IT IS no surprise that the marketing effort devised by Kit Chapman for his new "brasserie-bar-café" Brazz should be described by the judges of the Best Independent Marketing Campaign as "a class act". In fact, the judges were so impressed with the £16,000 campaign that they declared it a model for any individuals running their own business.
What made the Taunton-based proprietor's campaign stand out from the other entries was its great attention to detail - even the hoarding outside the property in the run-up to its opening displayed the Brazz logo and its slogan, "Where you'll want to be".
"Clearly, they wanted to create a buzz," commented one of the judges. "The campaign was well planned, its objectives were clear, it was well delivered and the results have been pretty damn good," said another.
Since it opened in June of last year, Brazz has seen its sales peak in December with a turnover of £104,350, while January, traditionally a poor month for hospitality businesses, saw takings in excess of £74,000.
Brazz, which seats 150 and is located in Taunton town centre, is attached its sister business, the famous Castle hotel. Chapman was keen to establish his new venture as a unique and exciting alternative to pubs and restaurants in the Somerset catchment area and he wanted to attract a target market comprising shoppers, families, professionals and the local business community, from secretaries to chief executives.
Among some of the marketing activity was an intensive advertising campaign run in the local press, including a four-page colour supplement in the Somerset County Gazette, which Chapman says penetrated 80% of his target market.
Mailings were sent to local businesses and advertisements were placed on theatre and concert tickets. Reward cards were used to build loyalty and repeat business. Customers would receive a stamp for every £10 spent at Brazz - for example, a meal costing £39 would result in three stamps - and when the card was full, customers would receive £10 to spend in Brazz on a future visit.
A newsletter, called The Buzz, is produced quarterly and sent to Brazz customers informing them of forthcoming events. It includes recipes as well as wine recommendations from Brazz manager Ian Fitzgerald.
Former chef-director at the Castle, Phil Vickery, was also able to promote the brasserie during appearances on BBC2's Food and Drink programme and the Carlton Food Network. Brazz has also received considerable press coverage.
The judges concluded: "The campaign has been done with enthusiasm and the density of coverage shows they achieved what they set out to do." n