OVERVIEW

In 1993, Murphy’s Deli first opened its doors in Stafford, TX. With its delicious, eclectic menu featuring a variety of quick-serve cuisine options from around the world, the brand grew to become a primary competitor in the casual deli market. After a promising level of success with its first few locations, the founders of Murphy’s Deli saw the company’s potential for growth but were uncertain of how to tap into it.

Upon the realization that Murphy’s had a huge amount of untapped potential, they contacted IDealogic® for help. Their first request was for a complete rebrand. As part of the brand development process, we were tasked with capitalizing on the deli’s unique, multi-cultural menu and positioning the brand for scalability on a franchise level. With  such a delicious and diverse product line, the company provided us a great starting point for our creative process; and our work proved so successful for this client partner that we were retained us for over a decade.

CHALLENGE

Quick-service restaurants appeal broadly to consumers in all major demographics, provided—besides great food, of course—they have a great brand. The founders of Murphy’s Deli hadn’t considered critical factors that would influence future expansion into the franchise industry—they just had a passion for great food and acted upon it. They wanted to open a new location that would serve as a signature store concept for their franchise, but a lack of brand identity and consistency wasn’t attracting potential franchisees.

The company’s name was another unexpected challenge for its growth. The first location was on Murphy Road, hence the name Murphy’s Deli. However, it was disconnected from all new locations that followed. Additionally, ‘Murphy’ is distinctly Irish, which limited the perception of the deli to a single-culture reference and did nothing to promote a unique, multicultural menu. IDealogic® was hired to develop a brand that would guarantee interest from franchisees and customers.

OUR STRATEGY

Without a full-fledged name change, we needed to separate the brand from Murphy Road and break free from that single-culture reference. We needed to promote their signature sandwich, the Muffaletta (which originated in New Orleans), along with other unique menu options like hummus (Middle Eastern) and gyros (Greek). To link the deli’s name to their diverse menu, we created a character and story that would tie it all together.

Irish Millionaire and sandwich connoisseur, Mr. Murphy, searched the seven seas on his quest for the perfect meal. This trip lasted many years as he sailed through vast, rough waters to visit dozens of countries. Each journey led Mr. Murphy to encounter unique recipes. On his last expedition, shipwrecked off the coast of New Orleans, he discovered the ultimate sandwich to complete his worldly menu. It was there that he was introduced to the Creole flavor, where he combined the flare of New Orleans with other exotic ingredients to create the savory Muffaletta sandwich that you enjoy today.

By implementing the Mr. Murphy character throughout the brand theme, we tied together the deli’s name and diverse menu in a memorable way, which became a powerful selling tool for attracting franchisees and customers alike.

With the brand story completed, we moved on to the main goal: the development of a brand image that would create franchise appeal, raise the company’s perceived value, make it stand out amongst competitors, and give it an edge in the marketplace. Drawing from the story of Mr. Murphy, we created a corporate identity that featured Mr. Murphy’s mustache. This iconic ‘stache became immediately recognizable to customers and franchisees alike. We also created a welcoming, cheery ambiance for the stores using vibrant colors in an authentic New Orleans style to support their signature muffaleta sandwich. We then strengthened the Murphy character brand to include additional characters that, together, capture the zest and fun of New Orleans. This original artwork—comprised of Mr. Murphy, musicians, singers, and a complete sidewalk café illustration—served as the heart of the brand became a well-known focal point of the brand’s entire identity.

Following the completion of brand development and implementation, we segued into brand activation with an in-depth marketing plan. In order to launch the new brand, gain recognition for the company in its markets, and showcase Murphy’s Deli as a leader in the casual deli space, we created an awareness campaign that spanned across all channels. Our campaign, “I am Mr. Murphy,” was centered around the signature ‘stache and designed to bring Mr. Murphy to life. With our custom photography and a bit of digital magic, we contrasted people eating Murphy’s delicious menu items with people eating other foods. Murphy’s customers wore the signature ‘stache, as if they too were Mr. Murphy.

We built this highly successful campaign based upon our Brand to Human® philosophy. By actually becoming Mr. Murphy, customers were showcased as an integral part of the Murphy’s Deli brand. We appealed to their human side with fun, humorous, quirky messaging and imagery, and helped to raise the company’s perceived value in the eyes of potential customers and franchisees. Almost immediately following the campaign launch, Mr. Murphy’s mustache became a viral, trend-setting concept and helped the brand to dominate their market for years.

SCOPE OF WORK

COMPANY BRANDING

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Architecture
  • Corporate Identity Design
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Brand Naming

 

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Marketing Communications
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Design Collateral (Print/Digital)
  • Direct Response
  • Presentation Design

PRINT DESIGN

  • Marketing Collateral
  • Sales Collateral
  • Corporate Collateral
  • Outdoor Design

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Custom Photo Shoots
  • Shoot Planning and Production
  • Custom Digital Illustrations

WEBSITE DESIGN

  • Website Strategy
  • Website Design
  • Mobile + Responsive Design
  • Content Creation

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Branding Platforms
  • Content Writing
  • Management
  • Design & Layout

COPYWRITING

  • Brand Messaging
  • Positioning Statement
  • Campaign Messaging
  • Content Writing
  • Corporate Communications
  • Internal Communications
  • Broadcast Script Writing

INTERIOR BRAND DESIGN

  • Conceptual B2C Renders
  • Retail Interior Space Design
  • Event & Trade-Show Design

RESULTS

We partnered with Murphy’s Deli for more than a decade, and as a result of our hard work—and their delicious food—the new Murphy’s Deli brand successfully created irresistible franchise appeal and gained trust from existing franchisees. By appealing to the brand’s ideal target audience segments and nurturing ongoing customer engagement, we paved the way for a foundation of brand loyalty and ensured that the brand earned recognition from prospective franchisees and customers alike. With the development of nearly 150 locations, Murphy’s Deli became one of the fastest growing deli franchises in its space and became the leading competition for Subway in Houston, its most concentrated market.

MARKET STATISTICS

  • Currently, there are around 195,000 quick service franchise establishments in the U.S.
  • The restaurant industry generated annual revenue of nearly $800 billion in the U.S. in 2017
  • 65% of consumers in the U.S. report that experience is most important when choosing a restaurant
  • Millennials spend an average $175 a month on dining out
  • Consumers spent approximately $290 billion at quick service restaurants in 2017

FROM THE LAB

“We had a lot of fun developing this brand. The whole idea of creating a brand solution around a fictional character and his world travels made the experience as deliciously enjoyable as it looks. We definitely tapped into the quirky, unique aspects of Mr. Murphy, which helped us to make the brand a competitive differentiator in its space. It was a great journey to watch this client achieve accelerated growth and success—not to mention, seeing the “Mustache” fad going viral was validating too!”

Ron Netanel

Founder of IDealogic® Brand Lab

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