As competition continues to stiffen in the restaurant industry, one of the ways restaurateurs can make their establishments stand out is through consistent branding. This includes providing great customer experiences as well creating visual representations of your brand that tell your story in a manner that appeals to your customers.
The foundation of a great brand is understanding what your customers want and providing the right products and services for them. This is because a brand is basically made up of the thoughts and feelings that people have about your business, based on their experiences with it. In the restaurant industry, building a noteworthy brand would encompass providing the right meals, setting the required ambience and making sure the service is up to par with your customers’ expectations. You would also need to look at your internal processes and ensure they support the kind of service delivery and brand you would like to build.
Once you have laid your brand foundation, you will need to have staff training and onboarding activities set up so that new staff members get to understand your brand before they start interacting with customers.
Laying this foundation is an important stage to go through before building your visual brand assets. It does not matter if you have the right logo or marketing materials if your service levels are not good enough, a wonderfully designed logo will not save you.
Creating your visual assets is the fun part of branding as it allows you to be creative and express your brand story in any way you choose to that will resonate with your audience. This starts with a professional designed logo, fonts, colour palette, tone of voice as well as imagery treatment. These will usually be put together in a brand manual, which will be your go-to reference point when working on marketing and public relations campaigns. It is important to follow the brand manual, in everything from your menu to your email signatures, to maintain brand consistency. The idea is to have all your visual material telling the same brand story. If there are inconsistencies in any of your materials, then your brand story loses credibility.
When developing your brand visual assets, bear your customers in mind and create visuals that will appeal to them. For instance a family fast food restaurant would have a different colour scheme and photography to a lounge targeting young adults. You should also benchmark against existing reputable restaurants in your niche and find out what appeals to customers.
Visual branding encompasses more than a logo and marketing material. It also includes how you design your space. Engaging a professional interior design will ensure that you create the right ambience for your target customers. Depending on the type of restaurant you have, choose the right textures and fittings that help to build the environment that will make your customers want to be in the space. You could also create artwork that is unique to your restaurant. This could be something that customers would want to take pictures with and share with their network. Your lighting also affects your restaurant’s appeal and it is crucial to get it right as it helps customers to take great pictures that they can share on social media.
Building your restaurant brand does not mean having to come up with a fictitious representation of your restaurant. Rather it means looking at your strengths and building on them to create exceptional customer experiences. Creating visual assets that support your brand will go a long way to ensuring you present a consistent and effective image.
If you need assistance with branding then Napkin can help. With our branding service, we can advise with the simple tweaking of your logo to a full-blown rebranding of your establishment. Either way, drop us a line and let’s see what we can create together.
Brand and communication expert,
Copywriter for Napkin