September 8, 2015 |

Johnny’s Pizza House Embarks on First Rebrand in Nearly 50-year History

Iconic pizza chain reveals new tagline ‘Let’s Share A Slice’, supported by new brand campaign from iris


September, 2015.  Iconic regional pizza chain, Johnny’s Pizza House, a decades-long staple for Louisiana pizza lovers, is undergoing its first rebrand since opening its doors in 1967.  Founded by hometown hero Johnny Huntsman, who opened his first store in Monroe, Louisiana with $5,000 in his pocket just after graduating college, Johnny’s Pizza House currently stands as the largest pizza chain in Northern Louisiana with additional stores operating across Texas and Arkansas. Now with 33 company owned locations and 11 franchised units across 3 states, including a premier Lake Charles location which opened this May, Johnny’s Pizza House is undergoing a transformation they hope will propel the business into its next phase of growth; a large part of which includes an aggressive push toward increased franchise sales.

To lead its rebrand, Johnny’s Pizza House tapped the Atlanta office of global advertising agency iris, who was awarded the business after a competitive pitch.

“Since establishing our Employee Stock Ownership Plan in 2000, the employees of Johnny’s Pizza House have become the majority owners.  Our goal since has been to financially enrich current and future employee-owners, and to do so, we needed to establish a plan that would provide continuous and sustainable growth for the company. That meant expanding into markets outside of Northern Louisiana where our brand was not known,” explains Melvin DeLacerda, President of Johnny’s Pizza House. “To provide the best chance of success in these new markets, we felt it was vital to take a look at ourselves to see how we could improve our brand and make it more appealing to new customers – and that’s where iris comes in. They are helping us determine how to play off our past success to effectively update and position us for our future success.”

Tasked with creating a new strategy and positioning for the chain, iris has launched a new logo, identity, packaging and menu system all based on the brand’s true dedication to community, sharing, and regionally famous, delicious pizza. The agency also launched a new tagline for the brand, “Let’s Share A Slice”, a sentiment that reflects the family oriented sentiment that Huntsman has embraced and put out to his customers since opening the doors to his very first store nearly 50 years ago.

In addition, a new franchise location in Lake Charles, Louisiana served as the perfect opportunity for iris to incorporate the restaurant’s new brand identity and positioning of heritage throughout the interior experience. The restaurant features bespoke designs and textiles inspired by the local neighborhood, printed wall treatments evoking Huntsman’s own storied history and community involvement, and key promotional materials touting limited time offers that tie the new look and feel together.  Johnny’s Pizza House will be integrating the new interior elements across all current units, location by location, over the next few years. New locations will carry the new Johnny’s Pizza House’s brand to further instill the spirit of sharing and community.

“It’s always a delicate situation when approaching the repositioning and rebranding of a brand with as rich a history and legacy as Johnny’s. However, the company as a whole made things easier by naturally living a reason for being beyond pizza. We just had to identify it and build the communication touch points around that ideal.” remarks Joseph Szala, Senior Creative at iris, Atlanta.  “Johnny Huntsman enriched the lives of so many people throughout his life and that intangible fire was sparked throughout every person we met within the organization. We wanted to be sure to immortalize that across all communications for the brand. We are honored to have been brought into the Johnny’s fold.”

About Johnny’s Pizza House

Johnny’s Pizza House does so much more than make delicious pizza. We’re a staple in every one of our communities. With unforgettably tasty pizza in one hand, and goodwill in the other, Johnny’s Pizza House continues to share a message of family, friendship, and fellowship in every one of our 44 locations and counting. As an employee-owned company, the Johnny’s dedication to a quality product and experience runs deep throughout everything we do and everyone involved. It’s an experience so good you’ll want to share it as much as we do. Let’s share a slice!

About iris

We’re iris.  The Global Creative Innovation Network.   We build participation brands. Brands that play an active and meaningful role in culture.  Brands that are created with people – not just for them. We do this for some of the biggest and bravest names in the game including Samsung, MINI, Shell, adidas, Barclaycard, Domino’s and DIAGEO.

Our independent network employs over 1000 extraordinary people across 14 offices around the world including Brazil, Australia, Mexico, UK, Germany, Netherlands, North America, China, India, Indonesia, UAE and Singapore.

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