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Client Texas Restaurant Association
Disciplines Research, Branding, Design & Content, Marketing, Web Development

Feeding the association that feeds Texas

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A Buffet of Solutions

News flash: Texans love going out to eat. That’s why we spend more than $50 billion at restaurants and employ 1.2 million people — a full 12% of the state’s workforce — in the foodservice industry.

So when the Texas Restaurant Association came to Mighty Citizen, eager to polish their online identity and bring it fully into the now, we knew the stakes were high: If we got this right, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) would see its influence expand quicker than a chocolate soufflé.

The TRA website features large, bright designs that embody the association’s fearless, active personality.
We learned a lot working with Mighty Citizen. We leveraged our new online presence to grow engagement and event attendance!” Wendy Woodland, Former VP of Marketing & Communications

Speaking to the New Membership

Like most professional associations, TRA realized that its next generation of potential members is young … and skeptical of the value of joining an association:

What could TRA do for me, really?

Answering this question formed the core of our strategy. A new TRA website would target the up-and-coming restaurant professionals who are already redefining their industry.

Unfortunately, for far too many agencies, “targeting millennials” means going heavy on visual razzle dazzle, light on substance.

Not us. We’ve been around too long to buy into that nonsense. Instead, we recognize that millennials are highly savvy Internet consumers — able to sniff out meaningless hype in an instant. So, while the visual design of the new website would be tasteful and attractive, it’s primary mission would be to make membership in the TRA a no-brainer.

35%
increase in site visitors
47%
increase in organic traffic
13%
increase in mobile traffic

Website #2: The Marketplace Conference

As we began architecting and designing the TRA website, we also began crafting another website: for their annual conference and expo, TRA Marketplace. Of course, the second website had its own unique strategy.

As the hub for everything related to this huge (and hugely important) event — the second largest restaurant show in the country — the TRA Marketplace site needed to both borrow from TRA’s new visual brand while also creating clear user pathways that turned visitors into registrants.

The result is spectacular: It feels like TRA but it’s clearly an event website all its own. The simplified architecture makes navigation a breeze, while the assortment of content types — e.g., social feeds, testimonials, benefit statements, etc. — manage to speak to TRA’s variety of users.

Both websites were developed atop the same Drupal CMS — an ideal content management solution for TRA staff, who are now empowered to manage both sites in one place. We built the sites modularly — i.e., staff create content once, which is then automatically published in multiple places around the sites.

This approach is saving TRA staff massive amounts of time. And as our partnership grows, we continue to support TRA’s mission with design and digital updates that react to the ever-shifting industry.

The TRA Marketplace website is easy-to-use for both visitors and content editors.
We extended the look of online communications to offline efforts as well. Here, direct mail encouraged sponsorship of the TRA Marketplace.

Getting the Message Right

There’s no better time to revisit your public messaging than when you’re redesigning your online presence. What good is a big, beautiful new website if it’s filled with the same, outdated, less-than-perfect content? So before we moved a single pixel on the Marketplace’s web design, we first collaborated closely with TRA to craft a comprehensive Messaging Platform.

This document — which includes a positioning statement, why-how-what analysis, benefit claim, audience summaries, example messaging, and much more — now serves as the basis for every message that TRA puts into the world about the Marketplace.

Without a smart Messaging Platform in place, an organization runs the (very real) risk of diluting their brand identity and operating in the dark — unable to say the right things in the right way at the right times. 

The Messaging Platform ensures the TRA is sharing a consistent message across the organization.
A huge ‘thank you’ to Mighty Citizen. It was a beast of a job, but they made it look easy. Their professionalism, attention to detail, creativity, respect for budget, and knowledge are second to none.” Wendy Woodland, Former VP of Marketing & Communications

A Rave Review!

We’re honored to partner with TRA. As one of the largest associations in Texas, their commitment to serving their members is second to none. Helping them influence the future of this enormous industry has been one of our mightiest challenges, and one we look forward to continuing for years to come.

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