Marketing and Branding – An ongoing blog by Randy Lopez
Who owns your brand?
OK, I’ll save you time and give you the answer at the beginning: EVERYONE.
I still come across restaurant concepts that don’t understand this simple fact. I’ve met start-up brands and even large national brands that think the marketing department or better yet, the founder and CEO owns the voice and direction of the brand. Unfortunately, often times it’s the leader of the organization or the head of the marketing department that wants everyone to believe this.
Often times, a restaurant brand begins with a single visionary who oversees the creation of the look, feel and design of the first location. This person can often visualize how it all fits together and can describe the “brand story.” We all know the restaurateurs and industry leaders who have created truly original brands. Most restaurateurs don’t have these same skills or understanding of how to create a living brand. The visionary has the original view but once the first manager, employee, vendor, menu designer, board member or anyone gets involved, the story changes. As part of the organization, they begin describing and influencing the brand in their specific areas that can support or take away from the original concept.
The Brand Guide
It’s all about creating a brand vocabulary. At the very beginning, I recommend the creation of a brand guide. This “living document” includes everything from the correct logo design, brand positioning statement, decor touchpoints, sample collateral like menus and signage and can even include sample ads, recruitment information or anything else that becomes the true “standard” of the concept. At Synergy Restaurant Consultants, we are often brought in to create brand guides for new and existing startups. And more often, we update older brands guides for clients that want to refresh their business to stay relevant and thereby, financially successful.
Create or revisit your brand “guide” to make sure that everything you send out with your brand look and voice stays consistent so that “everyone” can better tell your story and understand what makes your restaurant different and exciting. The best brands provide the tools so that every touchpoint helps tell their story, with the same voice and the same look and feel.
Send any marketing and brand questions you’d like to share with Randy at randysynergyconsultants.com or @randylopez to possibly be included in future blog discussions.
Marketing and Branding
Synergy Restaurant Consultants