When you’re talking about competitive landscapes, most industries have something in common. You’ve got a few big fish with huge marketing budgets, and then you have the challengers, waking up each day looking for innovative ways to compete for the same customers in the same market.
Some challengers lean on creative marketing, some invent unique business models, others are absolute
fanatics about building customer relationships. Today’s guest, Kim Bartley, is the CMO for a company that’s happened to have mastered all three of those things. Yep, we are talking about White Castle.
From tactical Facebook advertising to strategically providing a medium for “Cravers” to share about their love for the brand, White Castle has been building community and customer loyalty from the top down.
In today’s interview, Kim explains how White Castle has been so successful in the face of steep competition and changing consumer tastes. She discusses restaurant marketing topics that apply to fast casual, QSR, and mom ‘n pop brands alike, including:
How can you leverage data to thrive in a market full of brands with huge ad budgets?
(Kim’s answer is one of her main teaching points in her lectures at Ohio State, and it’s about as practical as any food and restaurant marketing advice you’ll hear.)
What can restaurant marketing leaders do to build a more loyal customer base?
(A little preview to this answer…Kim herself makes time each day to respond directly to customer feedback about new products and store experiences. Listening to customers is never an afterthought)
Did Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle influence actual restaurant sales?
(Couldn’t resist asking this question, and it was fun getting to second-hand experience what’s transpired since the idea of the movie was first introduced).
- Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim