Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ

  • Client: Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ
  • What They Do: “In true Cincinnati fashion, at Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ we make a BBQ that’s all our own: fresh meat, never frozen, cooked low and slow over a wood fire. From our roadside roots to our warm, welcoming atmosphere, Jim Dandy’s Slow Smoked Cincinnati BBQ is authentic, traditional, one-of-a-kind good”

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ has been serving the Cincinnati, Ohio area authentic, slow-pit BBQ for over 15 years, and with plans to expand the brand, they brought us in to help lay the groundwork for codifying the brand for the long-term.

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ has built up a loyal customer base for lunch and catering. With a core of friends and family, the current customer base can be counted on for the seasonal ebb and flow of steady lunch and catering business. When Brand Shepherd was hired to help with brand development, an expansion into a second location, as well as the need to build up the customer base at both locations, were identified as primary goals.

During interviews conducted during our discovery phase, we learned that Jim (owner) was the primary brand stakeholder: He had the reputation, was/is the face of the brand, knows all of the incredible stories, and provides the emotional glue–the “it” factor that truly made Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ a brand that the people of Cincinnati cherish.

With this in mind, our goal became twofold:

  1. Draw out as much of Jim’s stories, legacy, and emotional glue, codify it, and then present it back in easy-to-use brand guidance that could be used by all Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ brand stakeholders (staff, investors, customers, marketing, etc.) so that he was less of the sole brand weight-bearer. As part of this exercise, we would create a new brand tagline that would sum up what Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ is all about.
  2. Use the new brand guidelines to create a new website, several videos, in-store signage, and social media graphics to promote the Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ brand consistently.

We delivered as outlined, and more.

  • Brand Development: We created a brand guideline tool that captures a new brand story, mission statement, and tagline. We also reduced the number of fonts the brand had been using from 20+ down to just 3 (keep in mind most brands use only 2).
  • Website: A new, mobile-friendly website built on WordPress, and featuring areas for an easy to update menu, news & events, and a new catering page that has caused Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ to dramatically increase their orders. We also built an e-commerce store where Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ can sell its meat rubs, BBQ sauces, t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts.
  • Social Media: We created weekly posts for Facebook for months that promoted weekly specials, events, and anything to help create new customers.
  • Product Photography: We reshot all food and product imagery, creating a new photo library for Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ staff to use.
  • Video Production: For videos, we ended up using one video as a welcome video, then converted that into an Instagram and Facebook video, and lastly, created a welcome video aimed at people who’ve never stepped foot in JDFBBQ (which is still awaiting approval as of this writing).

With all of these things in place, Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ is positioned as a brand that doesn’t demand one person be the sole weight bearer. We built a refined, solid foundation for this brand.

So, what became of this brand?

Despite our wanting to shepherd this brand into a thriving BBQ destination, ownership changed hands in 2019, and they decided to go the opposite direction by renaming it and making the brand smaller and less appealing. The website has been replaced by a confusing blog. The videos we produced are nowhere to be found. Social media accounts have been abandoned. The backstory is a shadow of what we produced. In short, countless hours – and a lot of money – was tossed away. A true waste. Yet we are proud of what we created.

This brand is a great example of the key distinctive Brand Shepherd offers brands: Bottom-line freedom to take your brand where you want to take it. Our distinctive is that we know we are creating for brands we don’t own, and therefore we always yield our creative expertise to the ownership’s subjective whims, even if it’s a disaster.

  • Brand Strategy & Development
  • Website Design & Development
  • Video Production
  • Traditional Sales Literature & Advertising

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