Canadian Pizza Magazine

Making Dough: April-May 2016

Diane Chiasson   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

Five steps to freshening up your brand

When did you last look at your branding and ask yourself what it says about your pizza restaurant?

Maybe it’s time to consider whether your brand reflects your pizzeria’s true purpose? What was the purpose with which you began operations? Is your branding highlighting the best you have to offer? Does it stand out and inspire potential customers? How does it compare with your competitors’ branding?

In combination with your business goals for your restaurant these questions can help you determine if some freshening up of your brand is needed. A strong brand image will bring your restaurant added value, command higher prices and attract better employees. Most of all, it will bring you more money.

If the purpose of your restaurant has shifted or you see the need to refresh your pizzeria’s image, consider these five basic steps.


1. Learn your target market
Trying to create a brand that appeals to everyone will likely result in a brand that is not clearly defined. Discover the specific demographics to which your restaurant appeals. Is your neighbourhood more family-friendly or full of students? Are there a lot of offices nearby? You need to cater your brand image to the right crowd. It’s important to ensure your branding captures the culture of these potential customers. Surveying your public can help you determine your target market.

2. Develop your core concept
Once you have a good understanding of who you want your restaurant to appeal to, what your original purpose for the pizzeria was and how you see that purpose and your business goals now, you are in a position to develop your core brand concept. This concept will help you develop a suitable name (if you are thinking of renaming) and guide interior design and all your marketing programs.

3. Develop new brand ideas from your concept
Now you should spend some time determining the best way to influence the prospective customers you have identified. Consider other successful brands that appeal to your target market: not just competitors, but brands in other fields that are successful with your target market. Look at the qualities that set those brands apart and try to identify why these things are appealing to your target market. This can help you come up with new ideas for how your own brand could be. Take these ideas and try to come up with catchphrases, design concepts and overall looks that can refresh your brand. Don’t forget to brainstorm with your employees, who can be an invaluable source of ideas at this stage in the process.

4. tell your story
People love a good story and your brand is your story. Develop or improve your story to support the improvements in your brand. And build recognition of your new brand by continuing your story. The forum you choose – your website, a blog, a video series or some other medium – is totally up to you. Just make sure that you’re letting people know what you’re up to, how things are developing, etc. This does not mean a barrage of Facebook updates. You can tell a surprisingly compelling story with just a weekly photo essay or blog post.

5.  Put your branding to work
The most important element of branding is delivering what your brand promises. For example, if you say lunch is served in less than 30 minutes or it’s free, make sure you serve lunch in less than 30 minutes! Everything in your pizzeria must convey what your refreshed brand wants to say, including the interior design and décor, menu, prices, food, drinks, merchandising, uniforms, marketing, advertising, website, social media platforms and customer service. Creating a powerful brand image involves the entire restaurant design from lighting and flooring to compelling graphic images and menu boards. Ensure everything is consistent in look, feel and colour. The different elements should have a recognizable style that is apparent not only inside your establishment, but also outside, online and in print.

This is a good time to evaluate the best technology to put your brand to work. It can also be a good time to stop wasting time and money on platforms that don’t work for you and dive into the ones that do work.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or, or visit

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