Today's features a guest post from Sean Roark, a working marketing professional and graduate student in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at the University of Kansas. This semester, students in Max Utsler’s “Innovations in Marketing Communications” class and Barrett Sydnor’s “Integrated Marketing Communications and Sales Strategy” class are writing blog posts on branding, marketing, social media, experience marketing, and innovation.
Sean's post on Jimmy John's consistent brand delivery through the service experience fits well with a Service Encounters theme of using marketing to consistently make the promise you deliver through the experience. I also thank Sean for writing a post that gives me an excuse to post a picture of Krist Novoselic.
"Freaky" Brand Delivery
My lunch hour had arrived and this blog had to be ready for you fine people in five hours. I needed something quick – not quick, fast. The usual suspects ran through my head. Wendy’s? No, too slow. Sonic? No, I don’t want to tip. McDonald’s? No, gross. I know! Jimmy John’s – “freaky fast.”
Frequenters of Jimmy John’s know “freaky fast.” It’s what makes Jimmy John’s what it is. Sure the “mama approved” sandwiches are delicious. The over-staffed and surprisingly friendly workforce is refreshing. The wall hangings are always good for a chuckle, that is, if you have enough time to read them. But it’s the “freaky fast” preparation and delivery of my sandwich that keeps me coming back every week. Today I walked in the door, placed my order, handed the clerk my credit card and received my receipt and freshly prepared sandwich at the same time. It was freaky --at least that’s what I used to think. The Jimmy John’s brand should be a benchmark for all marketers. JJ’s understands their relevant difference -- Jimmy John’s is “freaky fast”, equal parts “freaky” and “fast”. However, the critical component to JJ’s benchability is that Jimmy John’s reinforces its brand promise throughout every customer touch point. There’s Ed, Jimmy’s “freaky fast” delivery guy. Don’t forget the JJ Freaker blog at, you guessed it, freakyfast.com. Even the napkins are freaky. But all pale in comparison to the freakiest of them all -- Jimmy John himself. Jimmy John’s is now America’s second fastest growing restaurant chain, averaging one restaurant opening each day. Jimmy John Liautaud’s recipe for success is simple. Listen to your customers and outwork your competition. Simple but rarely duplicated. Most companies say they listen. Some companies do. Few companies do anything worthwhile with what they hear. Jimmy John’s has delicious subs, but delicious subs alone don’t open a store a day. JJ’s customers told them they want more than just another delicious sandwich. They want a delicious sandwich with minimal line time. Jimmy’s delivered and pointed it out. Jimmy’s has its shortcomings but so does every company. Jimmy John’s doesn’t try to be all things to all people. Jimmy John’s simply provides “freaky fast” quality sandwiches and entertains its customers for the short time they’re in the store.