South St. Burger Co. Branding Design
Jump builds an award winning better burger brand in South St. Burger Co.
New York Fries first came to Jump in August of 2004 with the idea of expanding their offering to include a ‘Best-of’ Burger along with their infamous Fresh Fries. A new category for NYF but certainly not unknown as a food combination to the general public. The development of what would become the South St. Burger Co. brand began with a defined process and a set of achievable milestones.
The collaborative process outlined by Jump included setting up internal task force teams responsible for executing their key areas of expertise and for Jump to ensure a consistent approach to developing the brand for the consumer experience. Our discovery process was perhaps the most important aspect of the brand development. This began with an alignment strategy session amongst all task-force leaders to best understand their preconceived visions. A walking tour of Manhattan to almost twenty burger joints over a two-day period helped our group to better understand the burger category and allow Jump to totally immerse ourselves into the category. Collectively we immersed ourselves into a lot of burgers as well! With a strong understanding of the category, food offerings, brand opportunities and overall consumer experiences, Jump and the NYF team continued this same exercise in the GTA Toronto market to best understand how this new brand could position into our test market.
A series of internal and client brainstorming sessions netted out with the name South St. Burger Co., named after the South Street Seaport where the first New York Fries was opened. It made sense as this history provided some real and credible strength to the development of this brand. Further to this, Jump developed a series of Brand Fingerprint boards, a visual brand mosaic of images and phrasing that netted the team with the NYC loft style visuals. A series of logos that evolved from the NYF brandmark and new brand logos that fully departed from existing brand references were created. From this point the essence of the brand was defined and the development of the new South St. could begin. All consumer touchpoints were reviewed and developed as it was essential to understand how the consumer interacted with the brand along their journey before entering, during and after leaving the store. The architectural branding and integrated brand signage program developed by Jump, provided a strong and differentiated experience for the consumer, for further reference: South St. Burger Co. environmental design . Brand Humour graphics that define those ‘guy’ moments and injects humour, contrasts to the upscale fast-casual dining restaurant environment. The menu system and the order process characterize the simplicity of the concept. Appetite appeal is generated through close-cropped food photography that categorize the three main commodity items, which are all best-in-category. The loft-style architecture, rich in colour, detail, and texture, is exemplified by the exposure of beams, columns, concrete and glass, and balanced with warm, light, maple woods. Horizontal and vertical planes, matched by the strong use of colour blocking and texture, effectively highlight key areas within the store. The architectural palette features modern materials selected for their appeal and strength. The environment illustrates the contemporary, urban style that defines this new fast-casual restaurant concept. Take-out packaging, brand collateral materials and the website all complete the consumer experience and interaction with the brand. The clear and consistent use of the brand elements help to create and define this brand unto itself. All aspects of the brand speak to the core brand attributes and visually provide the distinction to compete in what has now become a very competitive ‘premium burger’ market.
Now in 2012, seven plus years after the prototype store opened its doors, South St. Burger Co. now boasts 14 corporate stores and 2 Franchised locations with big plans to franchise in the years ahead. Through this journey Jump has been fortunate enough to provide our brand stewardship capabilities and constantly review with our clients the brand, the marketplace and how to continue to evolve the development of the South St. brand. Each store continues to evolve the brand and open up opportunities to increase brand visibility and awareness. In 2007, the interior store design was recognized with an Outstanding Merit award in Las Vegas at NASFM. In 2010, South St. was written up in Multi Unit Magazine recognized for it’s green initiatives, FoodService Magazine awarded South St. with a Green Leadership award and in 2011, the Urban Concept at the Shops at Don Mills was awarded a Sustainable Design award at the A.R.E. awards in Las Vegas in recognition for Innovation in Energy. The greening/sustainable initiatives have now led to the latest South St. Burger Co. at Bayview Village in Toronto. This fashionista mall will be home to the latest evolution of the brand with their Haute Cuisine design, the brand has definitely moved upscale for this location, and with a strong sustainable message. This location has now received LEED Certification, becoming the first burger chain in Ontario and only tenant of Bayview Village to achieve this designation. This has validated all the great sustainable initiatives in the design and operations that continue to develop this brand as ‘The Right Choice’ for a fast-casual burger concept and as a responsible corporate retailer. In February of 2012, this particular store was recognized at the A.R.E. Design awards in Las Vegas.
Jay Gould, President, South St. Burger Co. & New York Fries
Visit South St.Burger Co. online.