THE CHALLENGE:

Sonic, which describes itself as ‘America’s Drive-in’, asked Synecticsworld to help it steer the company in a new direction.

A small regional QSR (quick service restaurant) chain founded in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Sonic found itself on the precipice of bankruptcy and realized that if it was to succeed, and indeed, survive, then it needed to make a bold move that would create a new destination for the popular restaurant. A new destination that would both energize the organization and provide a powerful and vivid goal.

THE PROCESS:

Working with Synecticsworld’s community of creative catalysts, Sonic identified several areas of focus:

  • Achieve consistency in branding, menu, and product quality among franchisee- and company-owned stores.
  • Transform Sonic so that it is not simply America’s ‘favorite’, ‘most preferred’ or ‘highest quality’ QSR but truly America’s ‘most loved’ restaurant chain.
  • Develop strategies and executions that would differentiate it from its competitors.

Synecticsworld’s work over the next five years with Sonic included the creation of a cross-functional ‘Dream Team’ composed of individuals from throughout the company as well as vendors, franchisees and agency to chart the path to achieve their goal. The team engaged in building their understanding of what made customers connect with a brand emotionally and how that knowledge could help Sonic.

THE RESULTS:

As a result of the Synecticsworld-led initiative, Sonic established more personal and customized relationships with customers and created unique and innovative features that included carhops serving on roller skates, customized orders, truly unique new products, and ‘Happy Hour’? which offered its customers half-price soft drinks, slushes, limeades, and ice tea.

Sonic’s new strategy and company direction was embraced by the franchisees who recognized this opportunity to not only improve their bottom line but also differentiate Sonic from competing chains.

With more than 3,000 Drive-ins from coast-to-coast and a market capitalization of approximately $3 billion, Sonic has achieved the financial robustness and unit growth that it sought. Consistently named to lists of most admired and best companies, with Synecticsworld help, Sonic is also well on its way to its goal of becoming America’s ‘most loved’ drive-in.

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