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Get on the brand wagon

One study has found that overall foodservice revenues are up, but profits are not. Two major reasons were cited: operators are unable to retain employees; and in a dynamic marketplace, the process of concept renewal, or re-branding, lags far behind.

One study has found that overall foodservice revenues are up, but profits are not.  Two major reasons were cited: Operators are unable to retain employees; and in a dynamic marketplace in which trends shift in months, the process of concept renewal, or re-branding, lags far behind.

Re-branding is re-inventing who you are. It's about reshaping and rebuilding your restaurant's concept to better differentiate you from the competition. The goal of a great Brand is to stand out, be noticed and known for what makes you different, better or special.

Never before has a generation been more attuned to Brands. Nike's "Just Do It" and BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" have become the slogans of the Pepsi Generation. But your Brand is not a logo, slick advertising or glossy brochures. Think of your Brand as a giant jigsaw puzzle. All of the pieces are unique, but together they make up your Brand Identity — who you think you are. It's the view of your business from the inside-out. The power of a successful Brand Promise is its ability to influence a guest's purchasing behaviors. It's what turns a casual diner into a loyal customer and word-of-mouth-ambassador.

Here's where it gets tricky. No matter who you think you are, it is your customers' perceptions that define your Brand in the marketplace. Your Brand Image is who your customers think you are. It's the view of your business from the outside-in. Unfortunately, perception and reality rarely match. In other words, there is a gap between your Brand Identity (who you think you are) and your Brand Image (who your customers think you are).

You can narrow this gap by making sure that your customer's perceptions match your reality through a two-part Brand Strategy. The first is to make sure that your Brand Identity is in alignment with your personal and professional goals. The second, which should be part of your day-to-day operations, is to perfect and execute the thousands of tiny actions and interactions that set you apart from the competition.

The result is your Brand Delivery. Brand Delivery isn't carried out in the board room or on a management retreat. You and your employees deliver every minute of every day. You can read about five of my favorite examples of successful Brand Delivery.

Make Brand awareness your #1 marketing priority. A powerful Brand will influence purchasing behaviors, boost sales and frequency of visits, raise check averages, increase party size, and encourage new trial.

Brand Promise + Brand Delivery = Brand Equity And that means higher flow-through profits for you.

See also:
Are you being served?
Hocus focus
No goo in the loo 
Branding books

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