6 essential ingredients for making your brand successful
Whether you're starting, refreshing, or expanding your brand, getting it right is crucial to your success. The good news is that restaurants are doing better than ever. The National Restaurant Association reported $825 billion in sales for 2018. And, 61% of adults say they would rather spend money on an experience, such as a restaurant, compared to purchasing an item from a store.
Regardless, all restaurants face common challenges: a weak concept, bad location, disengaged staff, or poor execution of your brand can create a drop in sales. Creating a positive, memorable experience for your customers will make them recommend you and come back for more.
Here’s 6 key ingredients to plan for success...
1 Know your customers
To develop a successful brand, you need to understand your target customers as well as your current customers; their needs, behaviors and what they want. To win their loyalty your brand should behave as if it is meant just for them.
2 Define your vision, purpose and values
Before you start building your brand, you need to define what your brand stands for, and then deliver your beliefs throughout your organization. How your brand is perceived affects its success whether you're a start-up or established.
3 Stand out from the competition
Examine your competition. Take the time to visit other restaurants and weigh your experience. How do they stand out? What unique offer might they have? Yelp, Zagat and Open Table are also good resources to identify what the competition is up to.
4 Be creative and consistent
Your branding may be accurate, but just as important is creativity. Design influences buying decisions. When people are deciding on trying a new restaurant they need to be compelled through a creative experience from the logo to the lighting. Once you’ve created an accurate and unique brand, it has to be consistently executed. Branding isn’t just about the logo; it’s about adopting a consistent attitude online, and in real life, and helping your brand to be instantly recognizable. Consistency creates a seamless customer journey across touch points, delivering a positive experience customers will remember.
5 Invest in marketing and design
Marketing and design, like all other parts of your restaurant, takes money. A general rule is that your marketing budget should be 3% to 6% of sales. To begin, you will have to prepare for the initial costs — your brand identity, website, PR, social media strategy, menu design interiors, signage, etc.— investing in these will pay off in the long run. Even if you only rely on word-of-mouth, you still need to give people a great experience to talk about!
6 Train your staff to "live" the brand
Your staff is also a part of your brand. Train your staff to be "brand ambassadors," ensuring they lead by example — dressed in a manner that fits, having the right attitude, knowing the product, and working together to create a particular dining experience for your guests.