MIX Case Study


Taking a small California pizza chain and transforming it into a unique and wildly successful international pizza brand.

The Problem

When we started working with zpizza, there were roughly 15 franchised stores clustered in southern California. The product was unique and addictive, created by its founder, Sid Fanarof. The brand, however, felt mom and pop, not unlike most neighborhood pizza joints. The brand did not reflect the product and this disconnect was impeding the franchise organization’s progress.

Our Findings

We conducted a comprehensive brand equity audit to get a bead on the brand from the loyal zpizza customer base, pizza lovers, franchise owners and employees. We evaluated the look and feel of the existing stores and the consistency of the product from store to store. We interviewed the founder. And we discovered several key differentiators:

  • ZPizza is creative
    Menu offerings were fresh, unique, even unexpected. Store interiors, for the most part, evoked a feeling of an artists loft.
  • ZPizza is organic & health-conscious
    Many of the ingredients were organic and all of the ingredients were of the superior quality.
  • ZPizza is progressive
    This is an idealistic company that is socially and environmentally forward thinking. They care.
  • ZPizza is from Laguna Beach, California
    A beautiful California beach town and an artist colony—which had a big influence on the company.
The Strategy

We knew that we needed a logo that reflected the unique character of zpizza. Since the “Z” is such a signature of the name we strove to capture it in a non-traditional way. Our solution was to use pizza slices (another unique feature of ZPizza is pizza-by-the-slice) to come together in a dynamic way to create a “Z” with the negative space. The toppings in the slices were scattered in such a way to evoke the energy and festive quality of confetti.


  • Brand strategy & development
  • Logo design
  • Illustration
  • Packaging
  • Store signage
  • Customer traffic flow
  • Menu development
  • Website design
  • Advertising
  • Collateral
  • Environmental design
  • Promotions
  • POP
The Result

ZPizza is now an international brand with exploding growth. From their humble beginnings in California, they now have 100 units open in the US with plans for another 300. They have recently opened franchises in Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Even in this current economic downturn, zpizza’s sales continue to rise and franchisees are flocking to the concept. Chris Bright, the President and CEO of ZPizza, sums it up best: “We have worked with Bob Nenninger since 2003 and he has developed the ZPizza brand into what it is today. The success that we have experienced is a direct result of their brilliant work.”



Brand Design


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