New restaurant opens in highly competitive market

Client Case Study

Madrones, a new-concept, American bar & grill-style restaurant located in Frederick, Maryland, opened in early 2013. 

A few months after opening, Madrones partnered with Illumine8 Marketing & PR to generate a steady pipeline of new customers for their flagship Frederick, Maryland, restaurant located in the Clemson Corner shopping center. Illumine8 focused on generating awareness and new customers via a customized marketing & content strategy including a comprehensive social media campaign combined with improved website design and functionality. Together, Illumine8 and Madrones developed not just a marketing strategy, but also business strategy that included monthly specials, segmentation in the craft beer market, and a brunch product.


334% increase in social media reach and engagement, year-over-year


408% growth in website traffic, year-over-year


3x Best of Frederick Award winners

The Challenge

Madrones was attempting to break into the highly competitive Frederick restaurant market where they had little brand recognition among potential customers. Opening in a saturated market with well-established local and national chain restaurants presented significant hurdles to success. Moreover, maintaining momentum and interest after Madrones’ grand opening posed challenges as well, given the multitude of quality dining options in the area.

“We’re not a national chain so when we opened in Frederick not many folks knew our name. That was a major challenge for us. Illumine8 generated awareness and new customers for us quickly. Their content strategy and management program, as well as their ability to track results and adjust tactics quickly, contributed greatly to a successful first year and is a big reason we’re still thriving today.”

-Fred Rosenthal, President, Jaspers Restaurant Group

The Process

The Illumine8 team conducted in-depth discovery sessions with the Madrones leadership team to better understand their product, identify their challenges, build upon successes, and collaborate on new ways to engage potential customers.

A content strategy was developed, organized, and deployed, including:

  • Better understand product
  • Identify challenges
  • Build upon successes
  • Collaborate on new ways to engage potential customers

The Illumine8 team then designed a new logo and created a new tagline for the business. Once approved and the new branding was established, the collaboration turned to executing the brand across a new, modern website optimized for lead capture and conversion. On a parallel path, a content strategy was developed, organized, and deployed, including a new company newsletter, email marketing, blogs, and social media promotion.

The Results

The marketing and content strategy delivered Madrones the results they needed, tripling social engagement levels and quadrupling website traffic. Illumine8 also facilitated award submissions, promoting Best of Frederick Award wins via their website and various social media outlets.

Today, Madrones is a well-known and successful Frederick restaurant staple and is a key player in its burgeoning foodie scene.