4 franchise rebrands and what they mean

By Nick Hall | 22 May 2019 View comments

Rebranding is often looked at as a marketing tactic to attract more visitors, but more often than not, a franchise rebrand marks the modernisation of a growing business.

Whether it’s a new colour scheme, logo or ambassador, a fresh look sets the tone for consumer expectation.

Staying on trend is more than just a fashion statement. It’s a reflection of business’ commitment to modern ideals, values and beliefs.

Put simply, an outlet’s appearance is a customer’s first impression. To them, dated décor and a 1970s layout represents dated ideals and a 1970s attitude.

Technology has changed the way consumers interact with small business, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date.

So, what are the franchise brands giving their outlets a new lease on life? Inside Franchise Business takes a look at four of the biggest rebranding efforts in recent history.

Stellarossa

Brisbane-based café chain, Stellarossa unveiled a fresh new franchise rebrand earlier this year, coinciding with new expansion plans.

The latest incarnation saw Stellarossa implement its first drive-through model at Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast.

Four more cafes are expected to open by September, all of which will sport a distinctly European flair.

Stellarossa's new look | Inside Franchise Business

Stellarossa’s new look | Inside Franchise Business

Darren Schulz, Stellarossa founder and franchisor said he wanted the new look to convey an air of comfort and sophistication.

“We wanted to create a warmer and more comfortable environment for our customers,” he said.

“Our brief to the designer was to create a more traditional café feel with elements of European cafes and bars that are decades old and stand the test of time.”

Schulz said the franchise rebrand avoids a literal translation of the traditional dark and heavy European setting, instead retaining some of the lightness that Stellarossa fans have come to know.

Stellarossa’s drive-through concept remains the biggest feature moving forward. Schulz revealed that the brand has targeted 12 drive through outlets over the next two years. 

Red Rooster

Back in November, franchise family favourite Red Rooster unveiled its latest outlet rebrand.

The two new restaurant designs were the first of the brand’s new generation of drive-through boutiques, and featured a modern twist on the iconic branding.

Red Rooster's latest franchise rebrand | Inside Franchise Business

Red Rooster’s latest franchise rebrand | Inside Franchise Business

Nick Keenan, Red Rooster CEO told Inside Franchise Business the restaurants had been designed to improve in-store customer experience, while at the same time build on the brand’s commitment to innovating its offering.

“The new restaurant designs are about resetting our brand across all the key customer communication touch points and to leverage our wonderful Aussie spirit and heritage in a modern and contemporary way,” Keenan said.

“This new physical bricks and mortar design is synchronised with our overall creative messaging and showcases a modern look with a fun and cheeky tone that is uniquely Red Rooster.”

As part of the franchise rebrand, Red Rooster rolled-out energy efficient operational equipment, integrated music systems that automates volume setting, time of day and playlist selection as well as navigational signage.

Lee Hopkinson, director of The Great Indoors was the lead on the project and said the primary focus had been bringing the brand into the new era.

“The general consensus was that the current design was quite dated and needed to progress. Overall, it needed to have an overhaul and feature a design that moved with the brand, and we were able to achieve that through using those brand colours as highlights for both the exterior and interior and improving all customer touchpoints,” Hopkinson said.

“The previous design didn’t allow for multi-demographic, dine-in options. There was no option for tradies to sit and the windows and families to sit in booths, and when you’re moving towards this fast-casual and food-theatre experience, it’s that offering that needs to be addressed.”

Carpet Court

Iconic Aussie franchise Carpet Court launched a full franchise rebrand earlier this year, alongside its largest ever brand campaign.

Carpet Court chief marketing officer, Kara Norris said the goal was to create a brighter and more approachable feel for customers.

“We know that customers today are more sophisticated than ever before, so we need to prove that we’re top of the trends,” she said.

The new Carpet Court look extends to external signage and will hit all 209 stores by year’s end.

“The rebrand and new campaign aims to connect with our consumers at the ‘dream it’ phase, the very start of their renovation journey, and show them that Carpet Court can help put their dream homes together,” Norris said.

Crust Pizza

Late last year, Crust Pizza rolled out the first refresh in the brand’s 17-year history.

The modern update introduced matte black and brass, continuing Crust’s repositioning as a dine-in, fast-casual option.

Crust Pizza's Nerang outlet | Inside Franchise Business

Crust Pizza’s Nerang outlet | Inside Franchise Business

The new look had an immediate impact, with multi-unit franchisee Sam El Debel suggesting it had injected more personality into the brand.

“We want our customers to feel like they are stepping into their own modern local pizzeria and the new look brand will help us do that. Part of it is also encouraging our store managers to run the new look stores with pride, like they are serving food to their own extended family in their own upmarket restaurants,” El Debel said.

Renee North, general manager of Crust said the rebrand was just one way Crust was future-proofing its franchisees.

“This brand refresh is projecting an image that is fully differentiated within the traditional QSR space and that’s really exciting for our customers,” North said.

“We’ve been working with franchise owners like Sam to create a brand which reflects our premium restaurant inspired menu. It’s also about future-proofing the brand image so it’s appealing, contemporary and relevant not just for today’s customers but into the future.”

The importance of a franchise rebrand

Franchising is a system based on replication and uniformity, and subsequently, a full-network refresh is no mean feat.

A change in consumer tastes or messaging can drive a franchise rebrand. However, the most important aspect in any rebrand should be the profitability of franchisees.

Franchise partners should be able to leverage the success of the brand’s history, while benefitting from a fresh, updated look and feel.