Create a brand for Ottawa’s first food hall and introduce it to the world. Located inside the Sun Life Financial Centre in Ottawa’s downtown core, the food hall will be not only a food destination but also a live music venue with a licensed capacity for 390 people.
This project needed to attract the attention of three main audiences:
Millennials & DiNKs (Double Income, No Kids):
These are the people who spend money on food and entertainment while driving what’s fashionable for those around them.
Downtown Lunch Crowd:
There are over 20,000 office workers within a block of the Sun Life Financial Centre and they need to know where the hot lunch spots are.
Most of Ottawa’s visitors come from Ontario and Quebec so they need to know where they can eat, drink and experience what’s great in Ottawa.
It was essential for us to come up with a name and visual theme that would set the tone not only for the brand identity, but also for the entire space itself. Queen St. Fare was chosen as the name so that we could frame the conversation around this formerly iconic downtown street.
In addition, we sought to portray an image that would connect with our target audiences through the use of non-traditional media, tactics and channels to get their attention.
As the city's first food hall, we also need to initiate a launch strategy to introduce Queen St. Fare to our target audiences, educate them about what a food hall is and generate excitement for the opening in December 2018.
We developed a look and feel for the brand that echoed elements of industrial Art Deco design and built the identify around the concept of transportation and forward movement. We also developed a brand personality and voice that was genuine, down to earth and approachable.
To showcase the amazing food selection at Queen St. Fare, we had professional food photography done with one of Ottawa’s (if not Canada’s) best-known food photographers, Christian Lalonde at Photolux Studio.
At the heart of our launch strategy was social media. Instagram, in particular, helped build the brand, promote events, tell Queen St. Fare’s story and engage with influencers. We also used Facebook to target a broader audience and Twitter to connect with media and the downtown lunch crowd.
We built a mobile responsive email template to promote what’s happening in and around Queen St. Fare. Then. We sent bi-weekly emails to keep subscribers informed as there is something happening almost every day at the food hall.
We managed a targeted outreach to media (digital, print, radio and television) as well as local influencers in food, fashion and lifestyle. Here are a few examples of where the food hall was featured:
We produced a short, minute-long sizzle video to feature vendors and to support the launch. As a result, this helped in presenting the brand to our target audience while educating the public about the concept of a food hall.
QueenStFare.ca was built to showcase the amazing vendors, food, drink, entertainment and events taking place at the food hall.
We were able to grow the food hall’s Instagram followers from zero over 300 in just over six weeks with no paid media budget. Over 80% of the followers were from Ottawa with over 70% of them being female and under the age of 35 years old. The website was visited by over 20,000 people in first two months with an average time on site nearing two and half minutes. We also earned media placements in almost every major Ottawa media outlet, including prominent stories in the Globe and Mail.
The response from the public to Queen St. Fare has been fantastic. Most people can’t believe how amazing it is for Ottawa to have a project like this happening here.
Vice-President & General Manager, Bentall Kennedy