Category: Case Studies
November 14, 2023 / Miles Marmo
Rubio's Costal Grill | Brand Refresh and Creative Work
The Rubio’s Coastal Grill chain was unable to pivot during the pandemic throwing them into bankruptcy. They were bought by a venture capital firm who contacted us to help them pivot the fast-casual food company and get a return on their investment. Two venture capital firms and an internal team were tasked with finding a way to right the Rubio’s brand.
Over the last 15 years, Rubio’s had gone through 2 rebrands impacting everything from the identity of the brand to the restaurants themselves. In an effort to compete with Chipotle, Rubio’s took cues from other quick serve restaurants, which diluted what they originally created. These missteps alienated younger audiences, forcing them to focus on aging loyalists.
To rebound, we knew we not only had to reinvigorate a stale brand, but we also had to do damage repair with their loyalist while finding new consumers to broaden their base. Once we lead them to trail, we had to keep them and increase consumption frequency.
Where We Started
We started with interviews of internal staff and the two venture capital firms to align goals and expectations. Then after competitive research and analysis, we did inventory of current website, visual assets, and messaging.
The Website Overhaul
Evaluation of the on-line ordering experience was also conducted. A marketing relaunch strategy was developed resulting in the revisioning of the brand articulated through detailed brand standards and messaging which lead to re-photographing all product, re-designing the website, and re-defining the online experience.
The brand had addressed had a new positioning platform that helped guide a cohesive direction for everything from marketing initiatives to in-store experiences. Key messaging and value propositions, food photography, updated visuals to the website and ordering experience, and whole new user flow was created to make Rubio’s the leader in fast casual fish tacos.
To date, although the strategy and execution was on the way to building success, the project has paused due to the complicated dynamic among the founder, internal team, and venture capital owners.