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Zaxby's Indescribably Good

Client: Zaxby's
Agency: St. John & Partners

Client Background

In 2003, the regional purveyor of fast-casual chicken had an excellent product and wanted fast-track growth.


Management had a stated goal of 1,000 units in five years - 110 existed at the time. Growth would come primarily within a footprint dominated by Chik-Fil-A, a strong brand and an effective operator. The chain was a result of many single-unit franchises - united by a common logo but not a common brand. There were no marketing or measurement systems in place to understand customer insights, habits or purchase behaviors. Franchisees did not believe in advertisingʼs ability to grow their business and saw mandatory marketing contributions as a “tax” without direct benefit.


Translate fan enthusiasm to a broader audience. Establish a consistent advertising platform so low competitive spending levels could benefit from repetition. Create and test co-ops in key DMAʼs and demonstrate the business driving value of advertising. Our creative strategy evolved to focus on the idea of “fans” more than “fanatics,” and the role of advertising was to capture in 30 seconds of film what fans “canʼt put into words” — the joy of food and the joy of the Zaxbyʼs experience. Simply stated, itʼs “Indescribably Good.”


Growth from 110 units to 565 locations in 13 states. Same store comp sales increase of 9.1% in 2012 vs. an industry average of 3.5%.

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