Loved and admired brands are personal and about a personality that the buyer or brand fan resonates with or aspires to be like.
Depending on your what your brand essence is, your brand’s marketing and communication should reflect human-like attributes that support this story.
Imagine you are introducing a friend to another friend, you’d likely describe them with personality adjectives.
You asked, we answered.
We received a letter from a reader who asked:
Our restaurant serves really great food, but the restaurant itself is kind of blah. We don’t have any ambiance or atmosphere. The restaurant doesn’t feel like it has much energy and the décor is drab and boring. I’ve been to other restaurants where there’s a great vibe and I want something like that for our place, but I have no where to start or how much effort we will have to put into it.
Great question, Marie and you are not alone. Many restaurants struggle with this topic and as you know, great food is not enough to make your business a top-of-mind choice with customers.
The Wall Street Journal columnist Alina Dizik wrote an interesting piece last week on the return of tableside service to high-end restaurants. To read her full story click here. It seems there is resurgence of this art of food presentation and entertainment.
She notes many restaurants employ the strategy as a viable opportunity to engage the guests, sell costly dishes and even add a bit of culinary education to the customer experience.
The article which featured one of my long time buddies, Alex Brennan Martin of Brennan’s in Houston (way to go Alex!) and his restaurant’s nostalgic take on the technique, also made a good point. Brennan explained, bringing back a tableside tradition can be a nice touch, but today it needs to fit into the real world dynamics of a busy night. In their case, they now train a team of servers and chefs with tabletop performances like Bananas Foster, Crepes Suzette, spirited coffees and warm salads ensuring consistency and smooth logistics. The food theater cast members are also designated as Flambé chefs.
You asked, we answered.
A few weeks ago, we received the following question:
We want to get our customers involved in what we offer on our menu. How do we build a ‘Client Menu’ with one monthly dish created by customers?
Great question, Amy! You may have noticed that brands in every category are asking their customers for input. Threadless t-shirts, Fiat automobiles and Nokia phones have all used customer input for product design. Engaging your customers in a two-way conversation is a smart way to create loyal supporters and brand fans. Since it has become increasingly simple to solicit customers’ ideas with channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even email it should be part of your restaurant’s brand strategy.
It’s estimated that the cost of adding a new customer is 5-8 times greater than the cost of keeping a current customer. And, if you can win back a customer after a bad experience they are more likely to be a long-term loyalty customer.
Jill Griffin, author of Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It reports in her book, “a poor customer experience, handled well, can increase the customer’s confidence and can make him a deeper advocate assuming the poor experience is very uncommon. They screwed up and here’s how they fixed it for me.”
Every restaurant should have a thoughtful customer win-back plan in place and all employees need to know the process.
A couple of months ago, we highlighted a Chicago-based restaurant called Yolk in a post about brand consistency.
One of the most important ingredients in a successful restaurant brand is consistency. Not only does this mean consistency across your brand touchpoints but also in the delivery of your brand. Your restaurant must provide customers with the experience that you promise every time they visit your place or interact with one of your touchpoints.
Here is another great example of touchpoint consistency to share with you this week.
One of my favorite lunch spots in Charleston, SC is Verde. They do great job with brand consistency.
10 branding touchpoints that will bring in the green.