Launching a Brand New Experience
Opened in 1995 in Seattle, Washington, the founders of The Rock created an establishment where people could come together over their love of classic Rock ‘n’ Roll, handmade wood-fired pizzas, one-of-a-kind microbrews, and specialty cocktails. 24 years and 19 locations later, the founders have stayed true to their vision without compromise.
Over the last several years, competition in the gourmet pizza restaurant business has changed dramatically. Today, inexpensive design-your-own fast casual pizza chains abound, along with the constantly growing QSR pizza leviathans, and a growing consumer preference for on-demand delivery through Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and others.
Add in an aging restaurant brand in The Rock and it’s no surprise they fell behind the modern-day pizza curve. The Seattle-born concept had built success on its love of classic Rock ‘n’ Roll, which carried over to all aspects of the business including their grungy aesthetic and edgy atmosphere. But it was losing its appeal fast, alienating new guests, families, and a younger demographic which directly resulted in a decline of overall sales and foot traffic. Challenges we faced involved bringing The Rock back to life without abandoning their loyal guests or the brand’s core values, all while attracting a newer, more diverse fanbase.
We determined that a project of this scope required a phased approach, including brand evaluation, positioning, and an action plan. Our initial research suggested the obvious: The Rock needed a makeover to become more appealing and relevant to a wider audience. Keeping this in mind, the first thing we did was improve the name from The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen to The Rock Wood Fired Pizza, prominently placing their strongest offering–pizza–at the forefront. Although this aligned The Rock more competitively with other pizza dining options, their specialty wood-fired pies have always outperformed the rest of their menu, with 78% of all guests choosing it over The Rock’s many other food options. With this in mind, our team identified a huge opportunity to make them stand out.
From the refreshed name came a new logo design. We transformed their dated, disconcerting logo into a cleaner, unobtrusive design that incorporates The Rock’s unique wood-fired ovens and a love of classic rock. This new, more subdued design guided interior remodels, updated décor, new menus and boxes, POP, exterior signage, employee uniforms, and an updated website. The Rock’s creative messaging went from “Hell Yeah, That’s Good Pizza” to “Wood Fired. Rock Inspired.” With The Rock’s new look and feel established, we injected this new identity into their Social Media channels. Among all else, we helped develop and launch a brand new offer-based Loyalty Program, accompanied by a user-friendly app.
Over this rebranding time period, The Rock’s operations team started to see a steady increase in sales and foot traffic, to the tune of 6% in average check growth by Q4 2018. While competition’s traffic was decreasing, The Rock Wood Fired Pizza’s stayed positive. For the new Loyalty Program, membership has increased a staggering 400% since launch. In total, the Client has experienced a 129% return on their rebranding investment to date. We are excited to evolve this brand even further as we continue to manage and launch meaningful campaigns that address all of The Rock’s marketing needs.