The XChange was at a crossroads. No pun intended. The small bar’s sales were slumping, and they simply couldn’t gain traction in Kelowna’s central Landmark District, far from the bustling downtown waterfront region. They knew it was time to change things up. We engaged with the XChange to develop a new marketing strategy and revitalize their visual brand, in print and on the web.
First, we needed to understand what wasn’t working. Through competitor research and market analysis, we identified three key areas the XChange needed to improve upon to succeed in this competitive environment:
- A series of well-intentioned compromises had created a scattershot, disorganized menu and an unclear vision for what precisely the restaurant aimed to be. The brand identity would need to be clarified.
- Of three identified key marketing personas, only one was being reached and appealed to. Menu items, social media content, promotions, and offers would need to appeal to broader demographics.
- XChange was not taking advantage of affordable advertising solutions. Expensive radio campaigns and events were inefficient in bringing in customers, while digital solutions were underutilized.
With these insights in mind, we developed a new approach to increase sales. To begin, the XChange needed to identify and own a niche in the market. Working with the chef and owner, we shifted the menu away from general pub fare and toward tapas. Their robust wine selection helped reinforce the Spanish influence found across the menu.
Rebranded as a tapas and wine bar, we proceeded to develop a new website and menu that resonated with this new direction. This included an updated colour palette with a distinct Spanish influence, and a playful, energetic font treatment for the updated menus. We extended the art direction of the print materials to the XChange’s website, using similar fonts and embellishments combined with subtle animations and supremely simple navigation.
Finally, once the updated menu and website were launched, we initiated a Google Ads campaign to increase brand awareness and bring more traffic to the restaurant. While Google Ads may seem like an unlikely promotion platform for a restaurant, we used Google’s new location extensions to appear in Google Maps search results for terms like ‘restaurant near me’, ‘best restaurant Kelowna’, and other generic terms. We also ran a competitor campaign, targeting search terms for other major restaurants in Kelowna. Each ad group was scheduled to run during peak search hours for restaurant reservations. In addition to the search campaign, we used display advertising for reach and brand awareness.
Our efforts proved successful, increasing profitability from menu items and shifting clientele away from the established business lunch crowd and toward evening drinks and dinners.