A brand makes a statement of what your business is all about. It conveys quality, consistency, familiarity and trust. During a recession, this comfort and familiarity is what people crave. Nowadays, people want to go someplace that they recognize, know exactly what to expect and how much they will pay for it.
Developing a strong brand, especially for a pizza operation, is a huge
part of your success. For example, a company like Pizza Pizza is
incredibly successful mainly due to the phone number that everyone can
remember and is conveniently stuck in their brain when they pick up the
phone to order a pizza.
Branding isn’t just about a memorable logo or a catchy slogan; it is
about your entire business and culture. Developing a strong brand is an
essential component to the success of any restaurant or foodservice
But, before you start thinking about that catchy slogan that will have
millions of people singing your song, you need to rewind to the
beginning and think about where you want your pizza operation to be in
the next few years or even the next few decades. Are you planning on
staying independent or do you want to franchise? Who is your target
market and where do you see yourself in the marketplace? How will you
differentiate yourself from your competition? What promise are you
trying to make to your customers about your product?
A strong brand image will bring your company added value, command
higher prices and attract better employees. Most of all it will bring
you more money, so it is not a topic that should be taken lightly. Here
are six ideas for you to think about before you begin building your
brand recognition strategy.
1. Target the right audience
Do not try to create a brand that will appeal to everyone. You will end
up with a brand that is unclearly defined. Target your brand to the
specific demographics to which your pizza operation appeals. Is your
neighbourhood more family-friendly or full of students? Do young, busy,
urban professionals surround you? Are there a lot of offices nearby?
You need to cater your brand image to the right crowd.
2. Build positive brand recognition
Define your brand using as few words as possible and drive your
definition to your customers. You should be able to tell potential
customers exactly what to expect from your pizza operation by stringing
together a few key words. For example, Papa John’s uses four simple
words to describe its operation: “Better ingredients. Better pizza”,
while Pizza Hut simply says, “Gather ‘round the good stuff”. These key
phrases immediately bring to mind a delicious pizza that you really
want to eat.
3. Be consistent with your brand
Everything in your pizza operation must convey what your brand wants to
say, including your interior design and décor, menu, prices, food,
drinks, uniforms, marketing, advertising, website and customer
Developing a powerful brand image involves the entire restaurant design
from lighting and flooring to powerful graphic images and menu boards.
Ensure that everything is consistent in look, feel and colours. Have a
recognizable style that is not only apparent inside your establishment,
but also outside, online and in print.
4. Deliver on what your brand promises
The most important element of branding is being able to deliver on what
your brand is promising. For example, if you say that you offer fast
and free delivery for your pizza, make sure that it’s fast and free!
You need to gain the trust and loyalty of customers by standing by your
brand name and what it offers.
5. Create merchandise with your brand and slogan
Once you have established your brand, you can build on it by offering
retail merchandise that features your brand name and slogan, especially
if you have a particularly witty slogan with double meanings. One pizza
restaurant in the U.S., has the slogan “I get it every night” which
launched its t-shirt sales operation. Other items to consider include
glassware, candies, aprons or magnets. The possibilities are endless,
and the merchandise also acts as free advertising for your restaurant.
6. Use POS materials to promote your brand
Signage and POS materials are key to developing more instant
recognition to your brand. Use POS materials to highlight upcoming
specials and promotions, but make sure that your brand logo and slogan
are featured prominently. It is important to create visually
stimulating materials so that your customers will remember the images
even after they have left your pizza operation.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been
helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales
for over 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail
merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional
campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free
, or visit
making dough with Diane: Six strategies for building brand recognition
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