Nicole Duncan

Talk of the Town

While it’s become standard practice for corporate brands to engage consumers through channels such as Facebook and Twitter, location-specific marketing could be the new wave of social media. Increasingly, quick-service brands are targeting consumers in individual markets across the U.S.

“It’s really messy [for a brand] to set up [social media pages] regardless of if they intended to start localized social or not,” says Erica McClenny, senior vice president of product management at social software firm Expion.

Think Global, Eat Local

In a globalized world, many quick-serve restaurants look to emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and other regions for new growth ventures. While these retailers strive to maintain the cornerstones of their brand, international menus can’t be carbon copies of the American originals. Regional flavors, religious dietary restrictions, and different suppliers all play a part in shaping unique dishes for consumers abroad.

Fit Right In

In downtown New Orleans, local artistry and distinctive architecture are never more than a stone’s throw away. For this reason, it may come as a surprise to some visitors to find the world’s most ubiquitous coffeehouse chain nestled among the businesses on Canal Street.

But, unlike other units boasting the Starbucks name, this store capitalizes on the growing trend of interior design uniquely tailored to fit the surrounding neighborhood.

Around the Vend

Long dominated by the likes of Twinkies and soda, the vending world is now counting quick-serve specialties among its selections. Consumers craving a fix from some of their favorite brands are no longer restricted by regular hours of operation, and operators can boost sales with a small initial investment and low operating costs.

“It’s becoming more and more prevalent,” says Steven Brush, cofounder of the consulting service iBrandEz, which specializes in nontraditional franchising. “Customer occasion marketing basically means where-I-want-it, when-I-want-it types of foods.”