Scott jams with Fiona Bateman, Head of Brand marketing at Menulog and overseer of the massive brand repositioning that put Menulog back on the home food delivery menu for Australians. She talks strategy and research and the valuable role a brand ambassador like Snoop Dogg plays in reaching the right audiences, as well as media choices and partnerships. They explore competing with global big guns, launching the new brand right in the middle of COVID, and managing the customer experience when you don’t own the food providers or the delivery fleet. Fiona discusses Menulog’s place within the global Just Eat empire and the valuable learnings she still applies today, from her time working for a startup where bravery was king and nothing was off the table brand-wise.
Fiona Bateman is the head of brand marketing at Menulog, an app-based food delivery service founded in Australia more than 15 years ago. Before joining Menulog, Fiona held a similar role in the UK, working for their parent company Just Eat—the UK’s market leader. While Just Eat was at the top of their game, the Menulog brand was not so much. The brand’s image wasn’t connecting with the youth market. This period of decline in 2018 coincided with newbies like Uber Eats emerging with better technology and providing the marketing with access to restaurants that didn’t traditionally offer delivery.
Fiona was transported to Australia to lend her market-leading knowledge and help reverse the downward trend, while the business strategically invested heavily in brand building activity. Fiona had been working in brand for over ten years, starting off on the London tech start-up scene, where creativity and brand is everything as you try and launch a new product and stand out from the crowd.
She found initial success with an app called YPlan, which was sold to Time Out. Just Eat still had a start-up mentality—much of the early success was attributed to aggressive brand tactics and they favoured traditional above-the-line channels much earlier than they probably should have. Fiona is a firm believer in the long and short of it, which she says might be a cliché. But it actually works. And she’s proving it as Menulog continues to see the gap closing in on their competition.