Campaigns Winter 2010 Team A1Red
Appetizers Meet our Staff: Kim Sheeham- Restaurant Manager Erik Kilgore- Head Chef Tiffany Martin- Creative Cook Valerie Riffe- Media Connoisseur Kelly Barron- Promotions Busboy Jonathan Riddle- Marketing Host
Entrees Appetizers Story $2 Situation Analysis $2 Consumer Research $8 Executions $15
Media Plan $20 Budget $26 Food for Thought $28
Story What’s in a Story? Every person, every brand, every thing has a story. Most of those stories, over the past century or so, are ones of selfish gain, greed, and abuse—abuse of self, of others, of the environment, and so on. The Laughing Planet Café (LPC) provides a different story; one where whole, clean foods can be provided to time-constrained people seeking nourishment and not just empty calories.* As Laughing Planet is discussed, the question is often posed, “Where did they get their name?” The question could be rephrased as “what is their story?” If a story is not demonstrated from the being, entity, or company itself, people’s perceptions are free to wander. Perhaps the title came because somewhere in New York City a creative firm was hired by a huge corporation to brainstorm a fun name for a food chain. Perhaps there is no meaning. Perhaps the management just doesn’t care.
Or, perhaps they do.
The Laughing Planet Café stands for something we need, something positive— delicious, healthful, whole, unprocessed, sustainable, local foods that come with the benefit of creating community value and local economic investment—all topped with humor and a fresh supply of beans. This story deserves to stand above the normal restaurant’s quest for money and growth. This is where a focused and strategic marketing campaign will inform Eugene’s community who Laughing Planet Café is, where it comes from, and what it stands for.
Situation Analysis Objective In order to accomplish the mission of changing the industry, LPC must first gain a voice. Without a personable story only the most common and loyal customers will understand who Laughing Planet is. Potential customers are likely to be persuaded by whoever decides to speak. For example, in the EMU Holy Cow case, the idea that LPC was a chain from Portland gained momentum. It is the perceptions of LPC that matter, and it is LPC’s duty to share their story. For the same reason, we encourage LPC, ‘To establish a story in order to unify and amplify the Laughing Planet Café’s voice.’ After LPC shares their story with the Eugene community, new opportunities will arise where LPC can grow, possibly into the campus area. Though we are not currently recommending targeting students, in time, and with a campus location, future opportunities will likely become feasible.
Strategy To convince: consumers in the 30+ demographic (families with and without children and singles), who live/work/play in the residential area surrounding LPC. To buy: into the story, ideals, and values of LPC, which will likely also increase the amount of food that they buy from LPC. Instead of: purveying traditional restaurants who do not share the same environmental values. Because: of the benefit of supporting an enjoyable local restaurant experience, that includes nutritional meals and sustainable environmental objectives.
Analysis Moving to Oregon, LPC has found a state with marketing potential. Being an active state and wanting to support local businesses, Laughing Planet puts their businesses in neighborhoods to attract the residents around them. These neighborhoods, from Portland to Eugene, are neighborhoods where there is easy access to get to the restaurant, either by walking, running, biking or driving.
Situation Analysis (cont) Outside researcher Ron Paul, president of a marketing research and management firm, says, “Location is key. Often, fast casual restaurants are not located downtown because no one is around in the evening.” As we have witnessed, LPC’s location is easy access to residential, but is a block from adequate traffic. LPC values fresh, sustainable food, and research shows that places that value freshness must have high traffic to ensure these items remain fresh. Local competitors to the Laughing Planet have much stronger voices. These competitors are close to campus and people have heard of them, often because they are national chains, such as Chipotle. These competitors also use promotional tools, such as loyalty programs or promotional coupons, that attract a less educated demographic. LPC competitors also use all sources of media with an emphasis on outdoor media, such as advertising on buses, benches, and billboards. Another common tactic competitors use is on-site signage. When passing by a restaurant, signage is the most effective way to draw in a crowd. Competitors such as Baja Fresh or Café Yumm! are examples of stores with attractive and visible signage. Laughing Planet’s sign is small and does not attract the eye.
In an educated community, like Eugene, companies are forced to follow through if they claim to be sustainable. LPC is truly original in their methods and values, and for these reasons must inform the community about it. Consumers will carefully critique LPC, but integrity is built from the ground up and is already inherent to LPC, thus creating an endearment between LPC and the community. This is why the story must be communicated.
Consumer Research Consumer/Primary Research Through primary research we found that the typical Laughing Planet Café user is slightly older than the college crowd. Many customers come in couples that may have young children or may be retiree age. The largest majority of the children range from toddlers to middle school age. There is a sudden drop in high school aged kids. The typical user is largely split among young parents with children and young retirees. Also through research, we learned the approximate housing locations of an adequate sample of customers. We can confidently say that many customers come from the regions closest to LPC with other areas just south and north housing the next largest group of customers. Very few customers came from the campus or Chase Village regions. Please see the map on page 8 for approximate housing locations.
LPC Differentiation What makes LPC a special place is their story. Any café can create an eclectic atmosphere, however, not all of them can claim to be as healthy and sustainable as LPC. The initiatives to fundraise and give back to the earth, such as the school fundraising (also used prominently by Baja Fresh) and the chimpanzees, make LPC different from others in the crowd.
Target Audience College students were suggested as the target of this advertising campaign, but due to reasons listed above—current user demographics and restaurant location— we believe that it will prove more profitable to key on the 30-60 demographic. By isolating this demographic it will be easier to choose mediums that are efficient and effective.
Consumer Research (cont)
Motivation The target audience is more affluent and more experienced than the average college student. These customers are motivated to eat healthy because their knowledge and experience demands it. This target considers themselves more conscious than the average consumer, and far more conscious than the average college student. LPCâ€™s sustainable mission resonates effectively with this crowd.
Why Not College Students? College students are often targeted across the fast casual industry as a whole. Many university towns are conducive to students dining at inexpensive, trendy places. Some universities, such as Vanderbilt, Akron University, and Kent State, are teaming up with local restaurants using the campus cash card programs as accepted payment. If the University of Oregon was up for such a program many of the restaurants on 13th Street and/or Franklin would benefit. However, severe parking restrictions and LPCâ€™s off campus location make this sort of program impractical for non-campus use. Fast casual restaurants are not usually placed in business districts, as they require the dinner crowds to survive. Similar to the industry, LPC is located in an area easily accessed all day long. This area, unfortunately, is not a reasonable distance from a campus such as the UO that discourages parking. A detterent for students choosng to dine at LPC might be the atmosphere and demographic of the current user. Many customers in both the lunch and dinner crowd skew towards retirees or families with young children. While the Oregon students might find LPCâ€™s eclectic atmosphere attractive, many students might find the age variations a turn off. We believe that in a different location LPC would attract different users, and if proximity was not an issue college students could be a more viable target.
Map Goes Here
Media Plan To obtain the highest advertising efficiency we suggest a plan that will best impact the target customers; creating a sense of story, loyalty, and sustainable sales.
Geography Oregon is an active state that wants to support local businesses and is well situated for a company like LPC. The neighborhood where LPC is located is a neighborhood where it is easy to get from home to the restaurant—either by walking, running, biking or driving. Eugene is also well situated within the farming community boasting a thriving farmers market with 160 growers and nearly 100 years of successful history. Efforts to improve the economic development of bringing local farm foods to market are currently underway, ensuring Eugene a lasting and abundant supply of locally sourced, naturally farmed foods.
Seasonality Laughing Planet Café’s peak season is during the early summer, in the months of June and July. With a great outdoor seating section LPC is well situated to capitalize on their seasonality.
Recommended Media Types The choice of media for this campaign directly reflect where the target audience is consuming media. The LPC current user, as well as prospective target, is affluent, experienced, eclectic and conscious. These customers spend more time learning than the average person—to learn, they often consume news from newspapers and radio, as well as informative magazines and online. Many of these customers will go out of their way to find something special, however, top of mind awareness and easy access are still important choice factors.
Media Plan (cont) Newspaper According to Newspaper Association of America, there is an even divide between men and women who read the newspaper, and people within the ages of 35-44 are more than twice as likely to read advertisements such as “fliers/inserts/circulars” than those of 18-24. Though broad in scope, many of LPC’s target demographic are reading the newspaper. The eclectic crowd found in LPC can be sighted often reading a local paper. Because of this we believe that the Eugene Weekly will be a good choice. The Eugene Weekly is an alternative paper offering entertainment and other listings that is read heavily by a similar eclectic crowd to current users.
Magazines Eugene offers a few magazines that are well regarded. The Eugene Magazine, which appears quarterly is well circulated and is a focus of Eugene’s middle and higher classes. These people are typically active and can afford a nutritional meal from LPC. The Emerald Magazine is offered by the Oregon Daily Emerald campus paper. This magazine is well circulated among the educated crowd and those who work at or with the university. These people share similarities to the target demographic and are often times a part of the exact target.
Media Plan (cont) Outdoor LPC is located in a nook, not easily seen by people passing by. To help potential customers find LPC as well as to keep LPC at the top of mind, it will prove beneficial to purchase outdoor signage along 6th or 7th avenues. We will also look into increasing the visibility of the on-site signage directing customers into the parking lot area. Finally, we think it will be helpful also to look into bus stop signage.
Location Signage There is no menu board inside of LPC. There is also very little informational signage to direct customers. The inside of LPC is a hodgepodge of visual activity that would be enhanced through a well organized menu. Also, an attractive information board, such as a display about why LPC supports chimpanzees, would also help customers to understand LPCâ€™s story.
Media Plan (cont) Specific Tactics To help tell LPCâ€™s story a few different tactics are necessary. This ensures a well rounded opportunity to convey who LPC is and what it really stands for. The three tactics we recommend are creative executions, promotions, and sponsorships.
Creative Executions The most common touchpoint customers will see is the design of the creative executions. These advertisements will be pieces of the narrative, which customers will use to pull the story together. These ads will also draw customers to the restaurant, creating additional opportunities to share the story.
Promotions Well planned promotions will give consumers a feeling that they are part of a larger cause; by being loyal purveyors of sustainability, nutrition, and style.
Sponsorships A tactic that will bring goodwill and build upon the feel-good side of consumer buying habits is sponsorship. Eugene is a small city with an appreciation for local things, and sponsorships are an effective way to be involved with the community.
Creative Goes Here Include intro to executions
Creative Goes Here
Creative Goes Here
Keeping your body and your planet happy.
Laughing Planet CafĂŠ 760 Blair Blvd 541-868-0668
Media Plan (cont) Promotional Ideas These promotional ideas will dovetail on the creative executions, and use LPCâ€™s popular and well received online marketing platform. Five promotional ideas follow: 1. Have an after school special once a week to target kids and their parents. Kids who come can get either free cookies, half priced smoothies, or a discounted drink of choice. The day of the week should coincide seasonally with the slowest day of the week. This promotion will build on the school fundraising platform, which will help schools fundraise while driving customers to LPC (outlined in detail in the sponsorship section). 2. We also recommend giving out free burritos on birthdays (providing valid I.D.). This will show that Laughing Planet cares about their customersâ€™ life events. In the case of a new customer, it is an insignificant cost to a fantastic first experience. We recommend setting an amount aside in the budget in order to insure that costs are not passed from one customer to others (see the budget for details). 3. Since Laughing Planet is becoming known for its utilization of social media, we recommend that coupons be placed on the Facebook page. This will drive traffic to the online marketing campaigns and should be used with one-day only constrictions, etc. This promotion works best when highlighting something online, such as a special treasure hunt or chimpanzee support day. 4. An out-of-the-box approach mentioned in the prior point, which will be great for families, is a Twitter treasure hunt. Using their Twitter account, LPC will give out clues to a prize hidden somewhere in Eugene. This is a very active community that is used to geocaching or other fun activities that will lead to a nutritious meal. 5. Customers have shown (through primary research) a desire for complimentary chips with their entrĂŠe. Competitors, such as Baja Fresh, already give out chips with their meals. This may lend well to a promotion that is limited in duration, or even possibly indefinite.
Media Plan (cont)
Bicycle Team Sponsorships A great way to show support is to sponsor local bicycle teams. This will build on the current discount-based logo sponsorship of the University of Oregon cycling team. These new sponsorships will accomplish a few objectives. First, the community and teams are very appreciative of the support—returned through an accumulating goodwill with Eugene residents (which are necessary to combat negative, incorrect perceptions, such as the Holy Cow incident).
Second, and possibly foremost, these cyclists often spend 2-3 hours per day on their bikes, travelling around as moving billboards, advertising their supporters. One sponsorship option would be to title a sponsor of one of the high level teams. These riders spend the most time on the road, and title sponsors get the largest, most recognizable logo space on their clothing. There are five Eugene teams that are the best targets of this sponsorship. Title sponsorship of one of these teams, which we do not recommend due to overall budget constraints, would likely cost around $2,000-$5,000, depending on LPC’s desired involvement (if they wanted to provide full kit, etc). Hutch’s or Paul’s team sponsorships could benefit LPC because the shop may be willing to join in the venture and sell Laughing Planet jerseys to the public, adding to LPC’s top-of-mind brand awareness. The sponsorship option we recommend is to purchase logo space on the jerseys/ shorts of multiple Eugene cycling teams. LPC already has a deal with the UO team, where a logo on the pocket is traded for a discount on food for the team members. We recommend adding signage to cover the complete bottom of the shorts and the shoulders or bicep area of the jersey. The cost for each team would range from $200-$500 and could be offset with a combination of cash and discounts. Best case signage will require probably 3 or 4 teams and multiple jersey locations (short and shirt). That scenario increases rider visibility through increased amount of teams and riders. It also increases visibility through logo/ name location, for the bottom of the short in riding position, the shoulders/bicep for restaurant, coffee shop or mid-ride rests.
Media Plan (cont) School Fundraising A final aspect to sponsorships is supporting local schools. As the target demographic is largely comprised of parents, this strategy will build communal support and customers from the ground up. There is no school in the State of Oregon that is overfunded. In that, many programs, such as sports, music, the arts, or even Parent Teacher Association are grossly underfunded, or sometimes non-funded. We recommend using the school fundraiser as a promotional day where a portion (suggested 20%-30%) of an afternoonâ€™s proceeds is donated to the school. The idea, which will work best with radio ads, radio DJ, and online marketing, is to get the students and families to pack LPC, and earn money for LPC and the school. This fundraising will be at a minimal cost for LPC as the COGS will be paid for before the donation, and the volume of customers will ensure a fantastic customer experience for everyone (a packed house is perceived as the place to be). The goodwill, the community connection, and the positive perceptions of LPC will increase exponentially. Baja Fresh has a similar program at 15%, however, by donating more back and emphasizing the local, with the radio and web campaigns, LPC will soon be seen as the leader of this arena, and as a philanthropist to the community.
Budget The budget is spread across a number of different mediums. This is less succinct than some campaigns, but to tell such a different story requires many pieces of the story to be told through different medium.
Location Signage 16%
Discounts 4% Magazine 10%
Newspaper 9% Outdoor 12% Online 2%
Radio Newspaper Magazine Outdoor Location Signage Sponsorships/Schools Online Discounts Production Total
$4,800 $2,250 $2,500 $3,000 $4,000 $2,800 $500 $1,000 $3,600 $24,450
Budget (cont) Recommended Media: • • • • • •
Bicoastal Medai’s Cool 99.1 for radio. They reach extensively into a 25-60 age demographic that coincides well with LPC’s target. Bicoastal allows $1,000 in coupons (in liu of cash) to kick of a rela tionship. Using in-kind trade will lower initail costs.
The online stipend is to pay someone to adjust the Flash animation to add the ‘Local Freshness’ and to move ‘Jobs.’
Discounts is an account to cover food givaways; this ensures costs are not passed from one customer to another.
The Eugene Weekly for newspaper. This eclectic paper can often be seen in the hands of LPC customers. Emerald Magazine with the possibility of the Eugene Magazine (in place of the Eugene Weekly) for magazines. CBS Outdoor Media’s 7th St. billboard for outdoor. For location two sidewalk signs, an improved LPC sign in the mall signage area, an indoor menu board, and a few internal advertis ing pieces. Sponsor 3-4 bicycle teams totaling around $1,000: Bicycle Way, Hutch’s, Sagebrush Cycles, Wolfcreek Racing, and the U of O club team—using discounted food as a barter (low cost, high value). The easiest team contact info is found at http://obra.org/teams. The remaining budgeted money is to be used to cover to the schoo l fundraising discounts.
Production includes the outdoot billboard, sidewalk signs, location signage and menu board, and newspaper and magazine adds (Bicoastal will produce the radio adds for free).
Recommendations Menu Most confusion at LPC occurs in the ordering process. Loyal customers know what the best items are or how to add a special sauce to an item. New customers must experience the embarrassment of getting all the way to the counter before being handed the laminated menu, then having to either order without sufficient time or to step to the side and look confused. This is a negative experience and a bad first impression. A well designed menu board, hung near or behind the register area would help clear some of the confusion. It would allow customers time to stand behind the queue and mull over their order, and it will provide space to explain “secret combinations” or other insider ordering secrets. We do not feel that this would detract from LPC’s eclectic atmosphere but instead complement the décor. The menu board could also display nutritional information; as well, the newly vacant menu holders would provide a great space for laminated nutrition, farm-to-table, or other LPC signature stories.
Restaurant Overall The Laughing Planet Café is eclectic, and is well received. Beyond displaying a menu board, nothing else inside needs to change. A few recommendations for increasing atmosphere still, are to bring in aspects of LPC’s story. This could be achieved through asking the employees to wear themed attire; such as the Chimpanzee t-shirts, or a top that proudly displays the LPC name/logo on a cycling jersey from one of their sponsored teams. Due to location, the outside signage is small and unimpressive. As part of the outdoor campaign, we recommend adding a few sidewalk signs and, if possible, a larger location sign. These will ensure top-of-mind awareness and encourage ease of access, increasing store patronage. Overall, LPC has built an atmosphere that resonates with the targeted audience. With a little bit of effort, LPC will also tell its story and build community support and goodwill. This all plays into the long-term sustainability of the mission of effecting positive change in the restaurant industry.
Recommendations Web site and Online Overall, LPC has one of the best websites in their category. The constellations and Flash animations are fun, quirky, and easy to navigate. This website is a great tool for telling LPC’s story. The integrated Facebook and Twitter marketing are becoming increasingly well-known in Eugene and are making small waves. LPC’s online efforts are commendable in every area. To enhance the visibility of the “farm to table” aspect of LPC’s story, we recommend replacing the ‘Jobs’ tab with a ‘Local Freshness’ tab that highlights the entire story of how local foods are sourced and how LPC steams their foods, etc. This tab will make obvious LPC’s differentiating factors. This tab could also include a cross link to the ‘Sustainability’ section, which is well situated in the ‘About Us’ area. The ‘Jobs’ tab could easily be moved to a sub-section under the ‘Contact’ tab. Our budget includes a small stipend for the minimal work involved in changing the Flash animations.