Wendy's In Review Phase Of Turnaround Plan

Wendy'sWendy's International, Inc., part of Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc., says it is entering an agency review, a process it says is the latest step in the turnaround plan launched after the 2008 Wendy's/Arby's merger.

The company says that phase one of the review will focus on selecting a lead agency to integrate the brand's advertising, media planning, digital and restaurant activation, and the second phase will focus on multicultural marketing, media buying and public relations.

Wendy's says it will "invite leading agencies to submit their best ideas on how to strengthen the brand's marketing communications and drive innovation," per a corporate release. The QSR chain's incumbent creative shop, Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, will participate.

Wendy's says the move follows strategic moves by CMO Ken Calwell and the brand's leadership team to develop a clear brand strategy and business; reorganize marketing teams; overhaul R&D; create a new product pipeline; and complete a detailed strategic framework for all brand efforts, dubbed Wendy's "brand book," per the company.

"We've completed a rigorous analysis of the Wendy's brand that included extensive consumer and market research," said Calwell in a release. "Now that we have a clear brand strategy in place and a brand book to guide our decisions, the timing is right for us to significantly improve how we communicate the Wendy's message to consumers." He goes on to say that Wendy's product innovation this year will be in new premium hamburgers, chicken and Frosty menu items. "Our next step is to ensure that we have the best team talent and advertising to drive results at our franchised and company-operated restaurants," he said.

He gives credit to the incumbent agency for brand awareness, recall and sales success via the "Waaaay Better" campaign. "With this foundation, Wendy's is focused on further strengthening its marketing voice," he says.

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