Arby’s has been an iconic brand in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category since 1964, differentiating themselves as an alternative to the many burger options in their category. In 2014 they changed their tagline to “We have the meats!” to communicate to diners their brand is about more than just roast beef. Since then they’ve used social listening to identify unique offerings to serve underrepresented audience segments, creating new repeat customers to bring into their restaurants for an experience they can’t get at any other QSR.
For long-standing QSR brand Arby’s, being different has been the priority from Day One. Up against brands like McDonald’s and Burger King, Arby’s stood apart by not competing with burgers. They initially made their imprint with their roast beef sandwiches.
To call attention to the menu beyond their well-known roast beef, they changed their slogan in 2014, telling consumers, “We have the meats!” They wanted diners to remember they also offer great chicken, turkey, fish and corned beef. And they wanted to find something diners couldn’t get anywhere else – to further drive home their messaging and differentiate their brand.
Arby’s uses NetBase regularly to understand their audience, and the various segments comprised within it, so of course they took notice when a particularly passionate audience emerged in their data: the hunting community.
What would be the ideal menu addition for this unexpected segment?
Larry Cohen (SVP, IPG Media Brands SOCIETY) and Michael Nguyen (Supervisor of Social Media, Arby’s) discuss how NetBase empowers Arby’s marketing strategy and allows them to discover a unique opportunities to engage their meat-loving audience – in this case hunter’s with a venison burger.
The hunters were passionate Arby’s fans, so the chain used NetBase to follow sentiment on conversations among this segment and uncover what motivates them. This was how Arby’s learned that eating venison was a hot topic after a successful deer hunt.
They created a venison sandwich and offered it in test markets, using real- time social insights to track their success.
They measured the number of posts and impressions from their test restaurants, as well as Net Sentiment and Passion Intensity of diners looking for something unique in the QSR realm, to assess how their new menu item was faring.
The hunting community loved the venison sandwich. But the brand also sparked interest in diners who wouldn’t normally think of Arby’s, but were interested in this new sandwich, which isn’t available elsewhere in the Quick Service landscape. The test market generated a lot of social buzz, inspiring repeat trips to the restaurants, and driving transaction growth.
At Arby’s we’re not about social selling. We are about creating brand affinity by delivering a delicious experience based on whatever people are interested in. NetBase gives us the insights to bring people into our restaurants and give them a reason to come back.
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