It’s been a year of milestones and celebrations. Among these the 50th anniversary of Pizza Pizza and the 10th year anniversary of its return to the growing Montreal market.
As agency of record since 2004, we were invited to help the company develop a blueprint for expansion in the province of Quebec – and its reentry into Canada’s second largest media market, Montreal. The company had tried to expand in Quebec in the eighties to no avail.
Many companies have made this error: assuming that what’s worked in the rest of Canada or USA would automatically work in Quebec and, unfortunately, many have learned the costly way – through trial and error.
At the turn of the millennium, Mike Overs, founder and CEO of Pizza Pizza, decided it was time to try again. He and his leadership team knew that things would have to be done differently – the organization needed to truly understand the distinct needs and tastes of Quebecers as they relate to brands and, specifically, pizza. Our agency partnered with Pizza Pizza – specifically the marketing and franchising departments – to build a broad program of expansion into Quebec and, since that day, we have implemented a strategic Public Relations and Communications program that has supported Mr. Over’s desire to grow the brand in “La Belle Province”.
The tweaking of the strategy was executed around slight product adjustments, expansive community relations and sponsorships, proactive and ongoing Media Relations and ensuring that key messages – and copywriting – reflected a thorough understanding of the distinctiveness of Quebec. It was this appreciation of unique local market realities that has resulted in Pizza Pizza becoming the leader in its category in Quebec with more than 50 locations in the province, and growing and a sound reputation.
Pizza Pizza currently has more than 750 restaurant stores across Canada and its success in Quebec is a direct result of specifically answering to the distinct tastes and needs of its local customer base.
Here’s to 50+ more years of success.
Written by: Jean-Claude Torchia