No, we didn’t have the opportunity to redesign a ubiquitous eating utensil.
DaddyYo’s, a little casual restaurant in Whitefish Bay, WI was loved by it’s customers but struggled to grow. As the name would imply, they serve frozen yogurt (froyo); however, they also have custard and gelato as well as a tasty variety of soups and sandwiches. The in-store experience was great (including the food and service) and promotions were strong, yet after a year of operation, they weren’t getting the traction they wanted. Before looking for solutions we first worked with the owners to get brand clarity, develop customer personas, and prioritize business goals. The first and obvious need was for a website since they had none, but we knew that the solution may need to be more involved for that to be effective.
Through collaboration with the client we identified that the name was part of the problem. Because the vast majority of froyo shops have “yo” in the name and only serve froyo, we were not surprised to learn that the local consumer assumption was that DaddyYo’s only served froyo. Froyo, however successful it has become in recent years, is still a very niche market. We were going to need a new name that communicated more clearly and embodied the brand values we helped to identify.
One of the things that customers love are the spoons. They have a soft, but substantial feel but have a unique shovel-like style. If they ever run out, people complain. These little spoons were already becoming a part of the Daddy Yos’ brand. People really loved them. We thought of how the concept of “spoons” would apply to all of their frozen treats as well as their soups. After conducting in-store surveys and evaluating multiple variations, our recommendation in the end was to rename simply as “Spoons” with a descriptive tagline and throwback logo.
The design processed commenced and the logo displayed here was chosen as the final. Additionally, we identified spoonsmke.com as the company’s web url and spoonsmke was to be used for all social media profiles. Excitement was strong as we began to formulate a rebranding strategy to coincide with community events.
As it would turn out, sometimes curveballs get thrown your way.
After all the design work was done and ready to move into implementation, we got a call from the owner that they had just been informed that they were going to have to either move or close down by the end of the year. Their building had been sold, the lease wasn’t being renewed and the building was going to be gutted and redeveloped for non-restaurant use. The rug has just been pulled out from under them. Any further long-term marketing investment would obviously be ill-advised until a new long-term plan had been established. Sigh. The restaurant business is one of passion, with thin margins. It’s hard to just pack up and move. It’s very costly.
If they do find a new spot to re-open, it’ll be under the new name, but until then “Spoons” will just be stuck in the drawer.
September 14, 2015