In four years, Blaze Pizza, the build-your-own pizza concept, has rocketed from two to 200 plus locations in North America — making it the fastest-growing US food chain ever, according to research firm Technomic.
In 2014, when Blaze had just 10 locations, Rick and Elise Wetzel asked Geared to help support the brands growth. Since then, Geared has created everything from their four-wall marketing, limited time offers and promotions, social media content and cool brand engagement like the selfie booth at the Van’s Warped Tour. We also developed their brand expansion manual, LTO/promo calendar and the franchise support portal, loaded with every asset a franchisee needs to fire up sales and traffic.
Since working with Geared, the Brand has tripled their units and as of Q4, 2017, they’ve reached 238 locations. They also attained over $185 million in system-wide sales and stand as #1 in Fast Causal’s list of Top Movers & Shakers.
Equipment Depot is America’s #1 independent material handling and rental company. Their digital marketing agency, Think Versatile, partnered with Geared to rebrand this industry leader. We started at the core, conducting brand workshops to distill their unique selling points and from there the team created a distinct look and feel and introduced a new positioning line and a service promise entitled the “Performance. Guaranteed.” This pledge, to be the best service company in the industry, was the catalyst to differentiating their brand in the market place, driving sales and profitability.
Within the first two weeks of the brand re-launch, Equipment Depot’s Louisville location was awarded a $1.2 million contract. The campaign was highly successful, and drove revenues and attracted industry awards – taking AMA’s top honors as “Best in Category” in the BMA’s B2 National Award for Marketing Activation and Brand relaunch.
- Concept development
- Graphic design and copy writing
- Marketing and sales
- Brand personality development
- Video production
- Website development
- PPC, SEO, Email
Geared partnered with Think Versatile, a Los Angeles based, digital marketing agency, to introduce Johnson Controls Power Solutions’ VARTA Brand to the luxury European automotive segment in the USA market. The company wanted to create a big impact for the launch at the APPEX show in Las Vegas, Nevada (the B2B side of SEMA) – and wanted to show off the VARTA brand through a mobile app. Leveraging VARTA brand assets, the team created an easy-to-navigate, visually impactful, demonstration tool within just three weeks. The app not only presented well, the success paved the path for seven more app projects the following year.
- Product launch
- UI/UX development
- Custom programming
In partnership with the digital marketing agency, Think Versatile, Geared created a mobile tool for the largest producer of automotive batteries in the world, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. Geared led the UX, design and overall feel of the global mobile app that helps in-store sales staff assist customers and more importantly, drive brand upsell to the premium, more profitable battery lines.
The heart of this sales aid was applying each region’s specific branding, unique sales benefits and local product data. Some of the top app features were product search, technology comparison and battery diagnosis capabilities. The app was a massive undertaking – and was successfully rolled out in 11 different languages across 4 continents on iOS and Android – including China.
University of Southern California (USC) is a leading institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology, and international business.
Geared was asked to promote the institute’s International Language Academy by creating a multi-language website designed to attract young people interested in studying English on the USC campus. We supported the new site with a targeted online campaign using paid search, display and social sites like Facebook in their schools most promising international markets - South America, Asia and the Middle East.
In the course of a few weeks, the results were so outstanding that USC quickly discovered it had a major problem. They needed more room! With the amount of interest, the Academy’s had outgrown their building and within weeks expanded to a second building that was three times bigger.
- Content Organization
- Web Design and development
- Mutli – Language / Translation
- Programmatic paid search
- UI/UX development
Over the past 15 years a lot has been accomplished for Fatburger. From conducting SWOT analysis by location for local store marketing to improve sales, to rebranding from a QSR concept to Fast Casual, new product launches via LTOs and heavy franchise sales support. That said, Fatburger has been the crown jewel of our Brand Personality Development, as evident in its reverent, pull-no-punches attitude. Fatburger could never be Johnny Rockets - Five Guys could never be Fatburger. Creating a unique personality (which equates to a noticeable brand differentiation) is a key element to a brands success.
If you’d like to see another example of Brand Personality Development, check out our work for Blaze Pizza. (add link to “Blaze Pizza” to our work)
- Brand Personality Development
- Brand Support
- Four-Wall Marketing
- LTO/New Product Launch
- Franchise/Corporate Support
Fatburger’s venture into the Middle East market needed to be seamless. However, the brand’s irreverent tone and American-ish humor wasn’t going to translate.
Geared’s Brand Refresh approach needed to pull from Fatburger’s attributes (Los Angeles roots, food quality, accolated, etc.) to create visually impactful messages that still efficiently told the story of Fatburger. After location/region assessments, the strategy was to keep the communication in English. This allowed Geared to create brand pieces that still kept to their brand personality. This said, each location featured a local skyline that was blended with an LA landscape. This way the location can be uniquely attached to the iconic brand, while still being connected to their local scene.
- Brand Refresh
- Brand Support
- Four-Wall Marketing
During Fatburger’s acquisition of Buffalo’s Café, Geared was asked to conduct a Brand Refresh. Buffalo’s saw itself as the “family-friendly” buffalo wings restaurant. We repositioned the concept and added the tagline “Where everyone is family”. From there Geared set their brand tone with messaging such as “Family is where the heart is. It’s also where the fun is”, and “You can’t pick your family. But you can pick your burger”.
Their design update entailed a new menu design, staff tees, coasters, cups, bar coasters and construction barricade graphics. The look and feel pulled away from their light greens, tans and browns, to a classier all black with a pop of color motif.
- Brand Refresh
- Menu Design
- Four-Wall Marketing
- Brand positioning
Nearly 100 years of rich heritage from an LA coffee roasting icon - Apffels Fine Coffee, was the flavor of the day.
Geared was asked to update the company's brand in 2009. After taking the company through a branding process, we blended our Brand Personality Development with a Brand Refresh resulting in a more succinct value proposition (very helpful in marketing communications as well as the sales department) and a stronger "artisan" brand design. In fact, Apffels' branding is a great example of our Associational Thinking technique (one way we come up with ideas). Click here for an infographic on the ideation process.
Over these years, Geared has aided in Apffels' resurgence in the beverage industry and is currently supporting all their new up-market coffee and tea label(s) and hugely successful R&D efforts.
Like. Friend. Share. All great stuff, but who puts the parts together in the background for everyone to... well, tweet? Development is tricky business, we like to help engineer the front end (design purpose, strategy, relevant content) with the executional part of the back end. We link purpose with programmers.
National Charity League
NCL's younger members (11 to 18) needed a safe, secure way of sharing program ideas, meeting suggestions, making new relationships with other NCL members outside of their Chapters – think Facebook, but only for 20,000.
Enter Ticktalker.org. Sorry, password protected so we can't show you. This site had to apply to ages 11 and 18, no easy task. Geared conducted demographical and trend tracking research; as well as member surveys before setting the overarching site goals.
This site isn't just a pretty design, it has the ability to pull content from a members profile and then repurpose it in strategic places... what does that mean? The site is self-maintained. NCL is busy with day-to-day, important non-profit activities, they shouldn't be burdened with continually adding content to the site. We found a creative way for the site to do it on it's own.
The second half of the site is for the members that bridge out at age 18. Think Linkedin. Network with others across the country/world. The purpose is to help each other. For instance, moving to another state for college? Search the database for other members who are attending that school. Or how about their first job? Search by industry. Perhaps find a mentor or even an opportunity. A site with family benefits.
The local Orange County chapter needed an agency to help them develop a strong regional presence. Geared helped them create material for their military support units, not to mention, a new chapter website, annual report and print collateral for their disaster preparedness program efforts.
WingStop created the "wings" quick service concept, and has grown to be the largest franchise chain with this focus. When the company decided to increase market share and develop new locations in California, they needed help to step up the sophistication with their branding and messaging. Geared started with a sound, traditional approach - get to know the client and their customers, and then identify the USP's that would resonate and bring customers back for more. So Geared went to work and developed relevant brand messaging, new four wall marketing as well as "local store" programs to deliver foot traffic. Geared took the brands aeronautical flair and USP's to create in-store posters, table tents, print ads, flyers and promotions to deliver brand relevance in the California market. It worked, and the company has continued to grow even through a tough economy (and a fickle California market).
From the blood donations to burger joints, we've designed small sites with a dozen pages to sites with nearly 400 pages. Sites with custom content management systems to Wordpress solutions. They all had one important aspect – each were an extension of their brand's identity. Integrating a brands personality across all channels is key, and that's what we work very hard to achieve.
Toastmasters has over 280,000 members; over 13,500 clubs; 116 countries. Geared was asked to help create their first eLearning efforts and launch it globally.
Geared worked with the executive team reviewing materials and setting learning objectives. We wrote scripts, filmed and recorded the content, produced the "how to navigate the modules" video and designed the platform. We are pleased to say the launch was successful and the on-going efforts have been well received.
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"We had a short timeline and were able to meet every objective along the way. The final product was beyond our expectations."
Duty Executive Director
Orange County Business Journal wanted to communicate just how strong their "reach" is to potential advertisers. Here's an example of their three piece direct mail postcard campaign as well as media kit.
Hitachi Consulting needed Brand Support on multiple digital projects. Geared started with creating eblast templates that support their individual Practices' marketing efforts, then was tasked with the challenge to update the look and feel within their Hitachi Corporates global website platform.
Before refreshing the page design we started organizing content flow, usability and messaging (site and page objectives). This aided in the overall approach, as we were asked to create a new web banner campaign that would support the efforts during the same exercise.
Once completed, it was necessary to create site guidelines which would spell out how the site would be assembled (supplied to Hitachi's IT group) as well as, what type of content would be needed and how it must be communicated with respect to messaging.
San Francisco-based Dave's Gourmet makes one of the hottest sauces in the world – unfortunately, the same claim is made by virtually every hot sauce company on the market. In order to stand out we crested a couple of posters campaigns which plays off the name and the mind-altering heat of the product. This campaign is titled "Body Part" and was created for the company's retail distributors.
Luxury Motor Coaches
Four premier Motor Coaches (that’s deluxe Motor Home for us poor folks) needed a fresh new look worthy of their stature. From elegant brochures displaying literally a palace on wheels to some proposed ads that define their product offering, this brand got an "extreme luxury makeover".
Snugtop, a 50 year old California icon in the truck shells and covers aftermarket world, needed to refresh their brand with a more relevant, contemporary look. Snugtop needed dealer support materials - collateral, print ads and promotional gear. Geared started with a strategic approach and developed a design system that grouped products by OEM - helping the dealers speak to their prospects on an individual basis. We also pushed the design to match the demographics, creating a look for truck enthusiasts, the average joe as well as the workforce - resulting in a Brand Refresh that put them back on track to look like the industry leader they have always been.
One of our favorite concepts. Create a campaign advertising the Los Angeles Independent Horror Film Festival, Screamfest. This is a great example of our Association Technique (add link). What would the icons of horror look like if they watched a movie from one of this festivals inspiring new horror film makers? Pretty… darn… scared.
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Headline: Experience the next generation of scary this October.
Spray-on Bed Liners
When Line-X wanted to protect and grow their market share, they turned to us for a new print campaign plus tradeshow and showroom graphics. We made the product a hero without overselling it (frankly the stuff is so tough, it sells itself when put in the proper creative environment).
Mobile Video Game Concept
There's wrap graphics, then there's wrap graphics with messaging that revolves around the concept.
10 minutes after the client took delivery, they were flagged down on the 405 freeway by a motorist wanting to know what was "Game Squad" and to get their information - true story.
Nearly 35 clever phrases designed to differentiate the concept from their competitors (others generally have game console graphics. Here's some favs:
- The Game Squad. A great place to play games. Or an awesome place to hide from your wife.
- 16 video screens. (Our parties can beat up their parties.)
- Introducing a revolutionary breakthrough in the art of kicking butt.
- News Flash! 12 year-old kicks 34 year-old's butt. News at eleven.
- Find out what Navy Seals do to relax.
- This trailer is perfect for parties & events. (Senior's bingo nights? Not so much.)
Autobytel invented the online automotive shopping experience back in 1995. Before Al Gore even invented the Internet. Needless to say, Autobytel revolutionized the automotive industry by creating a whole new way to shop.
Geared was tasks to developed a national B2B print campaign to drive online advertising from the auto dealers. And if you know the trade magazines – you know that these ads really stand out. The B2B campaign was so successful that dealers were not only calling in to sign up… and to find out where they could get their hands on Myride's tricked out baby buggy.
This startup required all the necessary elements to get off the ground -- logo identity, stationary, package design, website, PR, go-to-market and social media strategy, retail store display (aka: shipper) and print advertising. Geared started with a branding exercise that helped put the Brand Personality Development into motion. In fact, during the funding phase potential investors were amazed that the brand was only weeks old… many thought that due to the brand's refined look and the fact that all the elements had been so thought out that it had been worked on over years.