This guide to branding and marketing for hospitality businesses will set you up for success no matter what your business is. From restaurants to the best bars to brunch places, these tips are applicable to any hospitality business looking to get started or rebrand to expand their customer base. Some even come in handy for refining restaurant operations.
From business branding and email marketing to the function pop-up shops and events can play in business success, this BinWise guide covers everything you need to get started. Read on to learn how you can build your hospitality business with branding and marketing.
Business Branding: 10 Proven Business Branding Ideas
Business branding is vital to the success of your business. Branding, from choosing your logo to having brand consistency with social media posts, ties your business together and draws customers in.
When it comes to branding, it’s all about finding the reason behind your business and working with that reason as a goal and motivator. These 10 business branding ideas will help you along as your figure out your why and build your brand.
10. Define Your Business
The process to define your business is the first crucial step. It seems like a small step, but coming up with a clear definition of what your business is and what you want to accomplish will help you attract the right kind of customers.
9. Community-Based Market Research
Community-based market research is the practice of turning towards your community for research along the lines of polls and focus groups. Testing your business with your goal audience is the place to start.
8. Find Your Style
Finding your style includes everything from researching the aesthetics, color schemes, and imagery for your business, to choosing text fonts and types of packaging material–if that is relevant for your business. It all ties into your visual brand.
7. Find Like-Minded Partners
Like-minded partners can come in the form of employees, business advisors, and mentors. When you’re finding the people to work within your business space, a common goal is a must. If you’re unsure where to find these people, mentors and advisors in particular, check out networking events in your industry. That’s a key place to start.
6. Plan Promotional Channels
Promotional channels include everything from your social media feeds to email marketing to flyers around the city–or banner ads for newsletter websites in the industry. It’s all about where you want to promote for your key audience.
5. Reward Your Community
A community around your business will help you grow and maintain your customer base. Rewarding that community with giveaways, sneak previews, and special events–like bar event ideas–will keep them coming back for more.
4. Mind Your (Social) Media
Social media gets its own spot on the list apart from promotional channels because it’s that important. From posting engaging content to keeping reel content up on a regular basis, your social media presence is something you have to focus on. For your hospitality business, a bustling social channel with information about your services will bring in customers.
3. When In Doubt, Blog
A blog is a space to share your authoritative knowledge, reach new audiences, and foster your community. Posts about specific services and features you offer will bulk up your business. Any business can benefit from a blog that builds up the brand.
2. Make a Splash
No matter how unique your brand idea is, there are so many hospitality businesses out there. To combat the saturated market you’re entering, making a big splash with your brand–from a grand opening to happy hour events–is key.
1. Keep It Simple
For all the ideas on this list, and everything you’ll do with your business, simplicity is a necessity. Keeping your plans pared down makes them easy to work with and gives you less of a headache for planning.
Branding a Business: Brands Over Brawn
Branding your hospitality business is a never-ending process. It’s paired with business marketing–the pure promotional side–to make for a great business model.
“Key Takeaway: A successfully branded business communicates the why behind your business.”
Business Marketing: 10 Facets of Marketing for Businesses
In business, it’s important to know the difference between branding and marketing. The difference is that branding is the visual design of your business, and marketing is the implementation of promotional plans to draw in customers for your business.
Branding and marketing together create the daily aspects of your business. To get your started on marketing as part of your business plan, we’ve gathered 10 important factors within business marketing.
Networking is a type of background marketing work. Networking with business owners in your industry will give you helpful connections and unique market research.
9. Pricing Research
Pricing research is all about finding out what other businesses are charging, to determine what you will charge. With wine, for example, you can set a similar wine bottle price or prove the worth of a higher price point.
8. Market Research
Market research–including focus groups, online polls, a historical buying data–shows you what customers want. That’s some of the most important information you can gather.
7. Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a fictional version of your ideal customer or target audience. Building this persona gives you a tangible customer goal to work with.
6. Diversified Marketing
From paid advertising to digital media marketing there are many ways you can diversify your marketing tactics. As you’re getting started, diversifying your marketing across different channels will help you along.
5. Provide Value
From your ad copy to your branded merchandise to your video content, make sure you’re conveying exactly what customers can expect from your business. For example, as a restaurant, you can create a video ad of the cooking process of your best dishes.
The sizzle of the entree to the whipped cream on top of a dessert will make customers want to come in and try what you have to offer.
4. Provide ROI to Customers
Providing a return on the investment your customers make when they visit your store or business starts with realistic marketing. In other words, your marketing should show a specific product you have on hand, or showcase direct services you offer. That way, when customers come in, they’ll receive that ROI they were expecting.
3. Social Media Efforts
You can’t get around the need for a social media marketing plan. Over time you’ll find the platforms and plans that work for you. In the beginning, start by researching where you can find your key demographic.
If you have an eye on your target audience, but you’re low on funds, start by posting simplistic content that you can create yourself, and use hashtags to find your audience.
For hospitality businesses, the best social platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, as they give you a broad range of ways to share content.
2. The Right Marketing Software
From a social media posting automation calendar to order management software for merchandise, the right software can bring ease to your marketing plan. You can schedule posts to achieve brand stability and let customers know they can rely on you.
For merchandising with products on hand, you can rely on your order management software to help you always have the products you need ready to go.
1. Audit, Review, Implement
From the inception of your business, through your first year, and well into your future, continually audit your marketing plans. Keep what works, and always be prepared to improve what needs a refresh.
Be sure to review your key performance indicators (KPIs), such as growth in social post engagement, or profitable revenue generated from marketing campaigns. Study what matters for your business growth, and focus on refining those areas of marketing.
Marketing Your Business: Get Market-Ready
Marketing will help you expand your customer base and consistently grow your brand. A specific part of marketing–email marketing–will help you reach new customers and build up your business community. Let’s take a deeper dive into the nine most important aspects of email marketing for hospitality businesses.
Email Marketing: 9 Facets of Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is important for business growth, customer relations and retention, and market experimentation. In this section, we’ll walk through several aspects of email marketing and why it’s important for your business.
Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing strategy is a two-fold definition. It is both:
- The general strategy of using email marketing to reach new audiences, connect with your customers, and gain insight into your customer base.
- Your own business’s specific email marketing strategy.
Those definitions come together to showcase why email marketing strategy is a must. These three tips encompass the drive behind email marketing strategy. They’ll give you a place to start as you write your business plan.
3. Customize Carefully
Finding small ways to customize your emails will make you stand out. From a unique subject line to a logo embedded in the email, small customizations give your emails an edge.
2. Test Your Emails
Using A/B testing to see what your ideal audience responds best to will give you long-term success in your email marketing content choices. It gives you tangible results for planning as well.
1. Define Your Audience
Defining your audience in email marketing will help you craft your content to cater to your audience. You can start with your buyer persona and go from there.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a vast concept. It can mean something slightly different to every business in every industry–including the hospitality industry. The following three points are important for any hospitality business and setting.
3. Intriguing Openers
An attention-grabbing subject line makes people want to know what comes next–perhaps a question they want the answer to. That will increase your email open and clickthrough rates.
2. On-Brand Content
Start each email with your brand in mind for centralized–meaning consistent on-brand–messaging. Email marketing has a lot of wiggle room, and you want to make sure you’re keeping it in line with your brand.
1. Value Offers
Providing offers of value through your emails is a great way to create customers from email readers. Some quality value offers include email-only coupons, event notifications, and product previews. Offering your email audience something to bring them to your business is the top priority.
Email Marketing Specialist
An email marketing specialist is someone with several years of email marketing experience who can spend their time evaluating the buyer persona of the business. The next three factors of experience are things to look for in an email marketing specialist.
3. Sales Experience
An email marketing specialist with sales experience will tap into what makes people buy a product or service. Since your goal is to make sales, this is vital.
2. Advertising Experience
Advertising experience–through social media, an advertising agency, or previous branding work–is a must. An email marketing specialist creates advertising material in every email.
1. Creative Writing Skills
Creative writing is different from ad copywriting and marketing, but it is within the family of important writing skills. Having creative email copy will make people want to read more of your emails.
You’ve Got to Email
Email marketing is a critical component of your overall business marketing strategy. It’s tied closely to content marketing, which takes the skills of email marketing and expands them in all directions.
“Key Takeaway: Email marketing is important for every business and its marketing strategy.”
Content Marketing: 9 Facets of Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is the process of producing content to promote, build trust, and drive conversions with a business, brand, industry, or product or service. Content marketing verticals include blog posts, as well as social media content from posts to reels, vlogs, and newsletters.
The following three factors are crucial components of all of your content marketing efforts:
Web accessibility standards in online content are important for consumers with needs for content consumption outside of design and marketing. This is part of having an ADA compliant website.
2. Simple But Intriguing Designs
Keeping your content marketing simple, but still on brand, is the way to go. A cluttered plan–from your website to your marketing promotions–can lead to more confusion than satisfied customers.
Your graphic design choices should reflect your brand, and be clean enough to avoid detracting from the usability of your site or promotional material. It starts with a tidy logo, and continues with intuitive designs.
1. Clear Calls To Action
A clear call to action (CTA) in your content tells your audience how to learn more and buy your products or services. A CTA can be a phone number in the upper right corner to catch attention, or a contact form with a button to click for drawing in potential customers. It’s vital for converting readers into customers.
3 Content Marketing Specialist Responsibilities
A content marketing specialist is someone with experience in writing, marketing, sales, and social outreach. The upcoming three facets of experience will help you find a specialist who can work with and grow your business:
3. Varied Daily Work
A content marketing specialist with experience in marketing and content production, who can move from project to project, is a good choice. Content marketing is varied and requires agility throughout the process.
2. Optimization Research
Optimizing for search engine friendliness (SEO), buyer persona engagement, and momentum in social media algorithms is important. Optimizing is a regular experience in content marketing work, and is something to look for on resumes.
1. Content Creation
Your content marketing specialist may have others working under them to create content, but they’ll still have content creation responsibilities. Any and every ounce of content creation experience will come in handy.
Content Marketing Strategy: 3 Key Plans
Content marketing strategy encompasses everything you’ll need to consider when creating your content marketing plan. It’ll evolve over time, but your strategy needs a strong start to grow. These three key plans will give it strength:
3. Core SEO Guidelines
Core SEO guidelines include everything from internal linking to keyword research. Creating great content starts with maintaining clear SEO standards.
2. Competitor Research
Competitor research can come from keyword research, or searching for the content you’re looking to create, to check out the existing content. Either way, it’ll help you learn where you can gain an advantage.
1. Branded Themes
Imbuing your content with the common theme of your brand will create a cohesive marketing strategy. This can be done with color themes, consistent wording, or a common CTA. Staying consistent is one of the most important parts of branding.
Content Marketing: Create the Content You Want to See In the World
Content marketing is a lot of work, and the more care you put into it, the more it’ll feed back into your business success. It’s especially important when it comes to marketing plans for small businesses.
Small Business Marketing: 10 Key Small Business Brand Ideas
Small businesses branding and marketing is important for every small business owner or entrepreneur. From branding ideas to brand identity as a core of the business, small businesses need a quality marketing and branding plan to gain traction and find customers. These five branding ideas are a good starting point for every small business:
5. Find Familiar Designs
In finding familiar–based on global branding standards–designs that customers feel an instant connection with, the goal is to create a design that feels timeless and classic. That will establish your brand and help you find your ideal customers.
4. Brand Your Merchandise
Branding your merchandise is a way to get your brand on the mind of everyone who sees and purchases your merch. It also gives you a variety of things you can sell beyond your specific products. For a hospitality business, something unique could be a mug with the logo, or a T-shirt if the business is located in a tourism-heavy area.
3. Play Into Themes
Building your brand around a theme is a great way to make an impression. From a cocktail bar to a luxe lounge to brunch places, finding a theme will give your customers something both entertaining and reliable.
2. Maximize Social Media Efforts
Social media is a critical part of every business marketing and branding strategy. The more direct focus you put into your social media plan, the more it’ll help your business grow. You can save time while doing this by scheduling social posts and mapping your content a month at a time.
1. Stick With Consistency
Branding and consistency go together like the best maraschino cherries and summer cocktails–one consistently needs the other to be the best it can be. Consistency is the key to maximizing your brand capabilities.
Creating Brand Identity for Small Businesses
The following five steps of creating your brand identity work for new businesses and establishments looking to rebrand. They are all somewhat open-ended, and that’s intentional. Each of these steps will mean something different for each hospitality business.
5. Customer Research
Customer research is one of the building blocks of creating a brand identity that will provide value for your customers. From online polls to focus groups, customer research will help you find the right ways to grow your business brand.
4. Craft Your Aesthetics
Aesthetics cover everything from brand colors to customized fonts to your carefully crafted logo. Your aesthetic choices will be the physical and visual elements that make your brand identity.
3. Make Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is the stated goal and purpose of every business. Crafting your mission statement will provide you with copy to share online, and will help you keep your central goals in mind.
2. Be Open to Change
Through crafting your business brand identity, stay flexible with the possibility of change. Changes will come up, and your ability to work with them will help your business grow and adapt.
1. Build Branding Into Your Budget
Having a well-rounded view of your budget will save you time, money, and countless future headaches. From the printing of physical assets like menus to production costs of merchandise, including branding in your budget will help you avoid financial mishaps.
Small Businesses: Branding to Scale
Small business marketing and branding is one of the core components of small business success. If you’re opening a small business and looking to experiment and find ways to improve, pop-up shops and events are a good place to start.
"Key Takeaway: Small businesses are a unique business model, and as such, small business marketing is a niche factor in the world of business branding and marketing."
Pop-Ups: Guide to 7 Creative Pop-Up Shop Tips and Ideas
Pop-up shops and events have been growing in popularity quite a bit in recent years. Pop-ups include a variety of hospitality businesses, shops, and venues. The variety includes flea markets to test kitchens to food trucks–similar to a quick service restaurant.
Pop-ups can be great for new businesses, small businesses, and any business looking to experiment with a different approach to business. These seven tips and ideas can help you find success in pop-up spaces.
7. Offer a Freebie or Two
Offering a freebie isn’t a leading (or profitable) practice for businesses. However, it’s still important for pop-up events. It can be something as small as a free topping or a sticker, to gain the benefits of customer retention strategies.
6. Make It Immersive
You can make a pop-up event immersive by drawing customers in and offering a unique experience to showcase your business. This could be a live music event, a game of bingo, or even a raffle.
5. Create Test Menus
Creating test menus is a great way to sample recipes and explore cost reduction strategies in restaurants. It’s perfect for pop-up events where you can try something new each week.
4. Offer Limited Merchandise
From tote bags to water bottles to mugs, branded merchandise that can only be purchased at your pop-up events will draw in customers. It’s also a great way to test the merchandise that best represents your business.
3. Make It Social Media-Friendly
We’ve talked several times in this branding and marketing guide about the importance of social media for your business. When you’re working in a pop-up space, making it aesthetically pleasing and easily shareable online will give you a way to share more information about your events.
2. Amp Up Your Brand
Pop-up spaces are the place to experiment with your brand and make it eye-catching. From statement wallpaper to unique artwork that matches your brand aesthetic, pop-up events are the place to help your brand pop off.
1. Make Sustainable Plans
Making sustainable plans is all about planning for future pop-up events. Choose branding options you can reproduce, or find efficient ways to buy or make branded merchandise.
Pop Into the Pop-Up Scene
Pop-up shops and events are a way for businesses to test ideas, expand their reach, and find new paths to success. The role pop-ups play in branding are one small part of the importance of branding ideas in business.
Importance of Branding: 6 Facets of Branding for Businesses
The importance of branding lies in the recognizability and relatability of your business. A well-managed brand can turn your business plan into a real-world success.
When considering the importance of branding, a good place to start is the importance of brand management. The next three facets of brand management are good pillars to work with:
3. Common Goals
Common goals are all about making sure your team is tied into your mission statement and brand plan. To execute on common goals, outline your brand management plans in detail from the beginning.
2. Sustainable Practices
Sustainable practices apply to brand management built around the longevity and profitability of your business. From working with a budget you feel settled with to planning for inflation down the road, building a sustainable business plan will give you long-term success.
1. Cohesive Plans
Quality brand management fits into the goal of cohesive plans that mesh with the rest of the business. To make cohesive plans with your brand management, build your business and brand plans as one unit with multiple functions and facets.
Importance of Branding In Business
Branding plans are the backbone of a strong business plan. When you focus time and energy on your branding plan, you can expect the following three benefits to come from your efforts:
3. Growth Opportunities
When you focus on branding–from curating your brand design to following through with it–you’re setting your business up for success in new areas. Quality branding will attract new opportunities.
2. Consistency for Customers
Branding consistency means your customers have the same brand experience no matter where they see or interact with your brand. That consistency will make your brand and business a reliable place for customers.
1. Community Building Opportunities
When you build your brand, work with consistent brand standards, and watch for improvement opportunities, you’ll be doing the work that leads to a community around your business. In the long run, building up your brand will lead to business expansion in ways you couldn’t manage without a solid foundation.
Branding: Building Up Your Business
Your business brand drives and connects your business plan. When you understand your brand, and the importance it plays in your business overall, you’re set up for a future of significant business expansion, a loyal customer base, and a venture you can be proud of.
Building a Business? Start with Branding and Marketing
This branding and marketing guide for your business is the launchpad for business success and long-term goals. You can achieve those goals with planning, patience, and the ability to adapt as your business grows. When you plan for branding and marketing, your business will have a foundation to lean on through the years.
"Key Takeaway: The importance of branding lies in the recognizability of your business. A well-managed brand can make your business plan a success."