Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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Page 148 of 358

CINNABON 144 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 BAKING THE BRAND The first Cinnabon opened in December 1985, selling only the Cinnabon Classic roll — a recipe that was perfected by chef Jerilyn Brusseau, the "culinary wizard who brought Cinnabon to life," according to Guith. The first franchise store opened in August 1986 in Philadelphia, followed in 1991 by Cinnabon's first non-mall location at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. "It took off for five to six years — and then there was an Atkins Diet, a change in ownership, and lack of investment in the brand," Guith says. "It kind of went into a downward spiral." In 2004, Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc. purchased the brand. Ten years later, Guith, with more than 20 years of experience in foodservice, consumer products and retail, joined Cinnabon as chief operating officer before being promoted to brand president in January 2015. Previously, Guith had worked with The Coca-Cola Company, Molson Coors Brewing Company and Staples Inc. His prior roles were in general management and strategy with Coca-Cola and YUM! Brands in domestic and international markets. Guith notes his work with Coca- Cola and YUM! helped prepare him for the brand-focus strategy at Cinnabon. "Brands have always been an important focus, but there's definitely been a shift in terms of us becoming more of a brand- building company," he says. "Cinnabon, from a retail sales standpoint, is our largest brand [of FOCUS Brands] and growing very steadily in all channels — licensing and franchising — and all geographies. We're very fortunate." Guith and his team began by stripping the brand down to basics and asking the question, "What makes people want to come to Cinnabon?" "We looked at life drivers, human motivations. They have a similar thing at Coca-Cola. Where does your brand sit? There's a sense of belonging. When people think about Cinnabon, they think about baking, home, time with family, going to the mall with friends. That was a new insight for us. We started to think, 'How do we continue to evolve that and turn it more into an experience in and around those ingredients, this different, updated Cinnabon?'" Inspired by a European pâtisserie — a type of French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets — and a modern home kitchen, Cinnabon's new concept aims to fuse the two and evoke a feeling of home and hearth along with sweet, savory indulgence. "We put a 'home' spin on the French pâtisserie, which makes it more down to earth," adds Guith. And then there's the aroma. It's critical, Guith says, to be able to smell Cinnabon products as they bake. Many franchisees position their stores specifically with aroma in mind. According to Guith, inline mall spaces do best; the aroma stays concentrated and is not able to waft away in different directions. Most Cinnabon stores average about 600 square feet, and high-traffic real estate is key. "We're an impulse brand, not necessarily a destination brand, so we A mall mainstay for more than 30 years, Cinnabon plans to remodel 40 of its stores this year. Cinnabon locations average 600 square feet and do best in high traffic locations.

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