Krystal Shares 85 Years’ Worth of Insight at 2017 Brand Marketing Summit

Krystal Shares 85 Years' Worth of Insight at 2017 Brand Marketing Summit

Unique, Innovative Brand Experiences Featured in “Breaking Through the Noise” Panel

Krystal Shares 85 Years' Worth of Insight at 2017 Brand Marketing SummitAt Incite Group’s annual Brand Marketing Summit held yesterday in New York City, a panel of diverse voices came together to discuss the latest marketing challenges of reaching disinterested audiences in the face of an ever-growing flood of advertising and marketing messages. The Krystal Company joined Citi, OneSpot, and health product conglomerate RB in an informative round-table about how to find new ways to engage current and future customers. Alice Crowder, Vice President of Marketing for The Krystal Company, brought the importance of relationship building on a brand level to the forefront of the chat, citing Krystal’s own 85 years in business as proof the approach still works.

“Brands that make it to 85 years do so because they know and are dedicated to who they are at their core,” Crowder explained to the crowd of a number of attendees. “They have a strong sense of self that informs what they do and communicate… no matter what venue they are using. From there it’s a balance of communicating that essence in new, innovative ways as well as more traditional formats.” She then detailed how the iconic Southern burger brand has embraced different audiences where they are – be it social media or other platforms – with messaging that’s appropriate to their ages, ethnicities, and geo- or psychologically disparate cultures. Specifically, she called out the humor and shared joke mentality used when posting to Millennials on Instagram, and its intended difference from value-oriented messaging pointed at Senior guests.

Crowder also emphasized the necessity to tie all experiences back to a unified brand personality. For Krystal, it all comes back to their Southern heritage. “We’re unique in that our footprint is entirely in the Southeast, so we celebrate “Southern” in ways that honor our heritage without pigeonholing us into a stereotype,” she said. “Whether it’s the proper use of the word ‘Y’all’ or a Country-Fried Steak Krystal with a dollop of white gravy, our product development is an exercise in telling our story in ways that brings new news to a traditional base… that’s a strong way to cut through the clutter.” She then shared highlights of Krystal’s product marketing strategy, which includes menu enhancements and limited time offers that keep their hero product, the Krystal burger, fresh and interesting month after month, year after year, and decade after decade. Some of the most recent brand spotlights included the recurring Country-Fried Steak Krystal, partnerships with Vidalia onions and Tabasco, and dessert and side item innovations to stay timely on current trends such as Pumpkin Spice. The company’s decision to take its core product out of the restaurant setting by creating a holiday stuffing recipe with the Krystal burger as the main ingredient was also discussed.

“Look, the core of the Krystal brand is a savory little burger on a perfectly steamed bun. It’s who we’ve always been,” Crowder pointed out. “Whatever we’re doing to showcase innovation and garner attention always has to complement that. When we think about staying relevant and expanding our demographic reach, that little sandwich is central to the effort – and that makes our communication stronger.”

Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932, The Krystal Company is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the South. Its hamburgers are still served fresh and hot off the grill on the iconic square bun at more than 360 restaurants in 11 states. Krystal’s Atlanta-based Restaurant Support Center serves a team of 6,000 employees. For more information, visit or or follow the brand on Twitter and Instagram @Krystal.