The Playa Bowls concept is the vision of founders Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor — both Jersey Shore natives and longtime surfers. What began as a pop-up shop outside of a pizza parlor in Belmar, New Jersey, has now grown into a hugely successful smoothie and health food franchise. As Playa Bowls continues to expand their 100 stores to new locations across the country, their mission to lead communities in healthy, sustainable living remains at the heart of all they do.
With the excitement that popularity and growth brings, there also comes a few challenges. Rapid growth meant that the Playa Bowl marketing team was overwhelmed with requests for designs, and was unable to find a scalable solution to their problem.
“We were wasting a lot of time doing one-off design requests for different stores,” explains Erin McGregor, the Playa Bowls Marketing and Public Relations Director. Franchisors were reaching out directly to the corporate team whenever they needed an asset made or changed, no matter how large or small of a project it was. The marketing team was struggling to keep up with the volume of requests, each spending over five hours a week on after-hours “emergency” design requests alone. “As we grew, it just wasn’t feasible to keep doing this. We knew we had to find a tool to better design and manage assets.”
Despite their best efforts, the team wasn’t always able to create assets in time, and individual franchises would publish their own designs — oftentimes, not within Playa Bowl’s brand guidelines. “If in-store signage doesn’t look professional, our brand integrity suffers,” says Brenna Trumper, the Playa Bowls Operations and Marketing Manager. “Since we’ve grown so quickly, it’s really important to not dilute our brand and to have everything look “Playa.”
Even if they could get a design made in a timely manner, printing added another layer of difficulty. Brenna and Erin even saw franchisors using handmade posters to advertise outside of their stores. Having to use a printing company to resize and produce posters, flyers, and more could take days and cost thousands of dollars. Before using Canva, the team was waiting for assets to be approved, invoiced, printed and shipped, and paying fees to get existing designs resized, on top of the costs of printing and shipping.
Implementing Canva for Teams as their design and asset management solution has helped Playa Bowls to save time, money and frustration in their marketing efforts.
“Canva is my favorite tool that we use,” Brenna says. “Franchisees feel a sense of freedom to create what they want and have assets look on-brand without having to work that hard.”
Even though most of their franchisees have minimal design knowledge, they have found Canva for Teams to be extremely user-friendly. “You don’t need any graphic design skill to create really professional-looking assets,” says Erin. With tools like Background Remover and Magic Resize, it’s easy for franchisees to customize and create exactly what they need, without always needing the marketing team’s help. And having all logos, graphics, promotional templates and more organized in shared folders, franchisees have easy access to everything they need to design.
Knowing that everything created by their franchisees is on-brand gives the corporate team tremendous peace of mind. “We feel a sense of security from a branding standpoint. All of our stores have their own social media accounts and some of our customers are introduced to Playa Bowls through these channels. Canva has helped to manage what they produce, and we feel confident knowing that our brand standard is protected,” says Erin.
On top of creating and approving designs quickly and efficiently, printing is also now a breeze. Canva Print has allowed the Playa Bowls team to instantly print their designs, and save money with free shipping. “The print feature has been an absolute game changer for us,” says Brenna. “It feels like we’re Canva’s only client. We’re able to work on our own timeline and can get anything we need printed instantly and shipped to us in only a few days.”
Looking towards the future, Playa Bowls is excited to use Canva for Teams to expand their social media presence, particularly creating and editing videos to reach new audiences. They continue to rapidly grow to new locations across the country, and use Canva for Teams to help scale their business.
To learn more about how your team can achieve a design workflow that will make your employees and customers happy, visit canva.com/for-teams
Operations and Marketing Manager, Playa Bowls