By Sara Counihan
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Texas Born (TXB) Stores has rebranded from its previous store concept of Kwik Chek to a convenience store that focuses on fresh local food and its local (Texas) roots. It’s one of the innovative c-stores featured in the NACS 2022 Ideas 2 Go program, showcasing TXB’s reimagined retail concept located in Georgetown, Texas, an Austin suburb.
“Rebranding a whole company was a monumental effort,” said TXB Stores CEO Kevin Smartt on this week’s episode of Convenience Matters. “It just happened to coincide with a period in my life where I was trying to process where the industry was going, who we were as a company and how we would grow up and compete in the convenience store world.”
The rebrand started small. While the company was still Kwik Chek, the retailer used the term “Texas Born” on marketing and advertising materials. Then the chain launched its own-brand water with “Texas Born” on the label. Smartt had been thinking of using “Texas Born” as a total rebrand of the chain and went to the senior leaders of the company with the idea. Each person gave him the go ahead.
“I thought for sure I would have one conservative person go, ‘Oh, don't do it. Don't spend the money, don't go down that path.’ But I didn't,” he said.
Anna Felz, TXB’s director of brand management, was instrumental in the rebranding process, according to Smartt.
“We looked at other brands, not necessarily in our industry even, that we thought were best in class. We wanted simple, clean and modern,” said Felz. “Part of the reason we went with black and white branding was because with black and white, everything matches, everything pops, including your products in store.”
Next, the company wrote TXB’s brand story, crafted its own language, tagline and the company’s voice. Then it began on the interior of the store, starting with its dispensed beverages and foodservice and converting all food menus, packaging, cups and equipment to the TXB brand. Within a year, the company has implemented the new branding in its stores.
“Everything has a very consistent, coherent look,” Felz said.
Smartt said he is most proud of how TXB has transformed its foodservice offer.
“It's one of my favorite things. I eat breakfast or lunch in one of our stores almost every day,” he said. “We do everything fresh. It's a very challenging concept to operate. I'm proud of it, and we're not done with it.”
TXB has also implemented a brand ambassador in each store, whose job is to greet customers and show them around the store if they’ve never visited a TXB.
“It really does change the overall vibe of a store when you have this great personality in there who believes in the brand and is giving testimony to the brand,” said Smartt. “All of our new TXBs going forward, we're committed to keep that brand ambassador at each location.”
Don’t miss this week’s Convenience Matters episode “How a Rebrand Led to Reinvention at TXB” to learn how TXB is utilizing apparel to create a positive energy in stores, how the company is preparing for EV charging and why TXB’s gas pumps have such large TVs on them.
Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. She can be reached at [email protected].