“Whether you’re opening your very first location or considering a rebranding effort, strong restaurant branding is more crucial to your bottom line than ever.”
Poorly executed branding efforts can wreak havoc on your business. Whether it’s customer loyalty or your ability to scale your restaurant, if you don’t have a clear vision of your restaurant’s brand, you’ll continually face obstacles trying to grow.
However, if you have a good understanding of your company’s identity, and you are consistent with your restaurant’s branding, you will be positioned to attract your ideal customers. Here’s how:
Understand Your Company Values
The more you understand your customers and their needs, the more clearly you can define your values as a company. These values will be the foundation of your branding efforts and the driving force to attract your ideal customers. So, having a well-defined set of company values is key to developing an effective and executable branding strategy.
Know Your Audience
One of the most important components of successful restaurant branding is understanding your customers and their behaviors.
Who are your ideal customers, what do they value, and why do they choose you? Data-driven market research can help you develop a detailed customer profile that you can rely on for making branding decisions. Everything at your restaurant should be influenced by what your ideal customers are looking for and will be fundamental to your branding success.
Know Your Competitor
According to Molly St. Louis, a brand consultant and contributor to both Inc. and Adweek, competitor research is just as important as understanding your demographic. Researching competitors will help you know precisely how you should differentiate from them to your advantage. Go through their entire model and figure out how you can break through to your customers and become a memorable fixture in their day-to-day lives.
Everything about your branding should communicate the benefits of dining at your restaurant versus your competitors. And you can only do this correctly if you know exactly what your competition is offering and how.
Choose the Right Name
The name of your restaurant can be the difference between successful branding and not. Can a good name “make you”? Maybe. Can a bad name “break you”? Definitely. A name that’s too confusing, too long, or too hard to repeat will be detrimental to your brand. Don’t worry about ‘out-doing’ your competition in this regard. Instead, focus on standing out in a way that attracts your ideal customer.
“Just because all of your Greek fast-casual competitors use a pun in their name, design their restaurants with the Greek Isles in mind, and utilize the color blue doesn’t mean that’s what their audience cares about,” explains Beebe at the Toast blog. “Just because a lot of your competitors are doing something similar doesn’t mean it’s right,” she adds.
Conducting thorough market research is critical to choosing the right name. The better you understand your market, the easier you can create a visual brand identity that speaks to your customers and stands out from the competition.