Since opening its first location in 2005, The Breakfast Club has become as well-known abroad as it is to its regulars in and around London. The ‘80s-themed diners, or cafs, have endeared themselves to so many by appealing to the great British stomach and heart. The food is top-drawer, but The Breakfast Club is also admired for its commitment to its staff and its significant engagement with charity.
Having expanded to some twelve locations—not including a growing roster of speakeasy club/pubs—The Breakfast Club recently sought to reevaluate their brand. While each location had a strong identity of its own, the unified brand identity was harder to distinguish amid a casual dining space that was more crowded with competitors than it was when The Breakfast Club first opened its doors in Soho. They needed a refreshed and refocused brand identity that could work across its multiple locations.
This was an excellent opportunity for ThoughtMatter to flex our talent far from our home base in New York City. We collaborated with a London-based strategist and copywriter with experience in the hospitality field who could speak to the region’s vernacular. We also traveled overseas to personally experience The Breakfast Club’s multiple locations, and we visited several local competitors to thoroughly understand the market of the moment. Back home, we audited New York diners, from greasy spoons to chic and modern cafes, so The Breakfast Club’s identity could be informed by the best New York City has to offer. This boots-on-the-ground research informed our strategy of driving brand consistency without tarnishing the charm or personality of any individual location.
We refreshed The Breakfast Club’s logo by freeing the brand name from its circular badge. Below, set as a flexible smile, is the “locally world famous” slogan to reflect their friendly and inviting personality and emphasize the brand’s renown among Londoners and visitors from abroad. We designed a color palette inspired by egg yolk, pancake batter, tomato and marmite—ingredients close to The Breakfast Club’s heart.
To encourage a consistent tone of voice across the different cafs, we pared The Breakfast Club’s communications to six simple messages. We created new and streamlined menus and applied the fresh brand guidelines to an iconic and limited set of mugs, t-shirts and other merchandise. A comprehensive brand book, fashioned as a newspaper you might peruse in a diner booth, will help current and future locations maintain a unified identity.
The Breakfast Club prepared to launch their refreshed brand identity just as the coronavirus pandemic compelled governments to institute mandatory lockdowns in early 2020. With their cafs closed to the public, The Breakfast Club pivoted by starting a new food delivery service that reflects their updated branding. Whether Londoners are ordering breakfast in or visiting one of the cafs in person, they are witness to a revitalized brand that embraces The Breakfast Club’s food, charity and personality and that allows the many locations to impress as a consistent group.
Additionally, the rebrand has been featured in Design Week, Print Mag and Big Hospitality.
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