Marketing Makeover

Quiznos’s Susan Lintonsmith on building a holistic brand strategy that reconnects the company to its consumers

Susan Lintonsmith  CMO Company: Quiznos  Location: Denver, CO Career Insight: “Always provide your team with clear, strategic direction.”
Susan Lintonsmith
Company: Quiznos
Location: Denver, CO
Career Insight: “Always provide your team with clear, strategic direction.”

I got my first lesson in marketing when I was 15. I worked in restaurants to fund my education and learned how important the role of a “frontline employee” is to your brand. As a server, I learned the importance of focusing on operations. I was a key representative of the brand and experience for my guests.

The tastes of the modern consumer are always changing, and new technologies are popping up every day. Quiznos has been offering great-tasting subs for more than 30 years, and our consumers expect a premium experience. We still use high-quality ingredients and toast our subs to bring out the best flavors. But the competitive environment has really changed, and we’ve had to reenvision our marketing strategies.

The most common consumer feedback I hear is, “I love Quiznos, but I have no idea where my closest store is.” We know that hungry consumers have many options to consider, so we try to engage them where they are. We want to bring in new customers and keep our existing guests satisfied and coming back.

Through mobile technology, we can alert a customer when they’re near a Quiznos and trying to decide where to eat. In March, we launched a new social platform called “Toasty TV,” which allows us to host entertaining conversations while sharing music, humor, and new content about the brand. Social media is a great way for us to share new promotional offers and introduce new recipes, such as our new line of toasted pastas or our great basil pesto sauce.

It’s important for every Quiznos team member and franchisee to understand our vision for success and our business goals. I always try to articulate a clearly defined vision and strategy, whether I’m talking to the culinary team about new oven equipment or leading a meeting in the field about the next new product or smart interior design of our future stores.

Our marketing team manages research, oversees product and menu innovation, and works on all of our events and materials that consumers see inside and outside our restaurants. We’re just a few steps away from our test kitchen, where our culinary team and our quality-assurance team develop new recipes based on flavor trends and customer feedback.

We have a comprehensive process to make sure all new products represent our premium brand. We go through several stages of consumer feedback, and our product development team ensures that tastes and flavors deliver on the name and promise. Once our operational team has tested the product and we have strong consumer approval, we’ll market test it and eventually feature it as a promotional new product or add it to our menu.

I love to eat and I love the food at Quiznos. My coworkers and I eat together at Quiznos several times a week. I have a fantastic, hard-working team and great franchisees. We work hard together and we celebrate our accomplishments together. I really believe in this brand.