Driving Guilt-Free Enjoyment Of Fandom & Wings With An Online Agreement
The casual sports-bar Buffalo Wild Wings (aka BDubs) has once again reignited its recent marketing push in an effort to entice more restaurant patrons. Leading with the tag line, “save football, and your relationships”, Buffalo Wild Wings’ “Football Prenup” campaign is designed to inspire fans to abandon their couches, journey to their local Buffalo Wild Wings and join fellow football fans watching the game and chowing down — all without the guilt of leaving their significant others. Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Seth Freeman noted that watching football in a man-cave is just not as good as watching it in a sports-bar environment. In a recent AdAge podcast Freeman said, “[Watching games in my man cave] doesn’t give me the opportunity to enjoy football the way it is supposed to be watched.” The focus of the Bdubs prenup campaign is clear: get more consumers – including couples – to watch football, and dine, at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Fans are asked to enter their names and the names of their beloveds, their favorite team, important football games this season and what activities they are willing to exchange for uninterrupted game-watching time, presumably at Buffalo Wild Wings.
The Buffalo Wild Wings prenup campaign is currently dominating the brand’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. BDubs has partnered with several influencers and sports figures to promote their prenup campaign, including popular football analyst Mike Periera as their certified football prenup official.
Shifting Marketing Strategies To Match Consumer Behavior
Buffalo Wild Wings, like many casual dining chains, experienced struggles over the last few years that could be connected to a shift in consumer behaviors and values. In an interview with Business Insider, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings Sally Smith said, "Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants." To appeal to the Millennial demographic, BDubs believed it needed to do two things: revamp their menu and promote the exhilaration of the in-bar experience of watching sports.
Throughout 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings has launched many marketing campaigns with a single similarity: spotlighting the dine-in experience. Spurred by a push from Freeman, the return to the bar campaign in Q1 2019 began with a partnership between BDubs and NCAA’s March Madness. Buffalo Wild Wings named itself the official viewing spot for all March Madness games claiming the spot as a fandom utopia filled with beer and chicken wings. The March Madness campaign coincided with the launch of the jewel stool, another hilarious and creative way to raise awareness about Buffalo Wild Wings and reach niche audiences within their target market. Freeman said, “There was the opportunity to create new messaging and focus on the energy, excitement and the experience in a way that could bring people in. Overall, it's been great. As we talk about this notion of getting back to our roots as the great American sports bar, I feel like we're on the right path to do that.”
In addition to making a return to the messaging that connects best with its core audience, BDubs also introduced a variety of new menu options to appeal to evolving Millennial taste buds. For example, in July BDubs added a hand-breaded chicken lineup comprised of three dishes beer-battered with Lagunitas IPA.
The Proof Is In The Wing Sauce: Higher Traffic & Same Store Sales
The new BDubs marketing recipe seems to be a hit. According to FoodNewsFeed.com, Q2 2019 was the first time since 2015 that Buffalo Wild Wings has experienced growth in average check totals and dine-in traffic. Same store sales for 2019 thus far are up from 4.6% to 5.0%. 2019 metrics indicate the revised marketing strategy, connecting BDubs with live sport events, is performing positively for the brand.
Reinvent Your Strategy But Know Your Roots
Consumer behaviors will continue to evolve and brands need to evolve with them. Buffalo Wild Wings is one example of a struggling brand that shifted its approach, and reconnected to its core audience, increasing store traffic and sales. Buffalo Wild Wings wanted to be known as the best place to watch sports, enjoy beer and dine on delicious buffalo wings. By returning to its roots, it is now known as an awesome sports-bar with a perfect menu for game day.
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