Brands, like people, should have a personality. There are six billion people on planet Earth and only a very tiny fraction of them are highly paid celebrities. The celebrities have a personality that is so unique and stands out that others gravitate to them and become their fans. Often, the fame and status of a celebrity is in direct proportion to their uniqueness of talent and personality (not in every case – some are famous just for being famous, but that’s a different blog post).
Restaurant Branding: Who Are You Really?
The way your brand walks, talks, acts, dresses and behaves should be defined in the context of the brand personality, brand positioning, brand promise, and brand story. When these elements are properly defined, the answers to questions like “what kind of uniforms should we use”, or “what colors should we use in our designs”, or “how should we design our restaurants” become much easier. The answers are simply an interpretation of the stated brand attributes.
People buy brands that reflect how they see themselves in the world. When you have a brand promise and a brand personality that resonate with your core audience, they can more effectively be turned in to fans and do your marketing for you.
So, if your restaurant was a person, how would it walk, dress, talk, act and behave? Would it be funny and irreverent? Whimsical and carefree? Refined and worldly?
Write down the personality traits of your restaurant brand as if you were describing a person. This will help you with defining and articulating your brand personality. The brand personality is a critical component that must be clearly articulated before you send a dime on designs and marketing.
Often what we find is that the personality of the brand often mirrors the personality of the entrepreneur that first created the company. This is often why you see companies that fire their founder later flounder. Steve Jobs was Apple. Then he was fired and replaced with a “better” management team. The new management team may have had better resumes and credentials, but the personality of the Apple brand changed; and when that happened, the culture, the performance, and a number of other key performance areas also changed for the worse. Apple brought Jobs back and now – by bringing back that personality and culture of innovation (and other aspects of who Steve Jobs is) – the company has recaptured its former glory and success. Apple is now the highest valued technology company in the world. Unquestionably, Apple has a very distinct brand personality. Notice the similarities of the Apple brand personality and the Steve Jobs personality.
When you have a charismatic brand personality, you have a far better chance of finding success than those poor restaurant companies who lunge from side to side trying to mimic the tactical movements of their competitors.
Much more to come on restaurant branding and brand personality in future posts. This is a big subject and will take lots of examples to fully express the principles, so stay tuned!