3 Effective Branding Strategies Every Restaurant and F&B Owners Use to Grow Their Business.

25 October 2018

As the F&B industry gets increasingly competitive, F&B owners often struggle to stand out and emerge from this highly saturated market, resulting in a high turnover rate. According to the Business Times, “On average, 28%of food establishments are replaced yearly.”

While concocting “insta-worthy” food items, enticing branding visuals and pinterest-inspired interior may help jumpstart the launch, these methods are not necessarily sustainable and the novelty wears off after a few months. Customers are constantly looking for brand experiences that build a connection, going beyond food quality and service.

So how can F&B owners make use of branding strategies to improve and grow their businesses while establishing a sustainable relationship with their customers?

An impactful brand is often the key to keeping a business operating successfully for long-term.

At Parable, we have identified that branding is not simply about having a beautiful logo (although that might be part of the brand identity system), but creating a series of shared truths within a cohesive story framework that speaks to your potential target customers.

Your story, when fleshed out in experience and branding touchpoints, will help you build a deeper relationship with your target market, and serve visual and emotional cues to your customers to create an experience that only your brand can offer.

Based on the experience from our partnerships with F&B players such as Grain Traders, SaladStop and Plentyfull, we will highlight three key strategies that form the foundation of sustainable brands.

1. Discover What’s Relevant to Your Target Customers.

When developing your brand strategy and story, always put your customers at the forefront. Besides demographical trends, it is crucial to delve deeper and observe your target customers’ buying and decision-making behaviors, as well as habits that can be exploited.

credit: Grain Trader

In the case of Grain Traders, we observed the lunch habits of CBD urbanites and realized the need to develop an experience that would elevate the usual lunch-time rush while helping people to feel that their golden hour was being well-spent.

credit: Grain Trader

Based on the founder’s idea to create a fast-casual experience that serves restaurant-quality food, we ensured that many brand and story touchpoints were placed above eye levels since we understood that a queue would be a norm, helping customers feel that they were still part of the brand experience even while waiting in line. This concept is now looking to scale in cities where people consciously look for alternative lifestyles and authentic community.

2. Convey Your Brand’s Philosophy and Vision Through Integrated, Multiple Touchpoints

Now, what exactly is the story you need to tell? To put it simply, it’s your philosophy and vision!

Your brand story needs to clearly communicate your business’ purpose and vision to the world – and this can often be expressed through various means such as logo, packaging, spatial experience.

More often than not, F&B owners assign separate branding, marketing, and interior design teams to work on the various aspects of the experience. At Parable, our integrated processes and services across these verticals have greatly benefited F&B clients, retail and hospitality clients who recognize the importance of seamless storytelling across multiple touchpoints, presenting savings both in cost and time.

Take Plentyfull for example. Beginning with the founder’s vision to create a “Taste of Restoration”, Plentyfull is committed to bringing eating well back, serving up hearty meals with a spirit of adventure, comfort and a strong sense of community.

To express this philosophy, the restaurant uses bold exotic flavors made entirely from scratch, inspired by comfort food across cultures, and allowing customers to taste the sincerity Plentyfull puts into its food preparation. To complete this genuine experience, we created a place that has a restful and restorative sensibility to fit the brand’s identity.

As part of the visual brand campaign, we shot collages of fresh produce carefully arranged into the letter ‘P’ to illustrate Plentyfull’s respect for ingredients – a nod to the “world” cuisine of Plentyfull, and amplifying the brand’s food philosophy. These visuals were used as store cards but also became framed art within the space.

Lastly, we designed a custom typeface for Plentyfull that paired well with the hand-drawn logotype for all communications usage, which was used to craft a personality of warmth and wholesome-ness, while also serving the functional use of being in a condensed form that helped with saving previous real estate on the menu page, ultimately reducing production costs.

3. Build a Brand for Scalability

A brand identity that is consistent with your brand vision, personality and story sets the tone for your branding guidelines, which should be easily adapted in different markets.

SaladStop! is a prime example of a brand that was able to expand into several territories with its highly-scalable brand assets.

Left: Old logo, Right: New logo

The new logo we designed for SaladStop was developed to tell their story — but also be extremely extendable to many forms of packaging, marketing communications, and even signage.

Amongst the new branding guidelines, we designed key spatial touchpoints and adjacencies to ensure a consistently optimized service experience. We also specified easy-to-source materials and finishes to facilitate the future rollout of the concept across different international markets. That way, no matter where you are, all SaladStop! shops now have a consistent look and feel, serving up the same experience in every outlet in every city.

The rebranding efforts yielded strong results and paved the way for international store openings in the region, proving the value of intentionally building a brand to scale from the start.

The three strategies mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg to building a strong brand that leads growth into a successful and sustainable business. There are more in-depth strategies that we use to bring our clients’ brand to its full potential.

If you are open to what we can do for your brand, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest content update, or simply contact us for a consultation. Love to hear from you soon!

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