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Working With BSR

BSR Brand + Environment is an award-winning design firm with over 30 years experience helping brands large and small enter, compete and succeed in the marketplace. At BSR we have a passion to design and to inspire great design and ideas and we have focused our practice on branding and telling the brand’s story through the built environmental experience. Our teams expertise in environmental brand experience spans all facets of the process from original concept and design through final implementation. In other words, we knows how to move projects from the drawing board to reality. Really!

CLIENTS KNOW BSR for listening well and bringing to the table the experience and insights needed to develop the kernel of their idea into a fully thought out brand experience. An experience that operates across all mediums and has the charisma, depth and nuance necessary to captivate the target customer, attract new customers and produce immediate results and sustained long term growth for the client.

BSR ARE THE CHIEF ADVOCATES FOR YOUR BRAND. Our designers blend new ideas with broad experience and craft solutions shoulder to shoulder with our clients (why shouldn’t our clients get in on the fun too). And at the end of the process when the design has leapt from the page to become a real, living, breathing, entity (yes, restaurants and retail spaces do live and breath. If the one your in isn’t living or breathing you should call us right away) our designers, architects, business guys, builders and clients all get to stand back, revel in what they’ve created together and say “man, I can’t wait to do that again”! The results of BSR’s work are persuasive and comprehensive. The comment we hear most frequently from our clients is “we love it, how soon can we get it built?”

THE CONSUMER KNOWS BSR through experiencing our brands and brand experiences we create. From your customers perspective our brands were built just for them-from the perspective of standing inside their shoes. BSR delivers a multi-layered and engaging experience to your customer every time, where the story of the brand reveals itself through the message, the environment and the aesthetic of the whole-brand-experience.

BSR DELIVERS RESULTS. Of course none of this would mean anything if it didn’t generate results. BSR brands consistently outperform other brands in the marketplace generating increased sales, brand position, return on investment and return on design. In fact many of our clients credit our work as the turning point in the life of their businesses. So, WHY WORK WITH BSR? This quote from one of our clients says it quite well: “Your re-imagining of the Papa Murphy’s Brand and in store experience has been pivotal to the development and success of our company.”  Dino Medina: VP Design & Construction, Papa Murphy’s Take-n-Bake Pizza.

New York Vinny’s Pizza


Weinhard’s Tap Room


Weinhard’s Goes

Henry Weinhard spent considerable time and effort exploring the Pacific Northwest in search of the perfect location for his brewery. He settled in Portland, Oregon and immediately set up shop making the great beer Weinhard’s fans have come to expect. Now, more than 150 years later, beer drinkers across the country have the chance to explore the taste of the Pacific Northwest. Henry Weinhard’s is launching three beers nationally: Private Reserve, Redwood Flats Amber Ale and Woodland Pass IPA. As part of that launch BSR Brand+Environment was asked to personify the Henry Weinhard’s brand in brick & mortar with a design-exploration of what a Henry Weinhard’s branded pub would look. The first iterations of this concept would be installed in professional sports venues.

Henry’s Story. There’s never been a guy who cared more about making good beer easy to enjoy than Henry Weinhard. After honing his craft at the side of some of Europe’s best brewers Henry left Germany in 1856 with nothing but a recipe, a copper kettle and a thirst to share his beers with the people of America. He was a savvy businessman, a straight shooter and generous to a fault. He adopted Portland as his new home and quickly became a pillar of that Northwest community. Legend has it, he even designed a system to pump free beer through a public fountain so the people could enjoy it at will.

Branding with Brick & Mortar
The Pacific Northwest has an architectural flavor all it’s own; robust, adventurous and creative. So when we sat down to explore what would best personify the Weinhard’s brand in brick & mortar we settled on materials that would have been available to Henry himself. As our pallet we used rough hewn timbers of Northwest cedar, smooth and graceful river rock, hand-forged iron and rich resplendent copper.

 But we also knew that while doing a period piece would be easy, it would also not accurately represent the goals and values of the modern Weinhard’s brand. So to accomplish all of the brands goals we created a design with a deep historic feel on the surface and pointalized with modern materials and elements of today. In other words we created a concept with a time honored feel and then reflected it through a fresh modern lens (as specialty of BSR).

The Pro Sports Angle
The final twist was fitting this new concept into a professional sports stadium atmosphere. BSR principals have years of experience designing for professional sports teams like the Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Mariners, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. So for us incorporating this new concept into the modern materials typically found in the modern sports venue was right up our alley. Check it out! The Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve Bar – coming to a stadium near you!

Seahawks 12 Club


Readi Spaghetti


Fast Casual Goes Italian

LOOKING AT LIFE FROM THE SEAT OF A SCOOTER. Franchising is one of indispensable links in the backbone of the US economy. Franchises offer an unparalleled opportunity for operators to hit the ground running without the months and sometimes years of starting-up.
READI SPAGHETTI is completely unique in the franchise arena. The Fast-Casual Readi Spaghetti concept is the brainchild of Jonny Anderson, an experienced entrepreneur operating several other franchise concepts. Anderson was looking for something different, something memorable, something a cut above. And he’s found it in the Readi Spaghetti concept which was created in it’s entirety by BSR Brand + Environment. Readi Spaghetti opened its first lcation this September with 3-4 additional stores planned for 2013. Visit the Readi Spaghetti project page to see how this project turned out! 
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Limerick Pub-Harbor Yard



GOING BACK FOR SECONDS! The first Limerick Pub located in Spokane, WA was so successful that BSR was asked to re-create that success a second time. Since opening the first Limerick Pub in 2011 the venue had exceeded everyone’s expectations earning sustained, improved revenues and per caps of more than 60 percent.

The location of this second Limerick venue was the Harbor Yard – Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport ,CT. In a space nearly identical in size and configuration to the original Spokane facility is the newly opened Limerick Pub At Harbor Yard. Among its features are a beautifully crafted Honduras Mahogany bar, vintage plank floors, gold leaf marquis lettering, décor artifacts brought over from Limerick, Ireland and beautifully crafted Tiffany glass lighting.

BSR designed and managed the project in its entirety providing architecture, food service design, construction management and oversight in the manufacture, procurement and implementation of all phases of the project. And just because the project the project looks like a million dollars, make no mistake, the budget was very aggressive and economies had to be created in all phases. At turnover BSR delivered the project under budget – the square foot cost coming in under $90 per square foot. So the next time you’re in Connecticut stop by The Limerick Pub At Harbor Yard for some Friendly Irish hospitality, some tasty pub fare, and of course “a pint and a Paddy’s”.

“Céad Míle Fáilte!”     See This Project>


90% Sales Increase!

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PROJECT UPDATE: Sales and Per Caps up 90%! It’s all about the numbers and the numbers are in. The Spokane Indians carefully tracked the performance of their new retail store and the results were well beyond anything they had expected. At the end of the 2013 baseball season retail merchandise sales increased 91% and Per Caps were up 92%. Proof positive that when you show the customer that you take your brand seriously enough to invest in it (in this case, the investment was the building of the new team store) they will invest in your brand in-kind and do so in a big, big way!

New Team Store Opens!
For the first time in the one-hundred year history of the Spokane Indians Baseball Club the team had decided it was time to build a professional caliber team store. With $3.5MM in new stadium upgrades ready to greet the 2013 park patrons team owner Bobby Brett wanted something that would dramatically heighten the Spokane Indians brand and dramatically increase retail merchandise sales.

Brett called retail branding experts BSR.
Having worked with BSR in the past the team knew that BSR specializes in delivering high impact retail on a budget. The goal was to design, build and deliver a completely outfitted team store in record time. Time was tight, only 40 days till the opening of the season. And the budget was even tighter. When we sat down with the team to review the numbers we knew there would be challenges ahead. But you know what they say about challenges – a challenge is only a problem that you haven’t invented a solution for yet!

BSR are experts in retail at any scale
and took on the challenge to meet both the clients time line and budget. The store design, retail convection, fixture plan and in-store branding & messaging were designed and approved in less than a week. Great care was taken to increase the “surface area” of the retal to it’s maximum efficiency while the convection planning did it’s job by directing customers to the higher value retail merchandise located strategically throughout the store. BSR engineered and built custom retail fixtures designed for economy and speed of manufacture but not cutting corners on look and feel. And the branding of the store was rich and elevated utilizing everything from wall super-graphics to custom-blown neon. The Spokane Indians Team Store, now open for the 2013 Indians baseball season. As their team slogan says “Take me out to the ball game!”

California Tortilla


RE-LAUNCHING A BRAND.  California Tortilla; 17 year old restaurant franchise based in Bethesda MD came to us with a problem. They were well established with a loyal customer base but with national competitors like Chipotle and Mel’s entering their market their daily numbers would soon become declining numbers. They needed a solution quickly.

SHOWING THEM THE “FRESH”. “It’s time to stop telling them we’re fresh! It’s time to show them!” We completely re-imagined the brand and the restaurant around this idea with a fun new brand, a face forward message and a restaurant design that lets you watch as your meal is prepared fresh before your eyes in the the California Tortilla kitchen theatre. The first of the newly branded California Tortilla stores opened this spring to rave reviews and BSR has partnered with CT to open new franchise locations and retrofit all of existing locations to the new design. Visit the California Tortilla project page to learn more about this project!

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Papa Murphy-550% Growth


PAPA MURPHY’S “SALES ARE FLAT, FRANCHISE STORES ARE CLOSING, WE NEED A BRAND MAKEOVER”. 2003: Ken Barnes – BSR CEO was approached by Papa Murphy’s Pizza who was in need of a complete brand makeover. New Franchise sales were declining as were in-store revenues. Papa Murphy’s was losing substantial market share in the bake-at-home pizza market and needed a re-imagined Brand, a new Branded Environment and an updated and face-forward Message that were so well integrated into the store that customers would not only enjoy the in-store experience more, but would seek out the added value it offered.

A NEW STORE WAS DESIGNED WITH THE MESSAGE BUILT IN. Great care was taken  to understand the PM brand and why it was failing to connect with its audience. Intel gleaned from two separate in-house market studies was integral to finding the solution. PM wasn’t failing to deliver value in the food, it was failing to deliver value in the customer experience. So the decision was made to co-join the food, the message and the store experience. The results were a store that was warm and inviting with rich feeling materials and surfaces all integrated into the brand-message. A new logo was developed, streamlining the typography and updating the shape and color, both of which would be used to evolve the store design. The brand-messages “100% Fresh” and “Quality, made by hand” were not only present in in-store marketing but were woven into the fabric of the store through new brand walls and murals. New easier to navigate menu systems were developed with plenty of room for specials and limited time offers. New reach-in retailers were added adjacent to pos stations to capture the strong impulse-buy market that had so far eluded PM. These retailers alone added substantial top-line revenues as an instant love for PM “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” a product designed to indulge,  continues to drive thousands of dollars in weekly store sales. We even developed a new menu item; the Papa Murphy’s “De-Lite Pizza”, and option for calorie conscious customers. Today De-Lite Pizza sales account for 15%-20% of overall PM store sales.

1. The New Design must generate higher in-store revenues.  
2. The New Design must cost less to implement than current build-outs.    
3. The New Design must be infinitely repeatable.    
4. The New Design must turn around declining franchise sales.    

MEASURING THE RESULTS. The initial results of the re brand and store makeovers were definitive.  100 test stores were rolled out, 50 new locations and 50 remodels. Sales measured over the following year tracked sustained increases of between 15% and 25% in all stores. Declining franchise sales were reversed. Papa Murphy’s added more than 15% chain growth over the following year.

PAPA MURPHY’S INVESTS $4MM TO ROLL OUT THE DESIGN. Papa Murphy’s was so impressed with the results of the new design and its affinity for sales-building they did something unprecedented in the franchise industry. They invested $4MM of corporate funds to immediately upgrade all existing restaurants to the new design, a move that continues to pay off to this day. The Papa Murphy’s chain has grown from 250 units at the time of the re-brand to more than 1400 units nationwide and store sales continue to increase 10%-20 % annually even through this challenging economy.

The Re-Branded Papa Murphy’s has built and maintained increased sales revenues and increased chain growth every year since the launch of its new brand. THIS IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF BRANDING THAT WORKS. Q: WHAT HAS YOUR BRAND DONE FOR YOU TODAY?

Mio Sushi! Sushi! Sushi!


FRESH FAST CASUAL! Mio Sushi was doing everything right. Their commitment to freshness and quality was legendary and as good stewards of the earth, everything served was “sustainable”. Now all they needed was a brand and store design with sufficient power to launch their planned new franchise growth.

GIVING THE CUSTOMER A GREAT EXPERIENCE. We were approached by James Han, Mio Sushi VP to do just that. Having built successful brands in the past with BSR, Han knew success not only comes from serving great food but also from giving your customer something they can’t get any place else; a great experience! In this case, a great Mio Sushi experience. He also knew that working with BSR would get him something he couldn’t get any place else. A powerful Fast Casual concept in a box, a fresh new brand, a customer experience designed to generate revenue, and an easily implementable roll out model that would allow him to get ahead of the curve and get stores on-line quickly.

THE BRANDING IS A MIX OF TRADITIONAL IDEALS VIEWED THROUGH A CONTEMPORARY LENS. Creating the brand identity was an interesting challenge. How best to honor such a traditional art form as sushi and still make it sleek and modern enough to stand the test of time? The results were a blending of the two. Using a contemporary re-imagining of Japanese family crests and sleek typography comprised of a minimum of strokes we nailed the identity right out of the box. Mio Sushi’s new brand identity was approved by the client at the first presentation meeting with no changes what so ever.

TO DESIGN A STORE FOR FRANCHISING IT HAS TO BE REPEATABLE. Keeping in mind the minimalist roots of the culture we completely re-imagined the store environment and the architecture. The result is cool and sophisticated with fresh greens, bright fuchsia and warm crèmes set against a backdrop of interesting textures and distinctive lighting. The entire concept was designed for repeatability meaning that it is made up of a list of scalable components. That means that almost any vanilla shell, almost anywhere in the country can be turned into a Mio Sushi in only a fraction of the time needed to do a traditional build-out.

THE NEW MIO SUSHI FLAGSHIP STORE opened in Seattle the first quarter 2012 and has quickly positioned itself as the new, category-defining brand leader in Fast Casual Sushi. In fact, it is so popular there are lines out the door every day. Mio has since opened additional locations in the Seattle area and estimates an additional 20 new franchise locations coming online annually for the next 5 years. 

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