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Unsubtle: Redefining the Ghost Kitchen Experience with Urbanely Adventurous Branding

Unsubtle is redefining the landscape of ghost kitchens, introducing a concept that bridges the gap between the virtual restaurant experience and a tangible, lifestyle destination. While many in the industry have prioritized the commissary model, keeping operations behind the scenes, Unsubtle stands out by turning this approach on its head. The goal was not just to highlight the burgeoning cloud kitchen market but to craft a brand that resonates, inviting diners into a distinctive culinary journey.


In a world where ghost kitchens often go unnoticed by consumers, the client, an innovative entrepreneur, envisioned a different approach. They wanted to create a physical destination, blending well-known fast-food brands with lesser-known eateries, all under one roof. Unsubtle wouldn't just be a kitchen conglomerate; it would be a place with its own distinct brand and ambiance, capturing the essence of the urbanely adventurous lifestyle.


The core challenge we faced centered on ghost kitchens' inherent nature—people often 'grab and go.' The ambition of our client was to craft an upscale ambient environment that enticed customers to relax, lounge, work, and perhaps enjoy a drink. This meant not only making the public aware of this unique ghost kitchen concept but also ensuring the brand resonated with the lifestyle they aspired to lead, coaxing them into being active participants of this culinary evolution.


To tackle this challenge, we began with exhaustive market research, targeting individuals who value self-directed autonomy and the freedom to choose what and where they eat. This valuable data informed our strategy to create a brand that seamlessly merged high-end sophistication with self-expressive elements. The result was the birth of the brand essence: "urbanely adventurous."


In developing Unsubtle's visual identity, we struck a balance between a polished exterior and an interior filled with color and energy. Our refined brand identity embraced Swiss typography, distinct color choices and purposeful messaging. The selection of the name "Unsubtle" wasn't a casual decision; it emerged from our methodical naming process. Chosen among numerous contenders across various naming categories, this term, with its growing popularity in the UK, aptly encapsulated the ethos of clear expression and added a touch of British elegance to the brand.

Key Takeaways

Our experience with Unsubtle taught us invaluable lessons. 

  • First, when creating a brand for physical spaces, comprehensive planning is essential to ensure a cohesive and immersive experience. Collaborating effectively with interior designers and architects was crucial in bringing our vision to life. 
  • Second, understanding our target audience and involving them in the creative process allowed us to create a brand that resonated deeply with their desires and aspirations. 
  • Third, we faced a significant setback when one of the planned locations was taken over by eminent domain. However, thanks to our adaptable branding strategy, we were able to seamlessly fit the brand concept into any location. 

With the client's unwavering passion combined with our dedication to building meaningful brands, we are confident that Unsubtle's upcoming launch will be a resounding success.

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Building a lifestyle brand

We wanted to create a brand with a name and essence that would transcend any single destination. Unsubtle is about being unafraid of who you are. It's a brand that people can identify with.
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