Ask Not What Your Restaurant Branding Can Do For You

“Ask Why” for Restaurant Branding

A brand is a promise. The best restaurant branding I have seen is when the promise of the organization is inspiring, believable and reflected at every touchpoint. The customers, employees, suppliers, investors, media, all of the stakeholders — they all see and feel the promise in a way that is authentic and visceral.

Restaurant Branding for a Cause

People buy brands that reflect how they see themselves in the world. Sure, millions of people buy from the Chipotle brand just because it’s a good burrito or they saw a funny billboard or they were just close by when they got hungry. But the reason the Chipotle brand is so successful is because it is not just a business but a “cause”. Their tagline “Food with Integrity” is more than a catchy restaurant slogan, it is a core belief of the company. It’s a promise that is non-negotiable. The promise has been reflected at every touch point. The employees, the suppliers, the media, the customers — they have all bought into the idea of sustainability and being part of something bigger and more important than “we have the best burrito”. And the result? Chipotle is the best performing restaurant stock of 2010.

Reason for Being

In developing new restaurant brands or facilitating the improvement of established restaurant brands, we start by helping the company define its “reason for being”. We facilitate defining and articulating more authentic and inspiring brand components including the brand promise, positioning strategy, personality and story. These elements all get wrapped up in the brand constitution. From there, the rollout plans are devised for how to get those brand elements inextricably connected and weaved in to the fabric of the company so it is reflected at every stakeholder touchpoint.

How to Approach Restaurant Branding

A lot of marketers and restaurant consultants start at a tactical level and talk through things like new logos, creative campaigns, how to jump into digital media…they are all about how to say it not “why”. That’s the difference between great restaurant marketing and uninspired “me-too” approaches that just don’t work. The process is a lot more akin to psychology than it is to the marketing profession most of us think of when the topic “restaurant branding” comes up.

Simon Sinek says to "ask why" for restaurant branding

The Ask Why video is a powerful message and great insight into the right way to approach restaurant branding and leadership.