Jimmy John's Market Communications Research Project
SUBJECT TO CHANGE AGENCY PROJECT
Katrina Cotton ★ Jasmine Hale ★ Chloe Igiametse ★ Kerri Martin ★ Jackie Richardson
• Executive Summary
• Social Media Review
• Qualitative Research
– Intro of Focus group
– Important Factors
– Ads and Suggestions
• Quantitative Research
– Competitive Analysis
– Word Associations
– Why Jimmy John’s?
• Creative Brief
• Project Summary
• Future Research
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Subject to Change Agency will help Jimmy John’s to connect with
active individuals between the ages of 18-35 and expand the target to
appeal to more women in the “Quick Service sandwich restaurant”
category. The brand operates around a simple menu of 8” subs and club
sandwiches which leverage fresh, quality ingredients and competitive
price points. Along the way, the brand has created a hip, funny identity
that resonates with their loyal customer base. When it comes to
marketing communications, Jimmy John’s advertisements have a strong
emphasis on “Freaky Fast Delivery”, which is relatively unimportant to the
customer as it pertains to quick service sandwich shops. The most
important factors to the customer when selecting a quick service
sandwich shop are: taste, quality & price; variety of menu options; and
customization. Keeping in mind our goal to connect with our target
audience we recommend that Jimmy John’s displays more visual
advertisements as well as sandwich preparation, featured menu items,
and include special promotions.
• According to Linda’s Stradleys “What’s Cooking
America,” the submarine sandwich is a sandwich
on Italian bread comprised of various meats,
cheeses, and vegetables.
• The concept of the submarine sandwich comes
from Italian immigrants.
• In 1926 the sub sandwich was served in New
London, Connecticut to WWII soldiers.
Stradley, Linda. "History Hoagie Sandwich, History Submarine Sandwich, History Po' Boys Sandwich, Poor Boy Sandwich, History
Dagwood Sandwich, History Italian Sandwich." What's Cooking America. N.p., n.d. Web. Apr. 2014.
At only 18, Jimmy John Liautaud’s dad said he could join
the Army or open a business. JJ wanted to open a hot
dog stand, but it cost more than his dad’s loan; so he
decided to open a sandwich shop. “He baked bread in his
mom's kitchen, bought meats from Dominick's, and
created his first [four] sandwiches.”
(Jimmy John’s Pinterest History)
JIMMY JOHN’S HISTORY
• Found in Charleston, Illinois, in 1983
• Jimmy John Liautaud started his business paying $200 a month on rent with
used equipment, a refrigerator, one meat slicer, a freezer and an oven.
• Without a posted menu or an outdoor sign, Jimmy offered four sandwich
varieties and 25-cent soft drinks.
• Later added delivery service, tables, outdoor signs, menu boards and an
• Opened several more stores and developed a prototype before franchising
began in 1993.
• Jimmy John's franchisees bake bread at each store every day, and every
sandwich is made fresh to order in 30 seconds.
• Jimmy John’s currently has over 1600 stores open.
JIMMY JOHN’S HISTORY
• It was not an easy beginning
• JJ took armfuls of free sandwiches to pass out on
the streets of Charleston
– College kids loved the new tactics and sandwiches!
– JJ’s famous Guerilla Marketing style was born
JIMMY JOHN’S BACKGROUND
• Cheeky attitude
• Low price
• Great food
• Delivery with a smile
SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK
JJ’s Facebook appears to be geared towards targeting
men through partnering with NASCAR racing as well
as the XGames Aspen 2014.
JJ’s Twitter provides a great place for fan interactions
and conversations. Questions and comments receive
“freaky fast” responses, and fan photos get shared
along with original content.
SOCIAL MEDIA: TWITTER
JJ’s primarily uses YouTube as a place to share their
ads. There are a few videos of original or fan generated
content, but this channel seems underutilized.
SOCIAL MEDIA: YOUTUBE
Instagram is used as a great customer connection
point where JJ’s shares customers
photos and experiences.
SOCIAL MEDIA: INSTAGRAM
JJ’s has several boards where fans can share their
love for JJ’s, view JJ's quirky signs, and even get
recipes using JJ's day old bread!
SOCIAL MEDIA: PINTEREST
• Specific target marker of college students and professionals
with active lives
• Technology friendly website and apps with easy navigation
for menu options and delivery
• Interactive social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and
Pinterest) that allow Jimmy John’s fans to connect and
share their experiences
• Convenient locations (offices and schools)
• Reliable service
• Fresh products
• Overall brand essence
• Brand recognition
• Loyal customers
• Lack of actual product being seen in advertisements
• Focus is on the quality of the service instead of the
quality of the product
• Lack of options in the ability to customize orders
• Limited variety
• Preparation of food not visual to customers
• Majority of advertisements are geared toward male
• Advertisements neglect to show the elements of
quality and freshness that attract female customers.
• To expand the target market to appeal more to women
• Expand the variety of options and showcase the
• Create better print advertisements
• To generate coupons and create rewards points
• To expand the product line to offer more than
sandwiches, cookies, and chips.
• To expand inside of larger businesses and college
campuses (cafeteria) to influence the lunch time
decision in meals.
• Local competitors increasing speed time in
• Duplication in product
• Lack of vision
• Increasing competition in the industry
• Diminishing female customers
• When the focus group started we wanted to get to know the participants better,
so we asked for names, ages, and occupation. This gave us an idea of a new target
market that Jimmy John’s does not target often: women.
• We are looking for why this segment wasn’t targeted and what they think about
Jimmy John’s overall. Some don’t even think of Jimmy John’s as an option and skip
over it for their favorite restaurants (Panera, Subway, and Chipotle). Some have
never tried it before.
• The determining factors for what to eat depends on price, price, speed, quality,
and how close the consumer is to the restaurant. When talking about
compromises when going out to eat, participants say that it depends on the
situation. When going out with friends, clubbing, or drinking, they usually go for
something cheap and fast. They don't want to take the time to plan to go out and
wait for their food. If they are planning something in advance, then they don't
mind sacrificing speed for great quality and taste.
INTRO OF FOCUS GROUP
• We then had participants rank quality, taste, and price in order of importance
when getting something to eat. Taste was ranked first, after that was quality and
price. This showed that participants are willing to pay extra to satisfy a craving, but
understand they have limits. Ranking can change based on if they are in company
of friends or colleagues and the time they have to eat lunch or dinner.
• One important feature that many of the participants love is options and
customization. Jimmy John’s has limited options and customizations seem non-
existent due to the set menu. Many of the participants had Jimmy John’s when in
college or during corporate events.
• Delivery is not important for most of them since they eat inside or somewhere
• The atmosphere of store drives away the female demographic. For some, the store
is "boring, loud, and [they] are uncomfortable of the workers constantly looking at
them." They describe the store as "trying to be fun/hip."
• We showed some recent ads from Jimmy John’s. Most describe
the ads as annoying, but they got their attention. Capturing
attention is important, but retaining and keeping the information
is what brings customers to the store. The ads talked about the
speed of the delivery, and some participants suggested showing
more of the food in commercial.
• Suggestions from the focus group include: more advertising and
coupons, more options other than sandwiches and wraps, and
more of a focus on the food.
• Speed is an important, especially for the young professional on
the go. Lunch is the only time where some can unwind, while
others need something quick to eat.
• Jimmy John’s has a reputation for being fast, but they can also
focus more on the food they offer, giving variety to their regular
customers and also opening themselves up for different segments
to try their food.
ADS AND SUGGESTIONS
Jimmy John's Subway Quiznos Potbelly Panera Bread Au Bon Pain Corner Bakery Pret a Manger
Who do you think the following restaurant choices appeal to?
Fun & Youthful Mature & Sophisticated
Based on analysis of the target data in the previous chart, we found that
the sandwich shops fell into groupings along two continuums:
Masculine vs. Feminine and Fun & Youthful vs. Mature & Sophisticated.
Out of our sandwich shop choices, 40% of people picked Jimmy John’s as the #1
place for guys. While a popular choice for men, JJ’s came in second to last for the
women, with only 15% of respondents picking it. Men seemed more concerned
with convenience and location, while women were more concerned with quality of
the food. When asked to rank their top three sandwich shop choices,
59% of men listed JJ's while only 34% of women did.
Professionals – 34% College Students – 74%Teens – 36%
Overall, Jimmy John’s is in the middle of pack for professionals, in second
place for teens, and completely dominates the college market.
Receiving food quickly
Quality/freshness of food
ALL 3 IN ORDER
Ability to watch my food
Speed of food delivery
Ability to have food
Jimmy John’s is
on top two
There’s so much focus on delivery, but
87% of customers
Dine in or carry out!
said speed was a major factor in choosing where to eat!
I multitask while I'm eating.
Speed is important in my life.
I'll pay more in order to receive
I'd rather have my food faster
The majority believe that speed is important, and they will multitask and
eat while doing other things. While speed is important, most people won’t
pay more or give up their ability to customize in order to gain speed.
• People are very aware of JJ’s advertising,
particularly their television campaign (78%).
• Main points recalled:
– “Freaky Fast”
– Speed emphasis
New or Featured Item
Visuals of Food
Special Deal or Promotion
Food Delivery Speed
• Communications that appeal to consumers the
– New or Featured Item
– Visuals of Food
– Special Deal or Promotion
– A reason to want to visit (not just “Nearby” or “No
Jimmy John’s advertising does not currently have strong
food visuals, featured items, special promotions or
reasons to visit, and we suggest that they start.
• Consumers have received and can recall the
“Freaky fast” delivery message, however:
– Very few customers get Jimmy John’s via delivery
– Consumers see all fast food as being fast
– “Freaky fast” ads do not convince consumers to visit
Therefore, we recommend that Jimmy John’s shift
the focus of their ads away from delivery and
the notion of “Freaky fast.”
Fun & Youthful
Mature & Sophisticated
• Work to appeal to men and women equally
• Stay in #1 spot for fun and youthful spirit, but gain a
little maturity and sophistication to help attract young
professionals who’ve aged out of college demographic
• Why Are We Doing This Communication?
– Jimmy John’s advertisements have hidden its fresh
ingredients behind the element of quick service to appeal
to a male driven market. By highlighting healthy menu
options and viewing more of the product images, Jimmy
John’s can expand its target market to generate more
• Primary Target Audience
– Active individuals with limited time for a midday meal.
College students and professionals, primary women 18-35
looking for something light and healthy to crave their
• Behavioral Objective
– Don't settle for just fast. Choose Jimmy John’s to be your
meal provider during the peak of the day. The combination
of healthy products and quality service provides
everything needed for that second wind during an intense
• Key Consumer Insight
– “Sometimes there’s the need to settle for either good
products or fast service, very few restaurants provide
– "As I grew from a child to an adult, so did my taste in
sandwiches. Ham and cheese on wheat with mayo became
The Italian on a French roll with oil and vinegar."
• Benefit to Be Communicated
– Freshness on the go with healthy options.
• Primary Supporting Messages
– Fresh healthy options
– Quality service
– Appreciation of the customers’ time
• Brand Character
– Time conscious and strategic looking to meets the health
needs and satisfies of customers.
• Objective: To examine the factors consumers find
essential when choosing a sandwich shop to dine.
• Methods employed:
– Qualitative research – Data collected from focus group
– Quantitative research – Data collected from online
• Significance of proposed activity: Currently Jimmy
John’s advertising focuses on their freaky fast
delivery. The research methods serve to
investigate if the current marketing strategy is
both relevant and effective.
• Important insights from qualitative research
– Among young adults, price and taste are the most important
determining factors when choosing a restaurant.
– The participants agree that the JJ’s commercials are annoying.
– Participants would prefer to hear about the food being offered.
– Most of the participants order online and they rarely call when ordering
• Important insights from quantitative research
– When asked to rank their top three sandwich shop choices, 59% of men
listed JJ's while only 34% of women did.
– There’s so much focus on delivery, but 87% of customers Dine in or
– Only 15% said speed was a major factor in choosing where to eat.
• Recommendations for Jimmy John’s
– DO NOT focus exclusively on delivery
– MOVE AWAY from sole “freaky fast” association
– Include more visuals of food
– Focus on menu items
– Showcase Jimmy John’s healthier items
– Feature a new items or featured items
– Include special promotions
Conduct additional research to:
• Make sure changes will not alienate current customer base
• Gauge interest in customer loyalty program
• Test out new couponing / promotional tactics
• See if JJ’s should broaden it’s focus from a lunchtime destination