In 2013, Chopt approached us with a challenge. They were ready to expand and immerse themselves into new markets but were looking for a brand refresh in order to clearly communicate their unique value proposition. Unison signed on with the Chopt team to create the brand’s new strategy, content, design and upgraded integrated technology solutions. After active collaboration, we’re proud to showcase Chopt’s new brand, complete from logo to retail environment, packaging (including a custom reusable bowl) and digital applications.

Strategy

Initially, we began by researching the ever-growing fast-casual industry transformation and associated trends. We focused on restaurants with health-conscious and salad-focused menus and themes. Research yielded boundless user insights and allowed us to move confidently into the brand strategy phase. We modernized the brand, taking it out its original 1990s New York stylization and repositioned the core brand values: incredibly fresh, healthy, available, affordable, enjoyable food and global flavors.

“Experience better” is Chopt’s new brand position. Chopt will always represent something that is “better.” We sought to amplify – what, in fact, constitutes feeling better. The customer’s overall experience with the brand is better, the physical space is better planned, the ingredients sourced are consistently of higher quality and the atmosphere is better – more attractive, convenient and more comfortable. The essence of each new restaurant expresses a blend of international travel, the wonder of new destinations and local freshness that makes “experience better” a true fulfillment of the brand’s promise.

Logo

Chopt’s logo also got a facelift. We retained the company’s adventurous image and preserved equity invested in the iconic mezzaluna chopper, while updating it for the ever-discriminating aesthetic of the millennial audience. The re-incorporation of the previously divisive apostrophe into the “P” character accented by a more contemporary font design carries over the perfect amount of nostalgia and whimsy.

Physical Space

Upon entering the new store, the Chopt visitor will notice an overall reduction in visual and messaging “noise” which was a key consideration in fashioning a more modern, streamlined and relevant experience. While the updated menu (both in content and presentation) continues to feature flavors from cultures around the world, the redesign simultaneously reflects a unique vantage point in the market as presented from the culinary traveler’s perspective. Custom lampshades, designed by Unison, fill out the new restaurant, showcasing vintage travel posters and focusing on international flavors that inspire Chopt’s wide selection of dressings and salad combinations. Only seated patrons experience the colorful shades. allowing them to experience travel while enjoying their meal.

 A “flavor map” covers the wall, tying together the origins of Chopt’s flavors with information and a geographic experience. Posters in the dining area connect the local with the global, which reinforces the personal connection and the experience of better. Therefore creating a full sensory brand story, one that is modern, ethnic, flavorful and truly memorable.

Updated menu boards and new sneeze guard graphics line the restaurant, beautifully depicting food items and allowing the consumer to easily identify options. Salad dressings act like destination stops and continue to guide the diner around the world.

App

In conjunction with the team at LevelUp, Unison “skinned” Chopt’s new loyalty payment app for iPhone and Android. Since the app is seen as an extension of the Chopt brand, the new logo and identity can be seen here as well.

Results

During the course of the project, Unison successfully consolidated Chopt’s branding and maintained a consistent, modern feel throughout all touch points. Chopt’s first all-newly branded store opened in Greenwich, CT in April 2015 and received accolades from the community. The fast casual’s second all-new store is set to open in McLean, VA during summer 2015.

“Unison understands the brand landscape and was great to work with,” said Nick Marsh, CEO of Chopt. “Their team helped us accomplish all of our goals and were integral in helping Chopt articulate our brand values.”

“The Chopt revamp makes it more approachable, relatable and authentic than before, all while focusing on profitability,” said Julius Talvik, CIO and co-founder of Unison. “We were able to make it more human.”