Case Study: Krystal Restaurants

Repositioning established brand (1998-2005)

“Alan has the mojo for our brand…he knows how to leverage the full marketing arsenal and truly understands our customers.” Phil Sanford, CEO, the Krystal Company."


Krystal Restaurants

  • Chattanooga based QSR, second oldest restaurant chain in the US founded in 1932.
  • Category dominated by giant players with seemingly unlimited resources.
  • Strategic re-positioning, setting customer expectations where only Krystal can deliver.

“Krystal is the place to have fun with your friends sharing multiples of unique, indulgent food.”

“More than a thought leader, Alan helped me lead the charge to implement our new strategy across the Krystal system. He has become my most trusted ally.” Mike Williams, SVP of Marketing, the Krystal Company


Collaborate with executive team to develop and implement marketing plan (1998-2005).

Define practicable strategy to support system-wide (~500 units) rollout of new brand positioning, accrete good will of the community, increasing same store sales growth to lead QSR category for over 5 years.

Conducted in-depth interviews with key executives and managers, operators and hundreds of customers; performed competitive reviews and past performance analytics. Collaborated with marketing team to evaluate optimum brand positioning, advertising and promotions strategies and emerging social media integration.


  • Hedgehog concept.
  • Marketing objectives – USP and brand pillar support.
  • Operational objectives – delivering on unique customer expectations.
  • Marketing investment strategy – competitive landscape model, compete where we can win.
  • Messaging strategy – reinforce customers’ ownership of the brand at every touch-point.
  • Creative – over 200 unique TV commercials, 1,000s of live radio endorsements, web development, POP strategy, and promotional events.

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