Pizza Patrón executives announced intentions to roll out multiple new strategies designed to bring the brand closer to its core Mexican-born customers in 2014. The company plans to execute an array of updated branding programs that include new product development, unique promotions, traditional advertising, digital, social media, and public relations.
This marks a significant narrowing of focus for the brand that started franchising in 2003 with the objective of becoming the nation’s premier Latino pizza brand. The company gained notoriety from its unconventional programs like “Pizza Por Pesos,” where customers could use pesos as a form of payment at its takeout restaurants, and “Pizza Por Favor,” where customers were awarded a free pizza if they ordered in Spanish.
While the brand’s strategy and nontraditional approach to marketing its products resulted in international media coverage, bolstering its Latino brand position, it is now taking steps to improve sales with its core Mexican-born customers and to attract new customers who are loyal to other concepts.
Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón, says the company’s efforts have successfully carved out a niche for the brand, but because there are so many cultural differences among Latinos, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all concept for Hispanics.
According to the 2011 national survey of Latinos, when it comes to describing their identity, most Hispanics prefer using their family’s country of origin over pan-ethnic terms like Latino. Half say that most often they use their family’s country of origin to describe their identity. That includes such terms as Mexican or Cuban or Dominican, for example.
“Over the years, our most successful endeavors have been Mexican in focus, whether it was a new product release or a targeted advertising campaign. The majority of our customers and team members have Mexican roots so the move to ‘Mexicanize’ the brand will come very natural to us,” Gamm says. “We believe it will also create a better, more one-of-a-kind experience for our non-Mexican customers as well.”
Gamm says that the pizza market in the U.S. may be over-saturated, but “there are still tremendous opportunities for unique concepts to build valuable brands and to monetize their point of difference. By taking steps to ‘Mexicanize’ our brand, we put further distance between ourselves and the competition, and we close the gap with our core customer which will give us a huge sales advantage.”