White Castle is so into understanding its audience, it hired a psychologist to interview lovers of the fast-food chain. The burger brand’s VP of marketing and public relations, Jamie Richardson, says one word kept coming up in conversations: craving.
That craving, along with the infamous movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, has turned the 102-year-old chain into a pop culture icon. Richardson shared on The Current Podcast why that fandom and cultural influence is foundational to the company's marketing efforts.
“Purpose is what it all comes down to,” Richardson says. “So, if you know why it exists, it makes it a lot more fun to invest your time and energy and talent towards creating something that's meant to last [and] that's meaningful. And when we discovered the strong emotional connection so many have with White Castle, we realized that that was gold.”
Elsewhere on the podcast, Richardson breaks down the story of how the movie script first got to White Castle, not having a one-size-fits-all approach to social media, and competing with global fast-food brands as a family-run business.