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How To Build A Great Brand For Your Restaurant

Your brand is who you are and who you plan to be. One thing that will be true is that if you don’t lay out exactly who you are and what you stand for, your customers will fill in the blanks and do that for you. Maybe you’re starting your first restaurant or maybe you’re looking to rebrand and evolve your current restaurant, here are the things that you should be keeping in mind and have defined as you move into creating an authentic and relatable brand for your business. 

These steps should be followed in order to prevent having to double back and rethink some of the more key components, but it’s up to you to decide which ares is best for you to start:

01. Tell your customers why you exist with a mission statement. 
02. Build your business a narrative that they can relate to.
03. Position your brand within the business landscape.
04. Define your market and speak directly to them. 
05. Know how you speak and stay consistent 
06. Determine your look and feel and stay consistent
07. Make informed decisions that align with your established brand.

To learn more about how you can use these 7 great ways that you can build a fantastic brand, we break down each step below.

01. Tell your customers why you exist in a mission statement

This is the first and easiest step to answer as you build your brand. Who are you and why do you exist? This question is the entire idea that your business should be based off of and the way that you measure the success of your venture. 

Maybe you have done the research and there is no business in the area that can provide customers with premium craft beer or maybe there is a large concentration of French immigrants in your neighborhood and you want to offer them a taste of home. Use why you’ve built your restaurant to tell customers why you’re here, why now, and why them. This is the quickest and most efficient way to connect with them and their needs.

02. Build your business a narrative that they can relate to.

Using the mission statement that you’ve just built, explain the motivation behind your decision to open this business. This is where you make the business you are building can really connect with customers and show them a glimpse of the people behind the brand. It also allows you to build a personality for your business and personify it. As you begin building your brand it’s important to think about the human element of who is building it and how. 

Maybe craft beer is a passion passed on for generations and the hope is that this business will make that legacy last forever. Or it could be that this restaurant is built using the owner’s grandmother’s recipe from her restaurant destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Find a unique angle on your origin story and expand on it to create a compelling story that interests your customers. 

03. Position your brand within the business landscape.

This is where competitive research really comes into play. You should never enter into a marketplace that you don’t fully understand. The best way to get and keep customers is to know what you offer that no one else can. Both direct and indirect competitors will have an effect on your business’s bottom line. Learning about these other businesses will allow you to understand why you had a bad night when they were running a good special. It can also help you compete with an even better special at your own establishment. 

Knowing what makes you stand out is the best tool you have in your marketing arsenal and the only real way that you can know how you’re different is to know how other businesses are the same. Start searching around, check social media, and even visit these other businesses to try them out. You may get some great ideas on how you can do what they do, better.

04. Define your market and speak directly to them.

This ties back into doing your research. As you look at both direct and indirect competitors you can begin learning about who frequents these competitors and why. You can start by looking at reviews or mentions on social media sites like franki to see who is going to these restaurants, why they’re going, and what they aren’t getting there. Next you can try looking up written reviews on Google or Yelp to see what the common denominators are. 

Once you understand the needs and demographics of your competitors you can start thinking about how all of that applies to you and your business. Using all of that information you can start formulating how you are going to speak directly to the customers that you’ve gotten to know so well. You can build personas for you average users based on what you’ve learned and use those as representatives of the people you’re speaking to.

05. Know how you speak and stay consistent

Once you know who you’re speaking to you can decide how best you can connect with them using tone and word choice. This could be anything from keeping your tone incredibly professional or very casual. Once you know your users and what they need from you, you can cater to them in a way that resonates with them. Each audience has different needs and each business needs to cater their voice to those needs in order to capture the attention of those customers and effectively engage with them. 

For example, if you are a bistro that is more upscale and you find that customers bring clients to your business for dinner meetings, you tone of voice would likely be more professional to recognize that your customers are looking for a professional environment. Or, if you are looking at your French restaurant, you could post using both French and English or use some French slang in your content.

06. Determine your look and feel and stay consistent

This is probably one of the more engaging parts of the branding experience. You get to look at both the words you’re using to describe yourself and the way imagery comes together and shows customers the best glimpse of who you are. This involves the words that you’re using but mostly it comes down to the words you use in a post on frank that you may use every day, or it could be the way that your posts look and how they reflect the brand that you’ve just built. 

For example, you could have a nickname for all of your followers or a phrase that is [resent in the sign off of every video. You could also have a colorful filter that highlights your brand colors that overlays on the top or every video that you post. It could even just be a logo embedded with your tagline at the bottom. Whatever you choose, each post you make should look and feel cohesive so users can recognize your style easily and connect with your content.

07. Make informed decisions that align with your established brand.

This is probably one of the more engaging parts of the branding experience. You get to look at both the words you’re using to describe yourself and the way imagery comes together and shows customers the best glimpse of who you are. This involves the words that you’re using but mostly it comes down to the words you use in a post on frank that you may use every day, or it could be the way that your posts look and how they reflect the brand that you’ve just built. 

For example, you could have a nickname for all of your followers or a phrase that is [resent in the sign off of every video. You could also have a colorful filter that highlights your brand colors that overlays on the top or every video that you post. It could even just be a logo embedded with your tagline at the bottom. Whatever you choose, each post you make should look and feel cohesive so users can recognize your style easily and connect with your content.

These steps don’t always have to be done in a specific order, but it’s helpful if they are as they prevent backtracking and rethinking areas with new, unearthed information. In short, everything that your business builds for your brand should be well-researched, established, and fully reviewed with your customers in mind. Building a brand is like building a house, everything lies in the size and the strength of the foundation. If you are planning to build a franchise from this one restaurant you can think of your house’s foundation needing to hold at least three to four stories which means that foundation has to be deeper and more complex. 

Branding doesn’t happen naturally and it definitely can’t happen over night. Take your time and you go through each step of this process and really think about who you are and what you have to offer to your community. Onur best advice to you is to do what feels right with your branding and always remember that your customer is the center of who you are and everything should be completed with them in mind.