Ocean Prime: Unapologetically Luxe
With 10 locations and expansion plans that included adding high profile restaurants in New York, Boston and Washington DC, Columbus, Ohio based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) wanted to take a close look at the brand positioning for Ocean Prime, it’s national brand. With 29 restaurant concepts, CMR is no stranger to concept strategy and brand positioning, but recognized the value of an outside perspective as Ocean Prime was introduced into larger markets. With a strong reputation and sales to match, AF&Co. was tasked with developing a brand strategy that would take Ocean Prime from “very good to great.” Our team conducted guest and associate roundtables to develop a qualitative understanding of the brand’s resonance. It was discovered that the “multi-location fine dining category” is a sea of sameness, with many restaurants touting the same claims regarding service, quality and freshness. To break out of the category, AF&Co identified key differentiators, new brand pillars and an evolved brand story which were then tested quantitatively with an outside research partner. A new design agency was brought in and a new brand look and messaging were rolled out. AF&Co. was tasked with rolling out a local PR strategy and continues to act as brand manager for Ocean Prime, overseeing all local public relations partners as well as a national public relations firm, ensuring that a cohesive story is being told and that Ocean Prime continues to develop as both a chef-led restaurant and lifestyle brand. The results: by all metrics, financial and otherwise, Ocean Prime is resonating better than ever and expansion plans continue.