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Brandonomics from Savage - Michelle Holmes

Michelle Holmes

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How do you know your brand needs an update? Robin Tooms asks Michelle Holmes, director of marketing for James Coney Island.

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Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, vice president of strategy at Savage Brands, and my guest on Brandonomics today is Michelle Holmes, director of marketing at James Coney Island. So Michelle, welcome.

Michelle: Hi, Robin. It's an honor to be here.

Robin: Well I want to talk today about your brand strategy. So obviously, James Coney Island is undertaking a brand refresh right now, but I want to hear why is it time for you to take a look at this Houston institution's brand?

Michelle: Robin, you're not the only one asking that question. James Coney Island is definitely a Houston icon, and we've gone about these changes after quite a bit of research with not only our current customers, but potential customers that we're not capturing right now. But the reality is that the market trends are changing, and Houstonians have so much variety in dining options now, and costs are increasing. So we've realized that we can't survive just selling hot dogs anymore, so now we're trying to find that delicate balance between managing - becoming relevant in our history.

Robin: So I've been reading the news stories, and one could assume from that that James Coney Island is rebranding, but actually, that doesn't really sound like the case at all.

Michelle: Well actually, we like to look at what we're doing more as a brand refresh than a complete rebranding strategy. James Coney Island is still very much a part of the brand and very prominent in the signage as we move forward. This is an important distinction because we're not trying to change who we are. We're just trying to give the brand a face lift. So what we're trying to do is change our trade dreads to be more reflective of the variety of the menu and grill items that we have no in our stores.

Robin: So that makes sense. So bringing kind of the outside appearance into really who the company is today.

Michelle: Absolutely, and again, just trying to be a little more hip and relevant with today's trends.

Robin: That makes a lot of sense. Well thank you, Michelle, for sharing that.

Michelle: Thank you.

Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.

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