Dash InRepositioning a Challenger Brand with a Fresh Digital Presence

ZooLights made from hundrends of Christmas lights spelled out in a big bright archway

Dash In is a growing chain offering food, fuel, and car washes, with a mission to reinvent the convenience store experience. They engaged Social Driver for brand design, social media creative, and social media campaign management. Social Driver created a people-focused brand experience, far surpassing the client’s engagement goals.

Challenge

Differentiating a Convenience Store Brand to Drive Market Share

Dash In is a growing convenience store chain offering food, fuel, and car washes at locations across Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. As a challenger brand in a crowded retail niche, Dash In aspires to reinvent the convenience store experience.

Dash In wanted to drive brand affinity and market share for its food items, which meant they needed a more strategic brand presence. They needed a strategic creative partner to differentiate its brand from competitors, elevate the user experience on its social media channels, and reach customers on a more authentic level.

Dash In engaged Social Driver to transform its brand engagement through social media creative, advertising, and management. Their goal: showing up as the company that connects time-crunched people to “real food with real flavor.”

Solution

Launching a New Category: “Convenience with Character” 

Dash In trusted Social Driver to chart a new course for its brand during one of the company’s most transformative periods. Our team took that challenge seriously--but not too seriously. In fact, we had a blast reimagining this brand for the digital space. (Snacking on quesadillas during brainstorms was a tough job, but someone had to do it.)

During our Brand Platform phase, Social Driver took Dash In through an immersive, collaborative brand vision, architecture, and expression process. We leveraged these insights to define a new category: Convenience with Character.

While many chains focus only on speed and price, Dash In transforms everyday errands into an engaging experience. With that in mind, we evolved Dash In’s digital strategy beyond menu promos to focus more on the customers at the center of its brand.

The strategy fulfills that promise by positioning Dash In as the “most delightful convenience brand on social media.” We created and executed a diversified content strategy, including seasonal, standalone, community-focused, and user-generated content. This approach is a major departure from Dash In’s previous focus on menu discounts.

Throughout the project, our cross-functional team used a hybrid project management model to deliver a steady cadence of organic and promoted content, keeping Dash In top of mind for its convenience-focused audience.

How We Helped

Advertising
Brand Design
Brand Messaging
Digital Campaign Development
Digital Strategy
Social Media
Social Media Creative
Video & Animation

Winning the Social Game

At Social Driver, even the most creative ideas come from solid strategy. For a campaign tied to a major international athletics competition, we wanted to get people who prefer hunger-satisfying sandwiches to see Dash In as a preferable option by highlighting the chain’s strong sandwich roster. We personified its fan-favorite sandwiches with a Signature Sandwich campaign, playing with a “hometown heroes” concept and giving each item its own light-hearted “back story.”

Three photos of food: a bacon hotdog, a chicken Caesar wrap, and a chicken cordon bleu sandwich.

Leveraging Lifestyle Content

Social Driver planned and executed branded photo shoots to develop a library of images that center people in real-life environments. These scroll-stopping assets bring a human, relatable feel to Dash In’s menu promotions.

Two women sitting in the grass laughing. One is holding a hot dog and chips.
Three screenshots of Dash In's bracket in which people voted for the best sandwich. The Buffalo Chicken slider is shown as the winner.

Scoring Points with Social Media Fans

We inserted the Dash In brand into tentpole moments such as major cultural, holiday, and sporting events. Our team tapped into a major college basketball tournament as a creative angle to promote Dash In’s sliders through bracket-style voting in Instagram Stories. A series of bold, attention-getting slides drove in-app engagement and retail sales throughout the bracket competition.

Results

Driving Engagement and Relatability

With people now at the forefront of the brand, Dash In’s social media presence is much more aligned to the mission of reinventing the convenience store experience. Dash In also has a playbook for creating engaging content on its own.

Social Driver’s efforts have propelled stronger user engagement on Dash In’s social channels. The brand averaged an engagement rate of 20% per month on Instagram and 8.5% per month on Facebook, far surpassing its goal of 5% per channel and its previous Facebook engagement rate of 3%.

On a creative level, Dash In achieved its goal of launching a new, human-focused brand experience. The client was particularly thrilled with the sports-inspired assets, which took Dash In out of its creative comfort zone and generated strong results on social channels.

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