“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 be customer loyalty or your ability to scale and expand, if you do not have a strong and clear vision for your business and its brand, you will continually face obstacles that will make it impossible for you to grow your restaurant. However, if you have a good understanding of who you are as a company and why your customers eat at your establishment, not only will you stand out from the crowd but you will be best positioned to capitalize on it with good branding. 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 in the acquisition of 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 accurate branding decisions. Everything from your location to your menu will be heavily influenced on this research and doing a deep dive in this regard 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 your competitors will help you know precisely how you are going to differentiate from them for an advantage. Go through their entire model and figure out how you can break through to your customers and become a memorable fixture of 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 is often the difference between successful branding and not. Knowing the needs of your customers and why they choose you will help you create a name that best calls to them. Don’t worry so much about out-doing your opponents in this regard. Instead, focus on standing out.
“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 more easily you can create a visual brand identity that speaks to your customers and clearly stands out from your competition.