A lot of people think you have to be a high fashion clothing retailer or a multinational conglomerate before thinking about branding.
But I say, conglomerate-schlomerate!
If you have a hospitality business and you’re making a genuine connection with your target audience, you’ve already got a brand identity.
Now all you need to do is to hone in and perfect it.
Why Bother with Branding for Hospitality Companies?
If you’re in a unique position where you want to make one quick sale and give up business forever…
Well, that’s the craziest business strategy I’ve ever heard.
However, if you live in the real world, as a business owner, you try to create and maintain a loyal customer base. Loyal customers mean repeat purchases, and, consequently, help the longevity of your company.
This is where branding comes in.
While it’s true that focusing on customer satisfaction and providing quality service is crucial, branding is an essential component to getting customers through the door as well as staying on their minds.
But how does this help hospitality companies specifically?
Your Brand Will Be Remembered
You know once you get your food into people’s mouths, they’ll be hard pressed to not come back. But getting people to try that first bite is often the toughest step.
People go with what they know.
Branding sparks an interest in those who see it to give you a shot. They’ll take the plunge not only if your food looks good but if they connect with the messaging, style and feel of your company.
Coop’s ice cream uses both a wax seal to mimic hot fudge and a retro 70’s logo, partnering a fun novelty package with comforting nostalgia.
This branding, for hospitality companies and other similar industries, initiates emotions of simpler times, coupled with the promise of childlike fun.
It’s a provocative means of getting adults (or their inner child) to try the ice cream.
So, next time customers are lost in the valley of decision-making when looking for a caterer, they’ll remember your brand and decide on you if the personal connection is there.
You’ll Build Credibility
Having a credible brand means long-term success.
But how does one gain credibility?
- Provide excellent customer care and focus on creating satisfactory experiences for all customers.
- Ask your biggest advocates to give positive reviews for your business on your most trafficked platforms, such as Google or your website. The more reviews you have, the likelier new customers are to try what you have to offer.
- Engage with audiences on social media. Social platforms connect your brand with customers new and old, as well as provide an outlet to address any inquiries they have (which boosts customer satisfaction). The more conversations appear online centred around your brand, the more interest in your brand is built.
Here’s a company whose unparalleled service and dedication to customer service has led to glowing reviews (*wink wink, nudge nudge*):
You’ll Create Employee Pride
Not only will you gain positive social capital from your customers but you’ll also impact the employees who make your business run when you engage in branding for hospitality companies.
Creating a brand image tied to a positive company culture inspires your team to share their experience with others by word-of-mouth and on social.
Take California fast food burger chain In-N-Out for example:
Because of the strong brand and employee-focused business practises, their team members can’t wait to get online and laud the company with praise.
And this praise does a lot to strengthen the brand while also attracting better talent to it.
Not to mention it also motivates the team to work hard and accomplish their goals since their connection to the brand ties their personal success to the business’s.
Happy employees mean a happy workplace and you’ll be an appealing prospect to people looking for work, attracting the best talent to your brand.
You won’t have this meme being passed around the office…
What to Consider For Your Branding
When creating your brand, be sure to build your messaging for the audience you want to attract.
As a first step, create an audience persona, which details the characteristics of your ideal customer.
Ask yourself questions about them like their age group, where they live, what social media platforms they use, how they like to be communicated with and anything else you can think of that gives you clear insight into who these people are.
Logo and Style Guide
Your aesthetic is crucial for standing out amongst other hospitality companies and creating a hunger inside your clients.
If you’re a caterer solely focused on children’s parties, brighter colours suit your image better than blacks or greys since children are attracted to cheerier hues.
This also comes into play with the style of your logo and font type.
Once you’ve created a theme, stick with it.
Cement a style so your foundational visuals and tone are documented for use by the whole company.
This keeps your branding consistent across all channels.
You can see just how powerful this can be by taking a look at the logos below. We’re sure you’ll know who these brands are by either the imagery, font or color palette.
Creatively Market Your Brand
Once you’ve got your logo, brand personality and story covered, the next step is in getting it out there!
Be sure to use the usual digital channels for exposure.
But, most importantly, be creative. You could reap great rewards for a bold marketing strategy. For example, Wendy’s, another American fast food burger company, social media campaigns consistently go viral.
(Two burger examples? Definitely gotta get a burger after writing this.)
Because the Wendy’s Twitter account delivers sarcastic “burns” as hot as their burgers on the daily.
This leads to more followers each time a funny burn is delivered, which solidifies the brand name as sarcastic, playful and delicious.
For any hospitality company, branding is a key component in connecting with customers and staying with them as time goes on.