It takes more than having a delicious menu to run a successful food, beverage, or event business. Your service and your online presence are both essential ingredients regarding your client’s experiences. We will explore the importance of creating a visual brand that attracts your ideal client.
Branding for food, beverage, and event businesses must include visually dynamic elements. Otherwise, your potential clients won’t know what makes your dishes unique or what sets your business apart. You can make your branding look professional by selecting the best colors, using professional web design, incorporating high-quality photography, and using original videos.
Branding helps give your business its personality. Each time you offer your services in the context of a strong brand, it’s like you’re wrapping it up in a bow. These experiences typically begin with graphics and fonts and end with clients enjoying a delicious meal.
Your Brand is Much More Than its Logo
Branding doesn’t tie expressly to a company’s logo. Instead, it’s how your clients perceive your business on an emotional and psychological level. These feelings can be about your business as a whole or the products or services you’re offering. Your logo helps with brand recognition.
For example, 73% of clients report that they love a particular brand because of the client service they provide. A logo can’t do that. Building strong ties with your existing clients helps open the door to new ones. How? Those clients may:
Recommend your business to friends or family.
Post reviews or recommendations on social media or review sites.
Post pictures of your services on their social media channels.
During this stage of your visual branding strategy, you’ll be looking closely at your concept. What type of food will you be serving? What kind of services are you offering? What other distinguishing features will set your business apart?
Next, think about your company’s mission statement. In a single paragraph, synthesize the overall though behind your company. What is your company attempting to achieve? What can your clients find with your business that they can’t find elsewhere? Your mission statement will help guide you through the rest of the elements of your visual branding.
Finally, come up with a tagline. It’s a brief statement that’s typically only five words and sums up your brand’s defining feature. It defines the mission statement in a catchy way and incorporates the logo.
Your Ideal Client’s Buyer Persona
Are you examining your current client’s needs for your catering branding, event planner business, or restaurant concept branding? Do you know their buying habits, demographics, and interactions with your services? If so, you’re already using many strategies for developing a buyer persona. If not, then it’s time to get to work.
Developing a buyer persona helps your business distinguish itself from the competition. As you continue refining these personas, you’ll find your marketing efforts will become more targeted.
For example, if you’re running an event planning business, you would gather data that includes your client’s goals, roles and responsibilities, challenges, demographics, and their story. Their story is where you glue everything together into a narrative.
Client personas can come from your existing clients, prospective, and referrals. Questions you can ask when building their narrative could include:
Are they an introvert or extrovert?
What do they like to do for fun?
What social media channels does this client use?
How does this person conduct information regarding businesses?
Why would or would this person not hire your company?
What do they buy the most?
Where are they making these purchases?
What’s their budget for events or other services?
What are their expectations?
How does he or she feel about your competition?
To help you get started, HubSpot has a basic buyer persona tool, Make My Persona, available you can fill out and export. Once you have the basics filled in, you can add sections.
Main Visual Branding Elements
Before incorporating visual branding elements to your brand, I suggest asking yourself the following questions:
Is it distinct? Will it stand out among your competitors and catch the eye of your potential clients?
Is it memorable? Does it make a visual impact?
Does it communicate your brand meaningfully? Do these elements provide information about your products and services, not just your brand?
Is it flexible? Will it grow, adapt, and evolve with your brand?
Do the elements offer a positive impression? Do clients find them appealing and likable?
Are the elements cohesive? Does each element complement the brand’s identity?
Beyond the logo, your brand identity should also include the following elements:
Colors: Your brand’s recognition can improve by over 80% with color selection.
Design system: With building brand loyalty, 62% of Millennials think online content helps.
Data visualization: You’re 40 times more likely to have your visual content shared on social media compared to anything else.
Photography: 40.2% of marketers say that original graphics, like illustrations and infographics, perform better than stock photography.
Typography: When people see good typography, they’ll be more engaged.
Video: After watching a video, 64% of clients will move forward with making a purchase.
Web-design: 90% of clients expect businesses to have the same branding across every platform and channel.
How to Create a Craveable Brand Look
Even though you may have everything you need to run a successful business, getting in front of potential clients isn’t always easy. That’s where creating a craveable brand look comes into play. During this stage of the game, you’ll be:
1. Building a Beautiful Website
Your website will be the backbone of your business. Even if you’re operating out of a brick and mortar location, your website is helping you run 24-7. It’s a powerful hub for content and lead-generation.
Make sure your website:
Has mobile optimization.
Has e-commerce built directly into the interface.
Features shareable content.
2. Feature Professional Photography
I don’t believe there’s such a thing as too much photography. Yes, your clients will share their experiences using visuals. Why leave it to them? Take pictures of your signature dishes as part of your restaurant concept branding or catering branding.
Make sure you’re using high-quality photographs in your:
3: Become a Food Stylist
Your food must look irresistible. That includes your photos and video. That way, potential clients will crave having these dishes at their next catering event.
Your food styling should include:
Centerpieces and feature dishes.
Splashes of color highlighting your dishes.
Odd numbers to help underscore items.
Drizzles of sauces, syrups, or other ingredients.
Once you’ve decided your visual branding elements, you must commit to them, and they must make sense together. For example, you wouldn’t feature paper plates full of bacon-wrapped scallops or play Hip-Hop music at a French restaurant. Cohesion also extends to your online presence.
Showcase Your Brand on Social Media
Cultivating your branding isn’t complete without a creative social media campaign. I suggest using this low-cost content marketing strategy for engaging directly with your clients while simultaneously promoting your brand.
Here are some techniques for extending your exposure and reach on your social media channels:
Facebook: The app allows clients to “check-in” and post relevant content regarding your business. Besides that, use the events tab for highlighting deals, specials, and activities to encourage involvement. Run polls and weekly promotions that persuade clients to leave reviews and recommendations.
Free Promotion: Each time someone “checks in” on any social media platform or Google, they can post pictures and reviews of your business. For example, if you’re running an event planner business, they could post pictures and details of the latest event you coordinated.
Instagram: Here’s an opportunity for creative restaurant concept branding through the use of dynamic images and impactful hashtags. Ask food bloggers to post pictures of your business to help with your catering branding or event planning business promotion.
Review Sites: Did you know that, before making a dining decision, 53% of Millennials use a review site to help them? Your branding will benefit from being on as many review sites as possible. Encourage patrons to post reviews, and you must respond to them promptly.
Because so much food, beverage, and event business are booking online, it makes sense to have a social media presence. At the minimum, set up channels with Facebook and Instagram. That way, you and your clients can share high-quality photographs and videos. Then, as your business picks up, consider adding Twitter and Pinterest. These channels will open you up to sharing information about holiday parties, family reunions, weddings, and more.
Developing a visual brand will not happen overnight, especially if you want to attract the ideal client. When you follow the advice I’ve outlined here, you can work through these processes methodically and successfully.
If you need any help throughout your visual branding journey, think about signing up for our Success Recipes weekly email. You’ll receive the tools and strategic know-how you need for achieving your business goals. You can also take the stress out of social media with our free SMP Trial.