How can you ensure that your restaurant stands out and entices customers in a sea of competition? And once they've eaten at your establishment, how do you ensure they'll become regulars? The answer to these queries (and more) is a solid restaurant brand.
In today's environment, digital marketing is king. In many circumstances, having a current and accessible online presence for your restaurant is the difference between making money or losing it. You may keep consumers coming back if your restaurant has a distinct brand - all you have to do is rely on your marketing. Few people know this, but an overwhelming majority of a company's business comes from its existing customers. In fact, 65% of all business is generated in this way.
Many people falsely believe that creating a simply designed restaurant logo is all it takes to build a lovable brand. However, constructing a brand that speaks to your customers and entices them to return requires time and energy. The payoff? A successful restaurant business with supporting clientele.
How to Brand Your Restaurant
What exactly is a restaurant brand, anyway? To begin with, it's crucial to distinguish between branding— how things appear, feel, and sound— and brand, which comprises all of the former as well as the perception of your company as a whole.
Your restaurant's brand is how you want your customers and the community to remember you long after they leave. It encompasses everything from the atmosphere of your restaurant to how you maintain your social media accounts.
Steps to Build a Restaurant Brand
- Establish a Clear Vision and Business Plan
- Have a Mission Statement or Visual Statement Ready
- Understand Your Positioning & Competition in the Market
- Establish a Brand Voice & Brand Tonality
- Create a Cohesive Brand Identity
- Invest in Digital Branding
- Discover Digital Marketing Channels
- Evaluate the Customer Experience
- Constantly Evolve
- Rinse & Repeat
Your brand is what makes your restaurant unique--it should be cherished as one of the most valuable aspects of your business. It's the voice that tells you whether a decision made in your restaurant is staying true to the establishment's mission, vision, values, and purpose.
Maintaining customer loyalty is crucial for all businesses, but restaurants might have a tougher time than most due to customers' varied taste preferences. Attaining brand loyalty may appear daunting at first, but it's essential to focus on retaining loyal customers. After all, 52% of consumers say they would recommend the restaurant brands they're loyal to—showing just how important these customers are.
Even if one night the service wasn't up to snuff, or their dish wasn't cooked correctly, having a well-thought-out brand allows consumers to feel good about their dining experience in your restaurant. This is the strength of outstanding restaurant marketing.
Consider the last place you had real brand loyalty to. What was it about that restaurant that made you want to return? The coffee business, for example, is one of the most crowded industries out there. Customers, however, will pass up great coffee in favor of well-known brands like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, owing to the power of their branding. Both chains have a large presence in the United States, with branding that is recognizable by color alone— but this didn't happen overnight. Their branding developed as a result of their distinct narrative, clear purpose, visible logos, and strong market position.
So, how do eateries with strong branding manage to pull it off? Let's go through the process of developing a restaurant brand one step at a time to learn more.
10-Steps to Build a Restaurant Brand
Now that we've gone over what a restaurant brand is and its importance, it's time to start building your own.
Establish a Clear Vision and Business Plan
When starting a restaurant, there are many more factors to consider than simply the food. From the start, you'll need a clear vision and strategy in order to establish a successful brand. What kind of ambiance do you want to provide? What sort of experience do you want your customers to have? These questions will help you figure out everything from décor and cuisine to how you educate your staff.
Once you've got a clear concept, you may start producing marketing and advertising methods to appeal to your desired consumer base. You'll be well on your way to establishing a successful restaurant brand with a clear vision and strategy in place.
Have a Mission Statement or Visual Statement Ready
A mission statement is a wonderful tool for describing your company's purpose. You may attract like-minded people who will support your firm by stating your goals and principles. A strong mission statement can also help you stay on track as your company grows. Including a visual statement that summarizes your brand in one image or sentence and a mission statement may be beneficial.
The goal statement is a document that sums up the whole mission of your restaurant. It should be simple for customers to recall. You may begin developing a strong restaurant brand by including both a purpose statement and a visual statement.
Understand Your Positioning & Competition in the Market
Before you start working on your restaurant's image, it is essential to understand where you stand in relation to similar businesses. What does your competition offer? Are there any areas where they are particularly strong or weak? How does your eatery differ from theirs- what unique need does it fill?
Once you've figured out what your competition is and where you fall in the market, you can start thinking about how you want your restaurant to be regarded by potential consumers. What do you want them to experience? How should they feel after visiting your establishment?
You may begin to develop strong marketing materials that will assist attract new clients and grow customer loyalty when you have a clear concept for your restaurant's brand.
Establish a Brand Voice & Brand Tonality
Regardless of your sector, one of the essential things you can do for your business is to develop a strong brand voice. In the restaurant business, where customers have numerous alternatives, and it's tough to distinguish oneself from the competition, having a well-defined brand voice may assist you in communicating your distinct product and connecting with your target audience. It may also help your eatery stand out and forge loyalty among customers. So, how do you go about developing a brand voice for your restaurant?
Start by considering the general tone you wish to project. Are you a laid-back or businesslike individual? Upbeat or serious? Once you've decided on a general tone, consider words and phrases that epitomize your brand's personality. Do you want people to think of you as warm and friendly, or do you want them to appreciate your quirkiness and humor? Whatever it is, ensure your brand voice is consistent across all your communications—including your website, menus, and social media postings. Remember to educate your staff on how to communicate your brand's voice correctly.
Create a Cohesive Brand Identity
A crucial step to take when building a prosperous restaurant brand is creating a cohesive identity. This involves ensuring that your message is always clear and consistent in every form of marketing and advertising, such as your logo, website design, and menu. All these elements should work together to reflect the image you want to project.
Your restaurant won't get very far if customers can't remember it or don't know what to expect. A consistent brand identity amplifies customer loyalty and attracts new potential customers, resulting in a stronger front for your business. Creating a unified brand identity requires time and attention devoted to your restaurant--an investment that will pay off handsomely down the road.
Invest in Digital Branding
In today's digital world, more and more consumers are using the internet to research restaurants before they visit. Investing in digital branding for your restaurant can make sure that potential customers can easily find and learn about your business online.
There are a number of ways to approach digital branding for your restaurant.
- First, consider creating a strong website that accurately reflects your brand and provides potential customers with useful information like menus, contact details, and location.
- Next, focus on building up your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to post regular updates and engaging content that will capture the attention of your target audience.
- Finally, consider investing in a premium domain name that is an exact match of your domain. TLDs like ".inc" provide businesses with a unique and memorable web address that can help boost brand recognition and awareness.
Discover Digital Marketing Channels
As any business owner knows, marketing is key to success—nowadays, that digital presence. With the sheer number of online channels and options, it can be tricky to discern where to begin. If you own a restaurant, consider utilizing these couple of digital marketing tools to help construct your brand and reach out to new clientele.
One of the most important things you can do is claim your Google My Business listing. This ensures that your restaurant shows up in relevant searches and allows you to control what information is displayed about your business. You should also ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and includes accurate information about your location, hours, and menu.
Another excellent approach to finding potential consumers is through social media. Ensure that you have a current profile on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that you may interact with people. You can also utilize social media for marketing and giveaways, which might help to increase interest in your restaurant.
Finally, don't forget the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage happy clients to provide favorable reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, and make sure your team provides excellent service so that customers will want to tell others about your restaurant. You may develop your business by utilizing these digital marketing channels effectively.
Evaluate the Customer Experience
Building a restaurant brand takes more than just serving great food. It also requires creating a memorable customer experience that keeps diners coming back for more. One of the best ways to evaluate the customer experience is to solicit feedback directly from guests. This can be done through surveys, comment cards, or even simply talking to diners as they leave the restaurant. Pay close attention to what guests say they liked and didn't like about their experience. Use this feedback to make changes that will improve the overall customer experience. Remember, happy customers, are essential for building a strong restaurant brand.
The restaurant industry is constantly changing, and successful brands need to change with it. Keep up with the latest trends by attending industry events, reading trade publications, and following influencers on social media. Then, use what you've learned to evolve your own brand. This might mean updating your menu to reflect the latest food trends or redesigning your dining room to create a more modern atmosphere. Whatever changes you make, be sure they are in line with your brand's identity.
Rinse & Repeat
The process of building a strong restaurant brand doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of trial and error. The most important thing is to keep at it. If you make a mistake, learn from it and try again. Over time, you will develop a loyal following of customers who appreciate your brand.
There you have it—10 tips to help you brand your restaurant. Keep in mind that building a strong brand takes time and effort, but it is well worth the investment. By taking the time to develop your brand, you'll set yourself up for long-term success.