Business branding is a key element of any hospitality business plan. From a restaurant business plan to opening a sports bar, finding and incorporating a branding strategy is integral to the success of a business. From hotel technology to hot dog stands, a strong brand–and brand consistency–can draw together every other aspect of a business.
Depending on where you’re at with your business, you’ll have different needs when it comes to learning about branding your business to bring in guests and customers. If you’re just starting out, now is the time to decide on your brand within the hospitality industry. If you have an established business, take a look at your branding elements and make sure they’re being incorporated into the rest of your business.
In this blog post, we’ll cover tips and tricks on business branding you can use at any point of running a hospitality business. Read on to learn the ins and outs of branding your business to drive more sales and leads.
Branding Your Business
The key to branding your hospitality business lies in the why behind your business. When you focus on the reason your business exists, you’ll be able to build your brand around that why.
You may have heard of the popular book by Simon Sinek, titled, Start with Why. In it, Sinek addresses why the core of great businesses, great ideas, and great leaders matters. He says that the root of a successful venture lies in the reason why you start your venture. Before finding out how, looking for profits, or hiring the right people, you have to start with why.
If you’re looking for the building blocks of your business brand, starting with why is smart. Once you know on a deep level why your business is important, you’ll be able to build your brand to incorporate your biggest why.
How to Brand a Business
Branding a business covers everything from finding your brand identity to marketing for your business. It also covers sales tactics, customer relations, and plans for seasonality in business as your brand and business grows. Overall, branding a business is instrumental to the growth and success for efficient business systems.
These 10 unique business branding ideas will help you get started on your business branding plan. Some of these are quite specific steps, while others are general plans to get you headed in the right direction. Implementing all of these ideas will help you find long-term brand success even faster.
“Key Takeaway: The key to branding your business lies in the why behind your business.”
10. Define Your Business
Defining your business and brand identity is the first crucial step. It’s a simple step in theory. All it takes is deciding what your business will be, how you’ll brand your products or services, and how you’ll grow your business. Of course, the real work will come from your end, and it all depends on the business you have in mind.
9. Community-Based Market Research
Market research is important for branding your business because you don’t want your brand to be a replica of another business. Community-based market research, however, takes it one step further. Turning to your community with focus groups, community polls, and chatting with friends about your business idea, will give you an easier time knowing how to ace your business’s customer satisfaction needs.
8. Find Your Style
Finding your brand style includes researching the aesthetics, color schemes, and imagery for your business. Branding goes beyond these factors too, to include text fonts and types of material you’ll use for packaging–including eCommerce packaging–and displays. Choosing your aesthetic and making it consistent across your business will streamline your business almost instantly.
7. Find Like-Minded Partners
Finding like-minded partners includes finding employees, working with experts to build your brand, and investors and business partners. As you craft your business plan, you’ll see the areas where you need extra hands. When you’re searching for such partners, seek out people who can bring tangible value to your business goals.
6. Plan Promotional Channels
Your promotional channels include everything from social media marketing for restaurants and other businesses to email marketing strategy to flyers around town. Part of your promotional planning will come from market research, as your community can help you find the right places to promote in. From there, you can apply the aesthetics of your brand to promotional marketing.
5. Reward Your Community
Building a community around your brand is a necessity. One great way to build your community is to offer a rewards program–or a restaurant loyalty program if it suits your business model. A rewards program should provide something valuable and interesting that will motivate your customers to become repeat buyers. Examples include monthly coupons, seasonal deals, and punch cards. Whatever you choose, offering rewards will help you build a strong community.
4. Mind Your (Social) Media
You might read this and think, “Isn’t your media part of your promotional channels?” Yes, but social media is such a vital brand component that it deserves its own space on the list. Building your social media is an opportunity to build your aesthetic, create a community space, and find the gaps in your industry.
3. When In Doubt, Blog
Every hospitality business can benefit from a blog. A blog is a space to share your authoritative knowledge, reach new audiences, and foster your community. Whatever your business is, you can start a blog around related knowledge and spread your hospitality business brand across the Internet.
2. Make a Splash
No matter how unique your brand idea is, there are so many hospitality businesses out there. It’s difficult to come up with something that is 100% unique. To combat the saturated market you’re entering, making a big splash with your brand is key. You can host a grand opening, get celebrity endorsements, host happy hour events, or tie into community values to make it big.
1. Keep It Simple
When you read through the other nine items on this list, your brand needs might seem overwhelming. As you’re planning each step and building your business, the best way to avoid being overwhelmed is to keep it simple.
Keeping it simple involves maintaining an organizational system in your inventory program, avoiding overthinking to the point of exhaustion, and relying on your instincts. Your hospitality business will always have multiple moving parts. Starting with a simple brand plan will lessen your future headaches.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hospitality Business Branding
The ongoing process of business branding for success will take up a fair amount of your time and effort as a business owner. With such a big undertaking, there are plenty of questions about hospitality business branding. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will get you started.
What Is Branding for a Business?
Branding for a business is everything related to the public presentation and visual identity of the business. From color schemes and design characteristics to customer service standards, branding covers everything that makes a business unique.
What are Four Types of Brands?
The four most common types of brands are corporate brands, personal brands, product brands, and service brands. For some hospitality businesses, only one of these types of brands–most often a service brand–will be pertinent to branding plans.
For others, the business branding strategy could span several types of brands. As an example, a chain restaurant with signature dishes will have a corporate brand identity, as well as product brand demands with each dish.
What are Branding Strategies?
Branding strategies are the plans you lay out for your long-term branding goals. Branding strategies are often part of your business plan–even a bakery business plan for example. They cover everything from branding color patterns to guidelines for different types of event management. Effectively, branding strategies are your roadmap to building a successful brand.
What Makes a Good Brand Identity?
A good brand identity is built on a clear, unique voice backed up by proven branding and marketing strategies. The first step towards a good brand identity is having relevant brand goals. You can uncover what your brand should embody by working with focus groups, running scenarios, and getting input from your team.
From there, you can craft feedback into a branding strategy. You can use marketing tactics including paid advertising, market research, and brand consistency across all your marketing channels. These two steps together will build a strong brand identity.
Branding a Business: Brands Over Brawn
Branding your hospitality business is a never-ending practice of working with the best interest of your business at heart. As your business grows, your brand will evolve with it. Starting with a clear, unique brand identity with market research behind it will make that evolution a success.
Come back to the BinWise blog for more branding and marketing strategies, as well as inventory program practices to make your brand more effective. Visit our sister site, the BlueCart blog, for tips on wholesale distribution and eCommerce business ideas.