GoTo Foods: Bringing the Parent Brand Into Focus

Case Study
April 8, 2024


Background: 7 Storied Brands

Focus Brands is the parent company of seven restaurants that include Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAllister’s Deli, Schlotzky’s, Carvel, and Jamba. All of the Focus brands enjoy great brand recognition, some are even iconic.

Objective: New Company Name & Identity

Focus Brands tapped Brand Federation to bring their parent brand more into focus so that their customers, franchisees, and talent understood the value of not just their iconic brands individually, but their value altogether.

In close partnership with brand design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, Brand Federation took on this rebranding project to develop a new company name and identity that felt as iconic and easy to talk about as the brands in their portfolio that the general public knew and loved.

Focus Brands
The Restaurant Group's Family of 7 Storied Brands


Brand Federation embarked on a research process that involved talking to various internal and external stakeholders plus extensive secondary research into food, restaurant categories, and franchising to understand:

  • the in’s and out’s of the restaurant group’s business model, 
  • how customers were seeing the portfolio brands, and
  • why customers go to the brands in their portfolio.

Brand Platform: Craveable Experiences

The research ultimately informed the development of a brand platform that unified the restaurants. The brand platform was anchored by the idea that these brands were more than just iconic – they created craveable experiences. From the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels at the airport to the routine of getting a Cinnabon cinnamon roll at the mall every trip, those experiences aren’t just ordered or eaten, but are felt. 

Off of the platform, a number of names were ideated and then narrowed to ones that best fit the organization. Intercept interviews (also known as man on the street interviews) were conducted to get people’s first impressions of some of the different naming options from a mass market perspective.

In the end, the brand platform informed the company’s name change to GoTo Foods, a new visual identity designed by our partners at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, and the implementation of the rebrand across various marketing and communication channels.

GoTo Foods, the new name of Focus Brands, and its new visual identity


The rebranding effort was successful in bringing the company and restaurant brands together and in communicating a dynamic, innovative organization in transformation. 

GoTo Foods Website Homepage

Communications and Roll-Out

The news was shared at their biennial conference in Las Vegas in front of franchise operators, and earned media placements in the restaurant industry, including QSR, Nation’s Restaurant News, and Restaurant Dive.


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