Marc Katz, CEO of CustomInk, makes the simple observation that people tend to be more appreciative of higher quality products, like a high-quality performance wear pull-over, rather than the least expensive sweatshirt they could find. CustomInk would like to be known for high-quality apparel and assorted products from various other categories like drinkware and pens, and other branded accessories. This case challenges students to consider new product development for CustomInk and to suggest a go-to-market plan for these new high-end products.
The ThinkFoodGroup mission is to change the world through the power of food. Beefsteak is uniquely positioned to make good on that mission in Food Deserts--communities struggling to afford or even find healthy food options. This is because Beefsteak mainly serves healthful vegetables, and its base-level price point is competitive in the fast-casual space. The Beefsteak team would like to capitalize on a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign to improve nutrition for people in the local community. Could Beefsteak help an underserved community, where some of their own staff may live, to make healthier food decisions?
Salvador discusses the challenge that diverse, culturally ingrained food perceptions present for targeting different markets. Many of her
observations are anecdotal, but they all speak to a larger stigma associated with the purpose of vegetables. Beefsteak has set out to change this
“purpose” and needs a strategy to convey the value of a new vegetable-centric culture to various segments of the market. What is the source of this stigma, and what steps can Beefsteak take to challenge it?
Analyzing the Beefsteak brand presence on social media to optimize the campaign and evaluate the ROI of content marketing
Beefsteak is José Andrés’s first foray into the fast-casual food industry intent to distinguish itself with its focus on vegetables. With such a new concept for ThinkFoodGroup, there are few ways of measuring if the current social media strategy is not only working, but optimal. Based on analysis of Beefsteak’s social media presence, what characterizes the most effective content marketing for the Beefsteak brand and how can Stephanie measure success?
Reinforcing culture through recruitment, training, retention, and team development in the restaurant and hospitality industry
The established recruiting and training programs of ThinkFoodGroup have benefited Beefsteak both practically and culturally, as the right employees can make a huge difference in the customer service industry, where employees and how they are treated represent the brand.
Moving forward with the rapid opening of new storefronts, it is foreseeable that current employees may need to take on more responsibility, calling for a Beefsteak-specific employee development program. How can Beefsteak reinforce employee transmission of company values through development programs that strategically benefit the company as it looks to the future?
Incorporating the mission to “change the world through the power of food” into principled leadership in everyday operations at Beefsteak
Jim wants to develop a culture where every team member in the restaurant feels like they are “changing the world through the power of food.” How can Jim instill a greater sense of purpose in the operations staff focused on the everyday work involved in running a restaurant?
Beefsteak seeks to go beyond the traditional fast-casual experience to achieve something greater, from how food is prepared to the values espoused by employees. Translating these ideals to the consumer is of the utmost importance for Beefsteak to achieve its mission. This is why, as Jim states, they have “led with loyalty” by developing a rewards app. Next steps involve enabling mobile pay as well as gamification features. Jim wants to ensure the focus of this technology is a part of the holistic Beefsteak experience, that it can be tailored to the individual consumer, and that it is a reminder of the brand. How can Beefsteak be tech-forward while retaining the humanistic element of Beefsteak that is central to the brand’s values?
Doneff explains that any ThinkFoodGroup brand building campaign has an imperative to create a personal emotional connection that relates to
community engagement. Doneff’s goal in building the Beefsteak brand is to resonate with customers on the level of personal identification such that they feel part of a “tribe.” How does a company develop a fast-casual brand like Beefsteak that people want to identify with and espouse, allowing it to become embedded in the community?
Analyzing the social media and content marketing of celebrity chef José Andrés Foods and tracking purchasing KPI’s to measure sales conversion of campaigns such as seasonal recipes and cooking demonstrations.
Marisol Plata is the Senior Brand Manager of the ThinkFood Products, the curated line of José Andrés Foods, which are co-branded premium Spanish culinary staples and gourmet foods imported to the US to showcase Spanish cooking. Through various social media marketing growth initiatives, Marisol's marketing team has found the most effective way to reach the consumer is through content like seasonal recipe books and cooking demonstrations using these high-end gourmet Spanish products.
The challenge is to understand how to bridge the gap between marketing and retail purchasing.
Analyzing the distribution and retail options to reach the end customer for a small line of gourmet food products leveraging the powerful brand of the celebrity chef José Andrés
Marisol Plata is the ThinkFoodGroup Senior Brand Manager of the ThinkFood Products, José Andrés’s curated line of co-branded premium Spanish culinary staples and gourmet foods imported to the US from the renowned chef’s favorite sources. Products are currently distributed across the US in natural grocers, supermarkets, local gourmet wine and cheese shops, and online retailers (LaTienda.com, Amazon.com). Given the distribution options in the evolving gourmet food marketplace and the various new ways consumers can access specialty foods, what innovative distribution channels would you recommend ThinkFood Products use to reach their customers?