Subway pursues fresh way forward with in-store, mobile revamp
- Subway has launched a "Fresh Forward" initiative to redesign its restaurants and entire customer experience, with 12 pilot locations across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. already open, according to a company press release.
- The redesign, done in partnership with FRCH Design Worldwide, includes a number of digital upgrades including self-order kiosks in select locations, Apple and Samsung mobile payments options, in-store USB charging stations and Wi-Fi, a new mobile app and a Facebook Messenger bot for taking orders. To speed up the customer experience, there will be a designated area for pre-order pickup.
- Subway created its Subway Digital platform last year to sharpen omnichannel strategy and reshape its brand identity, per the release, introducing a new logotype, color palette, uniforms and more. These changes started rolling out in the spring of this year, with the full brand identity refresh expected to go global by the end of 2017.
The "Fresh Forward" platform points to how brands with strong brick-and-mortar businesses are integrating a larger swath of digital tools — via both mobile services and in-store technology like kiosks — to facilitate a modern, more convenient customer experience that might also help build a better profile of consumer habits. For Subway, the development is also part of a long ongoing campaign to reshape its image.
Two years ago, the chain faced a brand management crisis after longtime spokesperson Jared Fogle was jailed for sex crimes against minors and possession of child pornography. Subway went into a relative silent mode in the direct aftermath but has patched up its reputation since, according to some analyses. Vivaldi and the consultancy CMB released a study titled "The Power of Social Currency" in March that actually found Subway topped the list of quick serve restaurants (QSR) in terms of social currency, in part thanks to advertising that focuses on its fresh ingredients.
The "Fresh Forward" redesign looks to continue playing into those themes, with an emphasis on brightly-colored fresh vegetables paired with a range of digital upgrades to the customer experience and in-store amenities.