CELEBRATING OUTDOOR GATHERING SPACES
At the essence of their trail-blazing concept, Urban Bonfire aims to connect people around the central element of food cooked over fire. Just as the kitchen serves as the heart of the home, so too does your outdoor cooking space become a focal gathering point for friends and family.
Whereas kitchens and indoor cooking are given tremendous attention by specialty retailers, Urban Bonfire observed a massive gap in attention given to outdoor cooking and barbecuing as a whole. Seizing the opportunity, Urban Bonfire tackled the challenge of dramatically shifting consumer perception of a heavily commoditized product category and a market mired in stagnancy.
Opening in an intimate space with a boutique offering of specialised outdoor cooking equipment, accessories and spices, we emphasised expertise, education and interactivity. Standing in stark contrast to the box-store mentality dominating the industry, we focused on quality, relationships and engagement, and offered a true alternative to discerning consumers.
From suggesting just the right flavours for your weekend cookout to designing and building a complete custom outdoor kitchen, and through hands-on care, content, demos, classes and festivals, we communicated Urban Bonfire's 'voice' above all else. Driven by the ability to create unique experiences and connect people, we sought to inspire and empower our customers and to foster a community and culture around our mission.
Catering to the entire outdoor cooking experience in a comprehensive yet focused way and curating the best of the best across all product segments was integral to Urban Bonfire's early strategy. With emphasis on design, utility and advantages over features, we rigorously researched, tested and promoted our preferred solutions rather than a vast array of options. Focused on building brand culture, we earned credibility, trust and loyalty, and invested heavily in creating experiential value in store and in our personalised sales consultation process.
With a burgeoning brand and growing customer base, we created a line of signature spice blends, with plans to expand development of a consumables program into smoking woods and charcoal. Presenting a more refined take on barbecue, the Bonfire Kitchen line of spices and sauces comprises local & worldly flavours, each containing a micro-story behind its origin and pairing suggestions for everything from meats to seafood, vegetables and even grilled desserts.
With spices as with smoking woods, we encouraged customers to explore and experiment with flavours to discover and create their own favourites. Designing signature blends and simple graphics to demystify an unnecessarily convoluted category, we aimed to make the practice of wood-smoking (newly gaining momentum in our region) fully accessible to anybody curious enough to give it a go.
Outgrowing our original space after just one year, Urban Bonfire moved to a larger location to accommodate expansion of lines, additional merchandising and a more comprehensive test kitchen for increased interactivity. Pulling in the opposite direction of the balance of market, we increasingly gravitated to higher-end offerings and custom outdoor kitchens while continuing to invest in presenting everything the Urban Bonfire way rather than simply reissuing the marketing materials provided to us.
On the retail side of the equation, we looked to turn the dial on our digital footprint and developed a sophisticated new website with e-commerce integration. Custom designed to capture the depth and breadth of a complex category and present it in an accessible and engaging way, the new urbanbonfire.com incorporates the focal elements of the brand's strategy and identity: design, lifestyle, content, curation, insight and solutions—all tied together in a vibrant and uncluttered layout.
Confidently cutting through the 'noise' of a cluttered and complacent market and positioning themselves as a focused and innovative voice within their industry, Urban Bonfire has established the credibility and flexibility to explore and develop diverse opportunities. With solid physical and digital foundations and tremendous reputation in support, the brand and business are poised for continued growth and success.