Branding is everything for a venue, and the value of uniformity and consistency can be huge. However, if you have established that the brand is not working for whatever reason, there is a need to go back to the drawing board to re-brand. Yet, with this, you need to know several things in order to make the re-brand successful.
Understand where you are currently positioned.
Before you can make any changes, you need to understand and identify how your venture is currently performing. You need to outline everything from what you are doing well, and what you could improve upon. A starting point for this will usually be to analyse your takings and see what they can tell you about your business. For example, do your diners spend more on food or drinks? Are there any favourites on the menu? Or any events that you host that appear to be popular? You may also want to carry out alternative research by talking to family, friends, staff and customers. Ask them for an opinion on various aspects of the business, what they like about your establishment, but a more important piece of information could be what they like about other restaurants in the city. A combination of this information should give you a focus for your rebrand.
Collect and use your history.
If your business has existed for a while, you may be sitting on a goldmine – some companies pay marketing companies to develop background stories for them, just to sound more established and authentic. If possible, you should gather as much company history as possible and scatter it throughout your branding and marketing. You should explain how your company came to be and why customer should see the value in it. For example, if your business is family run, you should highlight this, diners love something that is built from a family love, and are able to share that sense of coming together, highlighting that your venue has a cosy feel to it, and your customer are treated as friends. Whatever your business background, you need to let potential visitors know how it will benefit them.
Don’t copy, but take inspiration!
When you are thinking about rebranding, it’s important to pay attention to what your competitors might be doing better than you. Visit their premises, examine their staff behaviours, customer reactions and the operations that go on throughout the establishment. You should also look at how they market themselves, everything from their logos, colours, and signs to interior, feature items and restaurant layout. Plus monitor their presence on social media channels, magazines, or even on review websites. There are several websites that advise on how to take inspiration- but it is vital not to copy, keep things authentic and ensure you stand out from the crowd!
Engage the services of an Interior Designer.
Once you have an initial brief you are ready to engage an interior designer. On appointment review your initial brief to form the Design Brief. The initial brief will almost certainly need to be fleshed out before the project gets underway. The brief review is the time for you and your designer to make sure that all the fundamental assumptions and objectives are understood and agreed and thus form the Design Brief.
By working closely with them you will help to establish a valuable dialogue and ensure that you have a clear understanding about creative references, functional needs, roles and responsibilities. The important thing is to get it right because design changes later in the project have the potential to undermine the integrity of the overall design, delay the project and add greatly to the cost.
At this point the timetable should also be confirmed. To what extent must an existing business continue to function during refurbishment? The design may have to be ‘phased’ or staged to allow key activities to continue. A good brief, like any good document, is the foundation of success. In formulating a good brief, you empower your designer to do what they do best with the potential to deliver a project quite literally beyond your expectations.
Get active on social media
If you aren’t using social media to market your restaurant or interact with your customers, then this is the perfect opportunity to start! We cannot stress how much being active and keeping in touch with your customers, increases chances of repeat customers and builds customer relationships. Social media is an excellent form of relationship marketing, and something you should read up on if you don’t know what we are talking about. Plus, it’s safe to say people are obsessed with online sharing! Research revealed that over 88% of people are influenced by online posts they see about restaurants. Therefore, if you want a positive influence over your diners, you need to get active and start shouting about your brand online! Start off with an account on twitter and Facebook to give you that boost into the online world, with simple information stating your location, opening times, and contact numbers and most importantly upload images of the interior to give customers an idea of your premises size and design. If you are launching something new on your menu, or are offering a specific deal, then post an image of it, create simple banners stating your offer – marketing research shows that images of dishes, restaurant interiors or deals are the best way to influence people. On a more important note, interact with your customers – if someone posts a lovely comment about your food or their experience their restaurant, then respond quickly, thank them, be professional but personable!
Host a re-brand event
It’s important that you open your new establishment with a bang, you want everyone to know about it. It is important to note that planning this in advance is key. Choose the date carefully, and ensue that this doesn’t clash with any other event within the community! You may also want to avoid dates that include national sporting events, music festivals or other big events in the area. Also take into consideration the numbers you may expect on your opening night- although this is a chance to give your customers a taste of your new menu, you want to expedite quality food! Instead, consider offering a small number of your best dishes, of course ensue to offer a range of dishes that outline your brand, who you are as a restaurant, and importantly offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options to appeal to a wider market.
Thinking of re-branding your establishment? Contact Mc Donnell Design, Interior Designers.