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A Candid Look at Jimmy John's

A brand personality defines who they are and how they interact with people. If a brand strays too far from this personality, it sends mixed signals to customers and they could lose trust. If a brand sticks with their personality and has a unique approach, the brand will thrive and win on social media. This week I'll take a closer look at Jimmy John's and I'll explain why I think they are one of the most unique companies on social media.

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If you're not familiar with Jimmy Johns, they're a sandwich company like Subway but with a big personality (and better food). They're known for having Freaky Fast Delivery and if you visit a Jimmy Johns location, quirky signs and sayings will surround you. When you read their social media communications, you can see that the brand translates well online. The personality is young, hip, sarcastic, funny, and genuine. Jimmy Johns is the funny guy in class that everyone likes to laugh with.

The struggle that Jimmy Johns must deal with is that they are primarily franchised owned. That could potentially lead to an uneven customer experience. The brand online will have to answer to all events that occur at places beyond their control. These are private business owners that may not take critiques well, but the brand does a good job on social media representing all stakeholders. Good or bad, Jimmy Johns is there to respond.

Lets look at some examples:

  • Jimmy Johns is always willing to interact with a fan. They respond to a lot of tweets in a fun and entertaining way. Its like interacting with a friend and not a business. They joke with and praise their fans which are two things you don't see often.

Praising fansand rewarding fans.

  • You can really tell a lot about a brand based on how they interact with customer complaints and negative feedback. Jimmy Johns stays true to their brand, which can be both good and bad. In the example below, you can see they usually ask for more information when a customer has a bad experience. They must have some type of communication with their franchises to field the complaints.
  • Other times, Jimmy Johns candid responses make the customer angry .As you can see below, thisisnt the most serious complaint. Were talking about ice and soda; however, the company may have lost a customer by not addressing the complaint more seriously. Personally, I would have responded in a different way and tried to get more information. In the end, both Jimmy Johns and the customer came away empty-handed. I guess we'll never know if the cup was filled properly or the customer was shorted on Cherry Coke
  • Unlike most brands, they're not afraid to use a few cuss words. As a 20-something, I don't mind the language at all and think it fits their personality. I'm not sure how older generations would feel about the language, but they probably aren't the ones interacting with Jimmy Johns online. Also, I'm sure whoever the moderators are look carefully at the profiles before responding.

For this post I focused primarily on Jimmy Johns Twitter where they have over 268 thousand followers. Over on Facebook they have over 2.6 million fans. They get a lot of traffic and you'll find a response on every question or comment. They never stray from the brand and their personality always shines through. Though they are a simple sandwich shop, they are killing it in their space. Scrolling through Subways Twitter feed shows no responses to customer complaints. I'd much rather have helpful, sarcastic responses from Jimmy Johns instead of crickets from Subway. (In Subways defense, it does look like they respond to Facebook complaints.)

Love it or hate it, you have to admire Jimmy Johns staying true to who they are.

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Posted in Food Post Date 06/11/2023






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