It is a rare day when a client comes to you with a "blue sky" project. That is what happened when a large foodservice company in the Middle East engaged us to develop a new pizza brand from a blank page. As they looked at entering the crowded pizza category, they could not find a franchise model that they felt had a strong position in an under-served consumer space. That's when they called BrandTrip Partners.
We took them through the discovery process that included reviewing the history of pizza, pizza types, the current set of competitive brands on the positioning ladder, performance of the category, national/international research and trends, and a four-city tour in the United States to sample different styles of pizza and see the latest emerging and established brands in person.
Following the discovery phase, we delivered our recommended strategic direction for the new brand and how it could easily scale into a multi-national enterprise through a combination of company-owned and franchise driven expansion.
Turnstone Pizza would be positioned above the national chains with a Neo-Neapolitan style pizza dough made with Italian milled flour, pizza sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes grown at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, and other imported quality ingredients baked in a unique Italian stone oven. Enhancing the experience, and the average check size, the brand would feature culinary forward "companion" menu items such as stone baked house-made meatballs, Italian olive medley, Italian butter beans, house-made dessert Calzones, and house-made Skillet Sweetbread. Additionally, a signature beverage platform would be designed to further round out the experience and define the brand well beyond the typical commodity soda menu offered by the national chains.
The brand would be defendable against competitive actions by the national chains given the fact that the majority of our menu could not be duplicated by them since their ovens cannot produce a similar product.
Due to the menu strategy, and consumer value for higher quality menu items, the brand would feature a higher check average than the national chains. This higher check average, combined with an extremely low back-of-the-house build out cost at or below the national chains, will deliver an attractive return on investment encouraging rapid unit expansion.
To further maximize sales, the revenue model would include dine-in, carry-out, catering, and delivery. Delivery would be a key factor in the success of the brand and driven by call center, online ordering, and mobile app purchasing channels.
The strategy received the green light and we proceeded into the development phase. This stage brought the brand to life with brand identity, brand story, business model optimization, kitchen design, equipment sourcing, interior/exterior design, culinary development, product sourcing, training materials, packaging design, menu design, marketing technology stack, and the list goes on.
The final stage included the BrandTrip team arriving onsite in the Middle East to work with the staff to train and open the first Turnstone Pizza restaurant.