Developing a strong brand presence, both online and in person, is vital to any restaurant and hospitality business. Now more than ever, it is important for restaurants to create their own content for the web, manage their Instagram profile in an interesting way for the public and, above all, clearly and linearly convey the character of the brand and their tone of voice. Brands and branding have evolved over time, moving from one phase to another of the following:
These voices categorize the evolution of the brand over time, but also classify the steps it should take in developing its brand identity.
1. Brand as an object
Simply, the brand consists of a company, a logo or a brand and a product. In other words, when you see a particular sign, you will think of that particular company, such as the Golden Arches and McDonald’s. To achieve a branding level like this, you must first identify what your brand is and how it is perceived. Ask yourself questions like “What do we want people to associate with our brand?” And “How do we want our customers to think about it?” – Once you have the answers, you can start defining a logo or a visual representation of your brand that will be integrated into your restaurant.
While your audience or goals may not be the same as McDonald’s, it’s important to create a visual identity that clearly distinguishes you and communicates what you offer your customers.
2. Brand as an idea
It is important that a brand exists beyond an abstract name and logo in people’s minds. One way we suggest bridging this gap is to humanize your restaurant by sharing your “founder story”.
The story of a founder tells your customers about the inspiration, passion and, often, the problems that come with owning a restaurant or business. Sharing the inspiration behind your restaurant will help customers understand your values.
3. Brand as an experience
The idea of a brand as an experience translates into customer interactions with brands building deeper connections, leading to sales. For the hospitality and restaurant industry, this means incorporating your brand into the whole experience, from where the bricks are and to online interactions. When you designed your restaurant, every choice, from location to lighting, was made with the intent of creating a unique experience for your guests: now you need to apply this strategy to the hashtags you use and the images you share.
According to the National Restaurant Association , 34% of consumers use social media when choosing a restaurant. This means that the content you are sharing and the content shared by other guests is potentially affecting ⅓ of your clientele. To make it easier for people to interact with your brand on social media, you need to design branded hastags and create a location for your business on Instagram.
4. Brand as a relationship
As more and more brands have adopted the approach to experience, it has become clear that a single moment in time is not enough to cement brand loyalty – as a brand, you need to help make your story the story of your guests. By getting people to express themselves through your brand, such as carrying coffee mugs or reusable bags, becoming part of a customer’s routine, businesses can create long-term cycles of engagement and action for customers. And by using a multi-channel strategy, companies can nurture their relationship with customers even without visiting a public place.