The recent explosion of fast-casual restaurant franchises has changed the game for franchises. With customers having more options to choose from, competition is fierce. Large chains with enormous marketing budgets may have more reach but sacrifice quality and portions for advertising and positioning. As Wahoo’s Fish Taco continued to expand and grow, they wanted to stay true to the beliefs and values that have made them a favorite among customers for over 33 years – without sacrificing the exceptional quality they are known for.

The Challenge

As a growing restaurant group, Wahoo’s faced the challenge of adequately defining what food category they fit into. They didn’t want to be categorized in the Mexican food category as they have deep Brazilian and Asian influence. Blue C worked with Wahoo’s leadership team to help refine their brand’s messaging, position them for growth, and determine what makes Wahoo’s so unique. The Wahoo’s team understood that having one message and a strong communication platform is essential.

The Strategy

Using Blue C’s BrandPWR framework, the first step toward a more cohesive brand was stripping away what wasn’t relevant to Wahoo’s values and identity to better align with customer expectations. Next, the proven BrandPWR Clarity process was used to uniquely position the company so that customers, employees, and the media would have a clear and concise understanding of Wahoo’s brand – who they are, what they stand for, and where they are going. Then, we crafted a message that would clearly represent their unique offerings.

The Outcome

Blue C defined a set of core values for Wahoo’s Fish Taco, established strong brand pillars, and developed a new tagline to define their positioning and category – “Freshly made. Pacific inspired”. Every aspect of their marketing campaigns revolves around the clarity of this new message with a new brand book, in-store merchandising, employee communications, outdoor advertising, and social content. As a result, Wahoo’s has a unique and powerful presence in the market that is clearly defined for the future.