Fidelity to tradition is characteristic of America’s commercial catering systems. This can be seen in the example of the Buffalo Wild Wings chain of restaurants and sports bars. They are distinguished by an original menu, the hit of which is fried chicken wings, which have become one of the important elements of the brand, and 19 different sauces for them, prepared according to a unique recipe from the company’s owners.
Since its inception in 1982, the company has become one of the largest sports bar brands in the US, with 1,250 locations in more than ten countries. Today it is already a well-known brand and a popular franchise that began with the usual delivery of snacks and beer to fans at various championships and games. Throughout its existence, the company has paid a lot of effort and attention to its image, during which a corporate logo was developed, which changed its appearance three times. However, the success and recognition of the brand led to only minor changes to each new image.
Meanings and History
Starting with serving snacks and beer to fans at various championships and games, founders James Disbrow and Scott Lowry, who met by chance at an amateur figure skating competition in Kent, Ohio, in 1980, thought about the possibility of creating a more comfortable environment for watching sports programs and food intake at that moment. After two years, their first restaurant appeared in Columbus, and a year later, sports fans could enjoy the signature dish of the organizers in the Westerville restaurant, drinking wings with beer while watching sports broadcasts, communicating with friends and colleagues of sports interest, sharing memories and opinions about certain matches.
The chain received its first name – Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck because of the special love and respect of the owners for the leading sports team from the city of the same name in upstate New York and the main dish offered to visitors. The company rented its main office in Cincinnati. The two restaurants did not provide big profits, but they allowed a significant increase in popularity among sports fans. This led the creators to the idea to decide on the start of work on the franchising system. The result exceeded all expectations, which led to the need to reconsider the company’s name. In 1998 it became Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. The new name required the creation of a new image. This year, a logo was created, which was positively assessed by almost all visitors to the institution.
In 2015, the company had 485 own sports bars and 585 franchises, which covered all American states.
The company’s development allowed 210 to open several of its restaurants in Canada. Today it is already a well-known brand and a popular franchise with a network of restaurants in 10 countries.
1982 – 1998
The first logo of the company did not stand out in any way. It was round in shape and applied to coasters. It featured the outline of a buffalo in a small circle in black, with bright red “bw-3” written in lowercase letters, where the letters were the company’s abbreviation, and the number 3 spoke of the three “W” s that made up the brand’s name. Along the contour of a small circle, from its outer side in the upper part, the full name was applied, with capital letters highlighted in red; below was the inscription – The Real Wing.
1998 – 2012
The name change in 1998 required changes to the brand name. From that moment on, it acquires a more recognizable form, the basis of which has been preserved to this day. Now the circle space highlighted with a black border is filled with a light yellow color. It contains a black buffalo silhouette, on the back of which a chicken wing is depicted, made in white with black edging. It is somewhat out of the circle. The buffalo stands confidently on a black plate that covers the lower part of the circle and, in size, goes beyond the diameter of the circle on both sides. Inside the plate, the main name is drawn in white capital letters, and below it, the inscription “Grill & Bar” is made in thin capital letters, to the left and right of which two yellow comets are drawn, bringing them closer to the text.
In the same period, the company began marketing research of the market, studying the opinions and demand among its visitors. Due to the limited budget, it was decided to use social networks for these purposes, including Facebook. The task was to increase interest in the company, which means increased sales during the off-season – from May to July when sports battles stop and visitors’ activity decreases. This approach paid off, demonstrating that sports fans have a roughly equal attitude towards sports and BWW offerings. Moreover, in some cases, wings with 19 sauces were ahead of interest in sporting events. In turn, these data will play an important role in owners’ refusal of special changes to their logo.
As a result of such research, the company applied a marketing ploy by introducing several profitable offers of discounts and bonuses, significantly increased its presence in social networks, creating original topics for disputes and communications regarding the menu, as well as several original solutions that forced people to visit the bar during the summer sports off-season.
Already in 2011, from May to July, wings were sold by two times, which at the same time demonstrated an increase in attendance of all restaurants and franchises by a factor of two.
2012 – 2018
The success of the marketing campaign and the increase in economic growth led the owners to want to do something with their own visual identity to demonstrate the success and new direction of the enterprise. Some changes were also made to the company logo, which will show in the future that the founders are inherently conservative, primarily about their image. There will be no cardinal changes in the emblem until today. The new logo has retained the same design as the main elements – a circle and a bison with a wing. Only the bison is already fully placed in this circle. The black plate has been removed. Only the full name of the company, placed to the left of the circle, has been retained from the text. The text is written in black capital letters, each word printed under each other. The first one is in smaller type than the others. The middle one – Wild – is the largest, and Wings is somewhat smaller than the previous one.
2018 – today
The latest version of the brand mark has several differences from the previous one. It was the result of consultations held with professional web designers. The development of the logo was caused more by the need to ensure its high-quality visual perception on the Internet. New requirements for self-promotion were made possible by advances in modern technology, the result of which can be seen today on the Buffalo Wild Wings emblem.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The new logo remains true to the tradition that started in 1998. In its composition, it completely repeats the version of 2012-2018. However, some changes are immediately noticeable. Black color on all elements is replaced by brown. Bison somewhat “changed” his position. Now it seems that it is preparing to take off. The white wings have lost their contour, resulting in which they have become poorly visible against the light yellow background of the circle field. The new font of the text used in this emblem is located in the same sequence and on the same side as the previous logo. Its use has improved readability and clarity, especially when placing an image on the Internet.