringing it all together. We felt we needed to tell the story visually, in the form of a commercial.”
The commercials will air in the three states in which The Greene Turtle operates—Maryland, Virginia and Delaware—and will also run in New York in the first quarter of 2013, once the first of the state’s restaurants opens on Long Island.
TV advertising may seem outdated to those involved in marketing and advertising on social media, but it’s still a very viable part of a marketing strategy, Janush says.
“We feel it should still be part of what you’re doing. In different markets TV might work great and in another it doesn’t work at all. We don’t think you can put your eggs in one basket; if you have a well rounded strategy it increases your chances of reaching who you want to reach.”
By Amanda Baltazar