Smashburger's Unorthodox Marketing Strategy

Think radio adverts are so 1980s? They're helping this restaurant chain succeed.

Smashburger has opened more than 200 restaurants in the past seven years.

Founder Tom Ryan told Nation's Restaurant News that the fast-casual chain's success can be attributed to an unconventional marketing philosophy that relies heavily on social media and old-fashioned word of mouth.

Ryan said the chain still uses some radio and television advertising.

But Smashburger focuses heavily on events, such as when it offered a free sandwich to anyone with "burger" or "berger" in their name on National Cheeseburger day, he said.

Ryan said these events become a topic of conversation for bloggers and social media.

"From the beginning, we wanted Smashburger to be a defining brand for the next generation, and the marketing mix for how you engage them is different than for how you engaged the last generation," Ryan said.

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

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