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Brand Communications

Discovering ways to distinguish brands in a competitive global market place

Case Study 1:Barilla

What does Italian Mean to You?: A Brand Positioning Study

Objectives and Methods

Determine ways to leverage Barilla’s Italian heritage
Create a competitively strong brand repositioning for the US market

This study’s objectives led us to the creation of a multi-layered research design among American consumers who appreciate Italian food and culture:

  1. Life-history in-depth interviews
  2. Supermarket shop-alongs
  3. In-home ethnographic observation of cooking and consumer interviews
  4. Semiotic analysis of consumers’ collages
  5. Brand route evaluation in creativity groups
Outcomes for the Business

Current brand repositioning reflects QualiData’s advice to define Barilla as “the authority” on Italy’s authentic regional cuisines. Branding is now reinforced by Barilla’s print and online media marketing.

  • Academia Barilla is the first website dedicated to authentic Italian regional cuisine.
  • Barilla’s website for North American customers also offers regional recipes and information on Italy’s regional cuisines.
  • QualiData discovered opportunities for multi-grain and low-carb pastas. Barilla seized this opportunity by launching the “Barilla Plus” pasta line. This award-winning line extension remains a strong seller today.

Learn more: "What does Italian Mean to You?" (pdf)

Case Study 2:White Castle

Brand update for iconic White Castle fast food restaurants

Objectives and Methods

Understand White Castle’s core brand equity and recommend a strategy for updating its brand image and menus.

Outcomes for the business

Advertising campaigns were created to reflect customers’ image and emotional connections to the brand as indulgent and quirky.

White Castle began using the terms “slider” and “crave” in its brand communications after our research uncovered widespread use of this brand-specific slang.

Discovery of emerging consumer preferences for hot and spicy flavors led to menu expansion, including the now very popular White Castle Jalapeno Cheeseburger.