Naming In The News

Even In Today's Low Carb Climate,
Corner Bakery Logo Connects

National Survey Uncovers What Fast Casual Patrons
Think about Five Growing Brands

Nation's Restaurant News

MINNEAPOLIS, February, 2004 — When today's carb-savvy consumer encounters a restaurant logo depicting a rotund old-world baker carrying loaves of fresh bread, we would expect him to turn and flee from temptation, or at minimum, proceed with caution. Not true according to a recent national survey by Strategic Name Development of Minneapolis MN. More important than a low carb association is a restaurant name and logo that does a consistent job of delivering on good food, a good family experience and a local perception. The Corner Bakery logo, despite appearing to be the antithesis of Atkins, wins consumers hearts and minds with its neighborhood alignment and all-round feel-good attributes. The SND survey was conducted online among a national sample of 150 Casual Theme restaurant patrons and pitted the powerhouse chain logos Baja Fresh, Briazz, Corner Bakery Café, Cosi, and Potbelly Sandwich Works against one another on a variety of characteristics and emotional attributes.

Each logo was first tested against the Ideal Logo Characteristics Profile for distinctiveness, readability, simplicity and concept fit. While Baja Fresh earned the highest ratings for readability and simplicity, it fell significantly short of the mark on concept fit and distinctiveness. Both Corner Bakery and Cosi, however, earned positive ratings from the majority of respondents on all four characteristics. Briazz, meanwhile, lost out on concept fit, and the Potbelly logo stubbed its toe on readability and simplicity.

On the second group of measures, emotional attributes, Corner Bakery had its cake and ate it too - earning at least a 75% alignment with all emotional attribute statements except for, not surprisingly, healthy eating. Yet despite the big baker visual, at least half the respondents reported that Corner Bakery offered healthy food - more so than all the other logos except Baja Fresh. Conversely, both Briazz and PotBelly scored weakest on the healthy emotional measure.

And finally, Corner Bakery emerged victorious on the ultimate measure of "the logo makes you want to eat at that restaurant." On this forced ranking question, more than a third of all respondents selected Corner Bakery - significantly higher than all other logos. The results lead to the conclusion that, although many marketers are banking their futures on low carb positionings, real, fresh. comfortable food is still the holy grail.

Additional topline insights on the five logos tested follow:

Baja Fresh

This growing chain of 255 plus stores sports a very healthy consumer perception buttressed by consumers unaided comments: "fresh Mexican food," "Salads, lettuce and salad bars," and "vegetables and produce." On the other hand, Baja has its limitations, as many thought the restaurant only offered "food from California ."


Although yet to expand beyond its western state boundaries, Briazz' logo earned high marks from respondents for distinctiveness and for being contemporary. Consumers told us that unlike Corner Bakery and Baja Fresh, it was a place for lunch or dinner. Many pegged it as having "adult, contemporary upscale food." Others thought it was "an Italian Restaurant" or a restaurant featuring "jazz music."

Corner Bakery Café

Most of the consumers in the survey expected to find bakery goods, sandwiches, desserts and soups at the Corner Bakery - but only 2% thought they could find ethnic food there. The logo evoked "the smell of fresh baked bread" and a place where "real chefs and bakers" can be found. Not surprisingly, more than three quarters of respondents viewed it as a place for breakfast or lunch, while a third felt that they would enjoy the dinner day-part at Corner Bakery too.


Perhaps partly due to a logo that's simple and easy to read, the restaurant named after its mentor shop in Paris is 82 locations strong and growing. On the other hand, many consumers are unsure about what the Cosi name stands for - is it Italian? Mexican? Native American? Spanish? Is it a museum? A science center? A new age resource? It was, however, clearly perceived as a dinner alternative, with less than half of respondents selecting it for lunch or breakfast, and almost 70% expecting to be served hot entrees at their Cosi table.

Potbelly Sandwich Works

On the continuum of feminine versus masculine, Potbelly is the only logo that tested positive for testosterone. It also earned high marks on great taste and curiosity to learn more. Consumers, unaided, told us that their expectations the 48 plus store chain included large portions, big sandwiches and old-fashioned comfort food.

*** Editors Note: For a free PDF of the complete brand logo study, please send an email to

About the Survey

Strategic Name Development conducted this research online, selecting respondents randomly from among an SSI national consumer panel of over 1,200,000 participants. The sample was balanced geographically, by gender, age and income. The survey was conducted in late January 2004. Logos selected for the study were chosen to represent a broad cross-section of growing fast casual theme restaurants and were judged on the concept criteria of: meals purchased at the counter, food made-to-order, average ring of $6 to $9, more unique and sophisticated than fast food...