In Focus
MARKETING | Kevin Santos, Australia
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Bubba Pizza aims to stand out with their “better” brand refresh

Learn how their new slogan came about and how the brand plans to approach its future.

From massive American chains to modest pizzerias, the race to get a bigger slice in Australia’s billion-dollar pizza industry remains competitive.

Bubba Pizza, a family-owned franchise that was founded in 2000, is one of many medium-sized brands that vie for a larger spot in the market. The Melbourne-based pizza chain previously transitioned from their traditional marketing and adapted to the digital world by having their own online ordering system.

Seeing the industry evolve throughout the years, the brand felt that it was time once more for them to revamp another aspect of their operations.

“The pizza market is crowded with the big American chains continually fighting over price wars, and independents playing the copycat game, so the ability to stand out from the crowd became a priority for us. We knew we needed to be more strategic with our messaging,” Damian Hopper, Bubba Pizza’s business development manager told QSR Media.

Their new message? “Let Bubba Make It Better.”

In a recently-released ad, comedian Aaron Gocs is shown giving out pizza in various day-to-day situations. The near-two minute video was positively received by social media users in Bubba’s Facebook page.

“Seeing a big corporat[ion] post an internet meme is like your uncle cracking a joke at Christmas lunch: you smile politely but you’re dying on the inside,” Hopper quipped.

“If our brand is going to get noticed, it needs to take on its own personality. Humour is certainly the personality trait that grabs attention because it resonates so well with the Australian culture and way of life; there’s a bit of a larrikin in all of us. It will be a big part of the strategy, but it’s not easy to be funny.”

‘Our message can speak to anyone’
The tagline and strategy came about after Bubba’s sought out a creative agency in Collingwood to help them spruce up their branding. The slogan is now part of their logo, website, and even in their pizza boxes.

“The process was very detailed, with our own team, franchisees and other stakeholders having intense one-on-one interviews with marketing strategists, they were like therapy sessions! They even approached our customers and sat down in their homes over a cup of tea to discuss all things pizza,” Hopper said.

Whilst the process took time, he says the message of making things better came from “discovering the truth” about pizza being the “ultimate convenience food.” The medium-sized pizza chain hopes to target young working families but is confident that their messaging is versatile enough to acquire new customers.

“When people have had a rough week at work, when the kids are busting your chops or when you have a bad Tinder date and you want to relax and make things better, call Bubba. Everyone has bad days or long enduring weeks, so our message can speak to anyone,” he said.

Walking their talk
Bubba Pizza knows, however, that their ‘better’ branding should go beyond a typical revamp. “The word ‘Better’ is a big part of our message, so we need to continually focus on improving our product, our offerings and our service. Our statement is quite bold, so we want to make sure we walk the walk too.”

Currently, they have over 20 outlets across Victoria and South Australia. Smaller brands, Hopper says, can make their campaigns count by getting advice “from the right people.”

“If you don’t know how to do it, pay someone to tell you how and learn from them. If you can’t afford it, then put yourself out there and keep your ear to the ground,” he advised.

With the revitalised branding, Bubba hopes to eventually break into New South Wales and Queensland.

“We are still a family-run business with a small team, facing the same challenges in franchising that everybody else is so we need to bite off only what we can chew, one slice at a time. I think the future for the brand is about being bold, being different and being persistent.”

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