This well-known chain of themed bars was responding to brand metrics that suggested it was losing ground to rivals that were seen to be more contemporary and authentic.

The company commissioned Brandspeak to:

  • Conduct a research-led review of its brand strategy and customer experience delivery in the UK
  • Work with the business to identify the component parts of an evolved brand and in-venue customer experience.


Our proposal recommended assessment of:

  • The core proposition – and how it needed to evolve to take account of changing consumer tastes, without sacrificing provenance
  • The in-venue customer experience – and how it could meet the changing needs and expectations of its core market
  • The balance between venue as bar and venue as eatery – and how it could be fine-tuned to better support a more contemporary proposition
  • The quality and range of food and drink – and their ability to support a more contemporary brand proposition
  • The nature and quality of entertainment and themed events.

The proposal recommended 4 stages:

  • Firstly, qualitative research to explore the issues and provide outline recommendations
  • Next, workshops with Management, based on the research outputs, to identify the component parts of a more contemporary brand proposition and in-venue experience
  • Thirdly, the implementation of a number of trial initiatives in 3 different test venues
  • Lastly, a final round of qualitative and quantitative research to review the success and appeal of those initiatives with consumers

The Brandspeak team set about its task with considerable enthusiasm!

Together with the client team we started by undertaking a Brand Safari, visiting own and competitor outlets in London.

This was then followed by the exploratory round of research which included:

  • An in-venue, observed and accompanied customer experience assessment programme, with consumers recruited from the client’s different customer segments
  • Customers capturing and reporting their own experiences via mobile
  • A closed, online community to record and discuss specific in-venue experiences and opportunities

The first-round research debrief included extensive, outline recommendations regarding the core proposition and key elements of the in-venue experience.

The debrief was followed by a small number of strategic workshops led by Brandspeak, using the research findings and outline recommendations to identify:

  • An evolved brand proposition
  • The in-venue expression of that proposition.

Three of the client’s venues were then selected to trial the workshop outputs.

Following implementation, a second round of qualitative and quantitative research was conducted to assess the impact of the initiatives on perceptions of the brand and the customer experience.

A final workshop was then held to review the impact of the different activities and agree those to be implemented across the chain.

A roll-out plan was subsequently put in place.


Overall, the project lasted 18 weeks and resulted in:

  • The adoption of an evolved brand positioning
  • A significantly altered in-venue experience, including new visual theming (i.e. branding and décor) and experiential theming (i.e. entertainment and activities)
  • Enhanced levels of customer experience and service at key moments
  • A range of drinks / food offers and promotions to encourage footfall
  • Identification of new customer experience metrics for ongoing measurement and reporting to senior management on a monthly basis

For more information on how Brandspeak can help with customer experience optimisation, please call us on +44 (0) 203 858 0052 or email us at