Understanding your Brand

Your “brand” is your image: how you want to present your business to your customers. Having a focused and recognizable brand is an important part of running effective marketing strategies for your establishment. You want your restaurant or bar to be uniquely and recognizably “you” so you can stand out from the competition.

The key to branding comes from the Three C’s: your brand must be Consistent, Concise, and Clear. In other words, the appearance of your brand should have continuity throughout with all fonts, colors, and graphics. Everything related to your establishment should also have few extraneous flourishes that can undermine your brand identity.

Branding is one of the most important features of any business, and an effective brand strategy can give you a major advantage in competitive markets.

Improving your Brand

In today’s post, we want to take you through the basics of what makes up your brand, so we’ve identified six strategic areas where many companies will find opportunities for improvement.

Menu:

We have already discussed how what’s on your menu can affect your brand in an earlier post. Your menu is your product, and, as such, it should be treated as the crown jewel of your brand identity. Take extra care with the design and layout of your menu; a good menu can vastly improve the customer experience, while a poorly designed menu can turn customers off. Think of your menu as a primary introduction to your business, it is the best way to make a good impression on your customers.

Logo:

A logo is your brand. Your business should have three variations of a logo: a Symbol with Text, Symbol only, and Text only. By having these three options, you will be able to more effectively apply your logo to various types of marketing. Logos should have specific, standardized fonts and colors, and should remain the same throughout your marketing. Keeping your logo consistent wherever it appears will help customers recognize you and begin to trust your brand when they see it.

Website: 

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how important a website is for your business in today’s world. Your website needs to be an attractive, informative, and functional extension of your restaurant. Allow customers to view the menu, see your events, and even make reservations through your website. Just remember, a Facebook page is a great way to supplement your website but should never replace it.

Social Media: 

As important as your website is to the success of your business, your social media presence is arguably just as important for customers. With the growing number of Millennial (and younger) customers, a strong social media presence sets you up for the free marketing these customers bring with them. Additionally, the inherent interactivity that social media offers allows you to connect more directly with customers and engage spontaneously with the public.

Always think about the type of atmosphere you want to convey and how you want your customers to feel while eating or drinking.

Decor:

The look and feel of your restaurant are often overlooked or sidelined to prioritize other efforts. Decor helps create an environment for your customers which influences how they feel about your restaurant or bar. The decor you choose should be part and parcel of your entire brand identity, not a separate entity or afterthought. Always think about the type of atmosphere you want to convey and how you want your customers to feel while eating or drinking. If your decor meshes with your brand identity, you will create a more memorable experience for patrons.

Press Releases & Media:

Whether you run a blog, send out newsletters, or you or your staff are interviewed by a media outlet, your interaction with the public is part of your brand too. You should consider every public interaction you have to be an opportunity to represent your establishment. Edit anything you send out to publications or patrons. Get a second (or third) set of eyes to look over your work to make sure everything is perfect. This is the one aspect of your brand that you need to ensure is always flawless.

 

Brand on the Run

Your brand is your identity and should be unique to you. Once you establish the rules, it’s your chance to run with it and enact your ideas. If you can decide on your establishment’s identity early, you can implement your ideas in a consistent way from the beginning. Keep in mind, a brand is never complete and will continually require tweaking in pursuit of perfection; don’t be afraid to take risks to establish a strong identity for your business. Above all else, keep your branding consistent, concise, and clear; that way, customers will always be able to know who you are, and have some fun with it.