Alligator Soul Restaurant is an award winning restaurant located in the heart of historic Savannah, Georgia.
As the appointed director of Agency 5, a student run ad agency of the Savannah College of Art and Design, I was responsible for account management, creative direction and client strategy for various clients around Savannah, including Alligator Soul.
I also managed around 10 students of varying levels of expertise.
Originally Alligator Soul came to us to help them advertise in local magazines, however after reviewing the brand, we pitched the idea of a complete brand overhaul.
Based on our primary research, the brand perception was that they had a reputation for great food for those who knew they existed. However they didn’t have much foot traffic being that their location was hidden by trees and other foliage and that they were slightly off the beaten trail as it were.
They also lost customers because their branding gave them more of a burger joint appeal rather than the upscale feeling they were looking for. With an underground cellar ambiance, their master chef has been serving up farm to table Southern Cuisine for around a decade.
Being next to one of the upscale art museums in Savannah gave them hope for change.
Below is their original brand mark.
We began by identifying the target market. Savannah is a great place to retire and visit. However it is also surrounded by a number of law offices, small businesses. Furthermore it is a college and army town.
The people we wanted to target were ranked as Esteem and Self Actualization customers based on Maslow’s Hierarchy. We wanted to focus on the retires, visitors and business peoples. Many of these people would also visit the art museum on occasion when they had a gala or premier event.
Thus are creative strategy was simple. Resonate with the target audience rather then driving them elsewhere by developing a brand image that was more classy and upscale.
We reached out to various illustrators in our network to pull together a mood board.
After a number of meetings with the client, we landed on a logo that was both sophisticated yet a fun approach to their brand. It was designed by Shenna Kocher, one of our lead designers.
We then set out developing various collateral for the restaurant including menus, napkins, matchstick books and aprons. This also included business cards, which I designed personally.
For the business cards, I decided to take a modern day approach and make it square instead of rectangular. I had it printed on 80lb card stock. This gave it a very sophisticated look and feel.
To makeup for the lack of visibility, we developed an awning over the restaurant entrance. We also added a wind chime that was placed directly over the staircase to make it stand out.
The client had their own line of wines, so we helped develop labels that included their logo.
The client decided to use a separate website vendor, who they had used in the past, to develop an updated online presence.
Since the new brand was implemented, Alligator Soul has received numerous awards, publicity and increased foot traffic. I’m happy to say they’ve become quite a local gem.