Huxtaburger’s Family Guy feed an “epic” boost for franchisees

By Nick Hall | 08 Feb 2019 View comments

Innovative Aussie franchise Huxtaburger is no stranger to millennial-minded marketing. Take a look at the brand’s 21,000 strong Instagram following and you’ll see a familiar pattern of 20-somethings searching for a fun fast-food fix on slightly more upscale level.

That’s why when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment suggested the brand partner with them in celebrating 20 years of the iconic TV show Family Guy, Huxtaburger CEO Matt Fickling saw the opportunity as the perfect synergy of strategy.

“Our brand strategy has had a strong PR focus over the past two years, so when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment approached us, we jumped on the opportunity,” Fickling told Inside Franchise Business.

“From there we explored the synergies between the two brands to see how we could best collaborate. Together, we developed a meal that we knew our audience would love while paying homage to the show. And so, The Griffin Feed was born.”

The new meal box features Huxtaburger’s signature double patty, bacon burger, paired with chips, gravy and secret salt, but aside from providing a flavour hit, Fickling said the real appeal was exposure.

“Not only do we get to provide something unique and exciting and to our Huxtamers, the Family Guy partnership offers massive exposure to a new audience who are aligned with our target demographic,” Fickling said.

“Part of our three pillared brand strategy is to push Huxtaburger into the lifestyle space – we want to be more than just a food brand. Partnering with a brand like Twentieth Century Fox allows us to start building those connections and move further into that territory. It’s been epic; we could not be happier with the response in transaction count and online engagement.”

For franchise brands, marketing partnership such as this are generally reserved for global chains, with McDonald’s and Burger King dominating the movie merchandise model.

Fickling acknowledged that buying power and brand recognition plays a large role in this, which is why the Family Guy deal was developed with franchisee profitability firmly in mind.

“Although this is an awesome high-profile collaboration, the opportunity presented a low-cost promotion for our franchise partners,” he said.

Under the marketing promotion, franchisees are only required to purchase packaging and point of purchase materials for their stores, maximising the return on investment for the entire network.

“We are really committed to this area of the business, so much so that last financial year we almost matched every dollar that our stores paid into the Huxtaburger store marketing fund.”

Huxtaburger CEO, Matt Fickling (Photo credit: Hugh Davies Photography)

The cross-platform promotion has allowed Huxtaburger to not only increase brand awareness and generate new customers, but also furthers the group’s aforementioned push into the lifestyle space, which Fickling confirms is a big part of Huxtaburger’s future.

“It is a very deliberate part of our brand strategy to not just exist in the food space,” he said.

“You’ll find that most food retailers focus on freshness, providence, quality and/or health. While these values are important to Huxtaburger, some of which form one of our key brand pillars, we also want to capture the hearts and minds of our Huxtamers. We want to build long-term relationships with them and relate to them on an emotional, real level. Partnering with Family Guy, a global TV favourite, helps us define the brand’s cheeky, fun personality in a new way, which allows us to do just that.”

“Our mission is to create a strong brand and a community that people are proud to be a part of, outside of our food offering. We’re really excited to start exploring that more this year, especially in the digital space.”

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