Whether an established restaurant or a brand new opening, here are 3 keys that are essential for effective branding.
While these keys apply to any industry, Longitude works frequently in the restaurant industry and we will look at these keys from that angle.
When deciding the look and feel for your restaurant, the first thing to do is establish what type you are and what makes you unique. What is the personality of the restaurant? Is your restaurant appealing to the 20-year-old hipster, the family with young kids, or the senior citizen looking for a good deal? Identifying your target audience is important to determine how to position your branding accurately.
I have seen very high-end restaurants with branding that implies fast and cheap. There are many factors –price, menu, target audience, speed of service – that make up who you are.
A quick glance at your signage, website, social media, etc., should accurately represent the experience the customer can expect.
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 logo and brand.
Good food or great service isn’t enough — those are a given. Every place needs something unique that only they can do and this must be communicated creatively through the branding.
First impressions are a huge part of gaining new customers. They will encounter your brand before ever tasting your food or giving you a shot at earning their business.
Is your brand identity interesting and inviting, or is it cliche, boring and forgettable?
Once you’ve worked to create an accurate and unique brand, it has to be executed consistently. Most larger chains understand the importance of this, but many independent restaurants struggle.
A brand style guide or brand guideline document is something that should be developed. This will establish a foundation in order for everything to be executed consistently.
Any campaign or touch point with your audience should point back to the brand visually.
Starbucks can introduce new campaigns and products in creative and new ways but still looking unmistakably like Starbucks. The Starbucks visual identity has been executed consistently for so long that it is burned into our subconscious. In order to be remembered, you have to be consistent.
Is your brand identity lacking in one of these areas?
Longitude works with restaurants to create accurate, creative and consistent brand identities that bring long-term value to the business.
Dustin Myers is a brand strategist and designer who has owned and operated Longitude° since 2010. He has had the privilege of consulting with brands all over the world, helping their businesses grow through clear communication. He lives in Springfield, MO with his wife Lauren and their three children.