The almighty sandwich is the staple for lunches all around the world, from school lunches to family picnics at the park, sandwiches are something everyone has eaten and enjoyed during their lifetime. A person has the two choices when it comes to having a sandwich and those are, purchasing one from a restaurant (Subway, Quiznos, Panera Bread) or you may just choose to go the the store purchase all of your favorite ingredients to satisfy your sandwich cravings. How may you ask, does this have to do with social media strategies and strengthening brands. Let’s consider our options, homemade sandwiches where we must go to our favorite store and purchase all the necessary ingredients or heading out to your favorite sandwich shop. Let’s take route #2 heading out to your favorite sandwich shop. The options for where a person may get there favorite sandwich can vary from person to person, but for now we will look at my personal all time favorite sandwich shop, the Gourmet Bagger in San Diego, CA. Having one of there sandwiches is almost like being in sandwich heaven, personally I could eat their sandwiches everyday, and I have been known to have them deliver to my work for lunch. Now the big question is are they are they socially engaged, the question to that is NO. They do not have a Facebook page, no Twitter account they do nothing as far marketing it concerned, it is all strictly through word of mouth. For example I would never have known they existed if I had not seen other co-workers ordering food from them, and asking them about the food there.
Now let’s focus on chain sandwich shops, one of my favorite chain sandwich shops is called Which Wich, this chain was started in 2003 in Dallas Texas, and in 2005 they started to branch out and open more stores all around the country. Right now they have around 130 stores in operation around the country. This store is extremely engaging in my opinion, even if a person never visited there website but only go into their sandwich shop, they will notice that unlike subway were you stand in line and say you want a Turkey sub on white and then go down the line and express all the different topping on the sandwich. At Which Wich you pick up a paper bag and a red marker and on the bag you pick your sandwich, size, toppings, bread. You then just hand the bag to the cashier and they make your sandwich. This makes them standout from all the other chain sandwich shops like Subway and Quizno’s. Now how do they utilize social media? They do so in many different ways, to start they have a Facebook page, a Twitter account as well as website that is very well designed. Their site is very easy to navigate, they have links such a community, in which they ask you to share your stories, one thing they say on there website that makes the consumer fully aware that are everyone online is, “But the real action is online, were we swap stories and spread good vibes with Which Wich fans like you”. Not once have I seen an advertisement on television for this company, so they way in which consumers find out about them is through word of mouth and searching the Internet. Another question is how does this business go about strengthening their brand? Well first off this company has fully engaged in the world of social media, they have pages on almost every social media site out there. I also believe that they rely heavily on word of mouth, and the Internet. If a consumer hears about this company they may choose to visit Which Wich or they may just “Google” sandwiches and find there website and browse the site and realize that this sandwich shop is worth a visit. I went to some of there other pages, such as there YouTube Channel where I was able to view videos about the store, things to do with one of their brown paper bags, and some of the charity work. One video in particular I thought was interesting was about them delivery Turkey sandwiches to families at a local children’s hospital in Dallas:
How does this set them apart from other sandwich shops, well let’s compare them to subway. Subways are everywhere and they are a much better chain of sandwich shops and they have over 30,000 stores world wide, but just because they are bigger does not mean they are better than Which Wich, like they say bigger is not always better. They engage in a few ways, by asking what you want on your sandwich, but if you ask me it almost reminds me of standing in a school lunch line (not appealing), they also have a few different twitter accounts, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. But unlike Which Wich they advertise on television, they don’t need to really rely on word of mouth or the Internet as much. Everyone has heard of them, but not everyone has heard of Which Wich. Also when comparing websites, well they do have a great website, it is sleek and well put together but is not all that original if you ask me. There website does have a section where one can engage with the company, “Contact Us” and on this tab they give you a few options, contact customer service, take our survey, subways FAQ’s. Not much going on, but if you look hard enough and don’t get to bored visiting there website a consumer can find all the good things that they do for the community. I think they still need to work a little harder when it comes to engaging with the consumer via social media though.
The Sandwich Battle:
We have discussed the differences between three sandwich shops, the Gourmet Bagger wich does nothing as far as social media is concerned, Which Wich who is new to the game of sandwiches but have taken on social media as their main platform for strengthening their brand and finally Subway who uses social media but are still not as involved as they could be and they choose television as their main platform to strengthen their brand. But what about the actual sandwiches themselves, let’s exclude the Gourmet Bagger because they are not socially involved, so the winner for me is Which Wich, not only do they use social media as their main source for brand strengthening, but they make some GREAT sandwiches too. I enjoy Subway, but they get a little old after a while, they serve the same types of sandwiches and they aren’t that exciting. Which Wich on the other hand has a variety of sandwiches, and they too are the same types of sandwiches you can get at Subway but then they also have a few sandwiches that are not available at Subway or any other sandwich shop for that matter, e.g. The Elvis Wich. Let’s not forget the children, as a mother of a 6 year old son who is very picky it is often times hard to find something that he will eat and that is “Kid Friendly”. Now Subway has a kids menu but the options are limited, Turkey or Ham. Now head to Which Wich and you will find, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Grilled Cheese, Cheese Pizzawich, as well as the old time staples Turkey, Ham and Roast Beef.
I find the winner hands down to be Which Wich, I will advocate for this company because of the wonderful sandwiches they serve, as well their YUMMY cookies, but also because I feel like when I visit them in the store or online that they really do care about what I think and what I want and that I am not just another customer. So Congratulations to Which Wich for winning the sandwich battle.
*Sources used in this blog post: