“Working with Miss Details on Kona Grill's re-branding was a better experience than I could have ever hoped for. There were so many things from a marketing and branding standpoint that we wanted to do different that we were not able to accurately articulate. After spending time with Tanya and her team, they took we we had in mind and were able to not only articulate it but to take that "vision" to the next level. I will never forget Tanya and team presenting their recommendations at our annual conference and everyone being blown away with what was presented. Not only was it loved internally but when it was implemented the feedback from our guests that they loved it as well.
Tanya and her team spent time with individuals at various levels of the organization to make sure they had an accurate understanding of where we internally thought Kona Grill was at that point, where we wanted to go, and what we were missing to get there.
I have worked with countless vendors/consultants over the course of my career and few have lived up to their commitments the way that Tanya and her team did - from delivering the SOW that they committed to, to meeting deadlines, to being available whenever (and I mean WHENEVER) was needed - they were the consummate professionals that truly care about their partners.”
J. Elkins, V.P. Operations
How a Publicly Traded Franchise Modernized and Standardized
Kona Grill is a publicly traded restaurant franchise known for their fresh food, handcrafted cocktails, and exceptional experience. With over 30 locations around the world, Kona is proud to be a familiar favorite for people in the US, Middle East, and beyond.
Long before Tanya Gagnon started Miss Details, she worked for Kona Grill’s flagship restaurant in Scottsdale. Years later, Tanya had the opportunity to return to her roots and help Kona take their brand to the next level.
Although Kona Grill had been around for 20+ years and gone public, they were growing so quickly that they never documented the core elements of their brand or culture. Subsequently, the employee culture and guest experience at each restaurant was noticeably different.
On the cusp of launching their first international franchise, Kona Grill realized it was time to get organized and build a solid foundation before expanding. They needed a partner to help develop a clear, shared understanding of their brand internally, rebrand externally, and create a consistent yet flexible branding and marketing system that could be replicated around the world. Miss Details was the perfect team for the job.
Before Miss Details could document Kona Grill’s culture and refresh their external marketing to match the internal experience, we needed to experience both firsthand. What better way to do so than talking to real employees and customers, and visiting the restaurants as guests?
We began with a comprehensive discovery workshop with Kona Grill’s executive team and employees representing a variety of locations, roles, and experience levels. This session allowed us to better understand how they perceived the existing brand and where they see it going in the future.
Following this workshop, our team completed an in-depth research and auditing phase, which included experience audits (in-person restaurant visits), employee interviews, an extensive customer survey, and an audit of existing marketing assets.
Miss Details partnered with Susan Baier of Audience Audit for customer research. Together, we developed a detailed survey that uncovered key insights about audience buying behavior and motivations. This data helped us segment Kona Grill’s audiences so we could develop messaging and marketing that resonates with their wants and needs.
Meanwhile, the Miss Details team traveled the country with content partner Shaina Rozen of Sidetone to visit Kona Grill locations across the U.S. At first, we “secret shopped” each store so we could feel the true guest experience, evaluate the internal perception of the brand vs. the customer’s reality, and compare the differences from location to location. After each meal, we revealed our identities and sat down with employees at each store to learn more about the company culture.
With data in hand from the customer survey and in-person visits, we then audited Kona Grill’s existing brand assets and marketing materials to identify improvements that would increase alignment with Kona’s culture and more effectively connect with customers. Miss Details presented our findings and recommendations to the executive team, who were excited to implement our suggestions.
Over the next year, the Miss Details team collaborated closely with Kona Grill to develop and execute a comprehensive re-brand and marketing strategy to attract new guests, employees, and investors, without alienating their loyal base. We worked together to document the core elements of Kona’s brand, then translate their internal culture to a new external brand that conveys the special experience guests feel in their restaurants.
With refreshed visuals and messaging in place, Miss Details continued partnering with Kona Grill to ensure a smooth rollout. From developing an internal communication plan for employees, to creating new menus and in-store signage, to designing recruiting and onboarding materials, to consulting on their website redesign and digital marketing, we served as Kona Grill’s right-hand brand and marketing team during every step of the initial transition.
Since launching their new brand and marketing strategy, Kona Grill has grown from a large, national restaurant group to an even larger, international franchise. By articulating and documenting their culture, Kona has been able to hire and retain employees that are the right fit. These employees now have a strategic brand and marketing system to consistently promote Kona Grill and attract the right people every market.
Cheat sheet made for quick reference and internal meetings for staff.
Signage before(left) and after(right) designs.
Design by Kona Grill's in-house designer using the new standards and refresh.