We were approached to translate the success, ambience and ethos of the Five Guys brand, so acclaimed in the US, into the UK market.
Blacksheep’s first point of call was to gain a strategic insight into the fast growing burger phenomena in order to understand the brand’s unique point of difference. The team undertook in-depth research and analysis to highlight where the brand would compete, in a market already overrun with so many other burger brands such as Byron, gbk and Dirty Burger, to name but a few.
Blacksheep acted as brand guardians by learning and appreciating the brand’s strong identity and guidelines, ensuring they were presented in a clear and visually exciting way to secure the best sites to attract their target market. To ensure this need was met, the team designed a concise communications booklet, which would allow the brand to communicate its potential to landlords and investors alike. The document outlines the brand’s proposition, values and clear points of differentiation in the market as well as outlining the brand’s visual appeal. This document was to be influential in securing the brand’s first flagship store in Long Acre, right in the heart of Convent Garden. The very same site was to become synonymous with headlines of vast growing queues of people, all eagerly anticipating their very first taste of ‘Five Guys heaven’, when it first opened its doors on the 4th of July 2013.
Core to the Five Guys offering lies in the actual product itself with a passion for the fresh produce and ingredients made on site daily, combined with a respect for the specialised formula behind their operations. In the US, the brand relies heavily on word of mouth, trusting in the strength of the ‘no frills’ burgers and fries which it prides itself on. This is documented on the walls of many of their stores with praise from big name fans such as Barack Obama and Floyd Mayweather, to name but a few. The designs of the restaurants are purposefully simple and functional to ensure these powerful and effective messages shine through. The Blacksheep team worked with the brand to ensure the store at Long Acre offered this successful US ethos whilst also ensuring it appealed to the UK market. A variety of small changes were made to the overall design to soften the palette such as the introduction of oak furnishings and fittings to elevate the brand experience. However, what was crucial to the project was the team’s implementation of the brand’s existing identity and understanding of how to translate this across all visual touch points within its new environment.
During the six months since their arrival, the brand has enjoyed huge success in the UK and has since opened two more stores in Reading and Islington. The impact it has had on the industry has also been celebrated, as the brand recently won the title of ‘best newcomer’ at the Peach Report’s Hero & Icon Awards. Blacksheep continue to work with Five Guys to bring the growing and much loved brand to many more locations across the UK, throughout 2014.
- Interior architecture
- Spatial philosophy
- Web design
- FF&E direction