When Philly Pretzel Factory first approached No Limit Agency back in 2010, the brand had yet to go nationwide. At the time, it was still just a regional brand, and its locations were only located along the East Coast. Eager to grow its footprint throughout the country, Philly Pretzel Factory launched a franchise opportunity in an effort to reach more customers than ever before. But in order to do so, it first needed to generate brand buzz in these key, untapped markets.
That’s when Philly Pretzel Factory turned to No Limit Agency for help. The company’s team of social media and PR experts immediately identified an opportunity too good to pass up—every year, on April 26, the country celebrates National Pretzel Day. If they could position this food holiday as Philly Pretzel Factory’s signature event, suddenly, there would be nearly limitless opportunities to get the brand’s name in the news and on social media.
Today, No Limit Agency has helped Philly Pretzel Factory truly own National Pretzel Day. Traditionally, this day was celebrated with the brand giving away free pretzels to every guest who enters its stores. Additionally, Philly Pretzel Factory locations awarded the first 100 customers in line with a card redeemable for a free pretzel every day throughout the month of May. It was a tactic that worked-- after launching its free pretzel initiative on National Pretzel Day, the brand saw thousands of fans enter its stores for a savory treat.
“National Pretzel Day is our favorite holiday because it gives us a chance to show our appreciation to our loyal fans who have been enjoying our fresh baked pretzels for 17 years,” said Dan DiZio, CEO and co-founder of Philly Pretzel Factory, a 140-plus-unit pretzel chain born and raised in Philadelphia. “Our customers have helped us achieve great success over the years and it’s great that we’re able to celebrate alongside them and thank them.”
No Limit Agency took to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote the event across the brand’s growing fan base. Our team of PR experts also helped to create buzz around the holiday by securing placements in national TV segments and publications, such as FOX Business, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, Time.com, CNBC.com and Fortune.com. On a local level, Philly Pretzel Factory made a splash, too, helping franchisees promote their own markets on a community level.
“Since we started working with Philly Pretzel Factory, we’ve been able to increase awareness for the holiday and work hand in hand to marry their marketing efforts with our PR and social media efforts to really extend the visibility for the brand,” said Brian Jaeger, the vice president of media relations at No Limit Agency. “At the end of the day, this is a brand that is just now starting to grow west from their home state of Pennsylvania. They’re still completely unknown throughout the West Coast. But because of that national press we secured around the holiday, we were able to spread word of the brand across the United States for the first time ever.”
Encouraging Philly Pretzel Factory to think outside the box helped the brand gain recognition beyond the local level, too. In 2014, for example, just days before National Pretzel Day, Tim Tebow was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. The No Limit Agency social media and PR teams quickly devised a strategy and took action to capitalize on the news of this media darling joining its hometown team. The Philly Pretzel Factory team had created a Tim Tebow pretzel that No Limit Agency then turned into a shareable image congratulating the football player on the trade. The tweet spread quickly, gaining the attention of ESPN, the NFL and Sports Illustrated. The brand’s Twitter account @PPFPretzels, was flooded with requests to use the photo across various media platforms. The momentum only increased throughout the day, as ESPN and the NFL both tweeted out the photo themselves with a credit to Philly Pretzel Factory. The No Limit Agency team also leveraged this news to promote National Pretzel Day, securing coverage on more than 1,800 other media outlets over a 24-hour time span, including The Today Show, CNBC, CBS Evening News, People Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
“It goes to show that when a brand is willing to think outside the box and do something quirky or interesting, people will notice. We’re then able to put our PR efforts behind something that we know media outlets will care about,” Jaeger added.
Today, No Limit Agency continues to tailor its ongoing social media strategy for the brand to continue building a community of engaged users. No Limit Agency does this by promoting new products and doing consistent giveaways. By identifying Philly Pretzel Factory’s target audience of women, families and sports fans—all of which actively enter to win prizes—No Limit Agency could tap into the customer’s passion for the product, increase store traffic and garner new fans. Regular contests like “Tag a Friend,” “Guess the Score of the Big Game,” and creating custom pretzel shapes based on current events like The Olympics and the 2016 Presidential Election keep the page fresh and the followers engaged and eager to enter to win.
No Limit Agency’s social media strategy for Philly Pretzel Factory has paid off in a big way over the years. To date, the brand has seen its Facebook following grow by 901 percent; its Twitter following grew from 99 percent; and its Instagram presence, which started at zero, now has 3,331 followers and counting.