This past week I managed to get myself to Wagamama. #greatsuccess It was glorious - I had the Katsu curry for all those interested (it was a tad too hot for noodles this week). For all those Wagamama virgins, this amazing restaurant is a delicious ramen chain that focuses on speed and quality.
The ramen king and I go way back to when I lived in Washington DC. I first ate in Wagamama in London and was amazed by their effeciency and bench style seating. When I learned that the chain would be moving to the district I was extremely excited. Making a long story short, the store still sits in Chinatown today bearing the sign "Opening Spring 2011". #fail
Although an international brand, it has only managed to conquer Boston in the US. Sadly, this means only when I find myself in the city of notions can I relish a trip to Wagamamas.
Wagamama Boston - Harvard Square.
While ordering food I noticed that our paper placemats were advertising a social media campaign. How opportune! Lunch and a social media campaign all in one. Lets dig in.
I really applaud their social media campaign #wagamamasummer, which encourages people to upload their experiences. These experiences make for great social media content that is user generated and tells a story of a wagamama experience. Plus the general design of these placemats are easy to follow.
However, a few critiques:
- Prizes. Gift cards and what other prizes? They never tell us what prizes there are - and gift cards are really not creative enough, in my opinion. There are tons of other options, what experiences can Wagamama offer their customers besides boring over-used gift cards? Other prizes that have greater engagement - being used for a campaign, becoming the summer spokesperson for wagamama, becoming the "mayor" of a particular wagamama with benefits (referring to customers as "customer san", bowing, free meals - fun things), funny uses of chopsticks photo competition. The general prize idea is good but it needs more development.
- Fun in the Sun. I don't understand why they used this hackneyed phrase - is this an outdoor brand? Does wagamama want to change its brand to be more fun? I don't know if this is the best phrasing, I bet we could find a more brand appropriate phrase that reinforces the wagamama experience.
- Design. The layout of the placemat is clear, however I would have made the 1-2-3-4 a little bit more prominent and perhaps with an example picture, while listing more prizes. People need to know what they will be winning!