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When rebranding consider an effective logo like a large red logo featuring a juicy steak on a plate, a fork and a knife enclosed in a shield.

When is Restaurant Re-Branding a Good Idea?

September 5, 2018 4:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In business conversations, you may have heard the term “rebranding” come up, without fully understanding what it meant, even in the context of the discussion you heard. It does seem like something of a strange concept when you consider that any company which has established a brand for itself has probably invested a lot of time and effort into coming up with that brand.

It’s also quite likely that the brand established by any particular company has grown to be a symbol of what the company stands for in the perception of consumers, who closely associate the brand and the company. This being the case, why would any company or restaurant want to overthrow a deliberately created brand, and disrupt a positive perception of itself in the minds of its customers?

Reasons for Rebranding

There are actually several good reasons for a business or restaurant to want to completely change its identity in the minds of its customer base, some of which have to do with going in a different direction than the past, and charting a new course for future success. In the restaurant business, this can probably happen more frequently than with, say large corporations which have been around for decades.

In some cases, a rebranding initiative can entail a makeover for the restaurant, or an entirely new marketing strategy which is designed to achieve greater exposure to a wider audience. For restaurants which don’t really have a single image or logo identifying it easily to the public, rebranding can mean simply redesigning the restaurant with changes to the interior and/or exterior.

It might also mean a completely different menu with a number of heart-healthy options and low-calorie offerings. There are also grounds for rebranding when you think the public perception of your company has subtly gone awry over the years, and you’d like to reestablish a more positive image. Less frequently, there might also be reasons for rebranding if the company has gone through a period of negative public relations, and it becomes necessary to regain the public trust and support.

A sign for an authentic style burger restaurant is an example of effective signage for marketing your business.

Detailed Reasons for Rebranding

When you’re looking to rebrand your restaurant, there are a number of components which should be considered, and which you might want to tinker with, do a major overhaul on, or completely replace:

  • restaurant name – this may be one of the least likely changes you consider, but some restaurants have done this all the same when it was necessary to create a new image
  • demographics – you may be trying to reach a completely new audience, for example, couples or business people
  • mission statement – are you trying to achieve something different than you originally started out with? Are you providing customers with something different than when your restaurant first opened?
  • Logo – this may be the one component of your brand which is most visible to customers, and which is most closely associated with your business. If you change this, you’ll be starting from Ground Zero in establishing a new association
  • tagline – do you need to change the little phrase or tagline which helps people remember your company better, and what your service is?
  • Website – while you might not think of this as being part of a branding initiative per se, your website is still your window to the customer world, and in many cases it’s the first thing they see about your restaurant business
  • merchandise – more and more companies in restaurants are taking advantage of branded merchandise such as T-shirts and baseball hats, or possibly mugs and glasses, which can be used as built-in advertising for your restaurant. The more people who see these merchandise items, the more who might become curious about patronizing your restaurant
  • ambience – another part of your branding which can become fixed in the minds of your customers are all those elements relative to the experience they have when patronizing your establishment, e.g. music, lighting, cheerful service, color schemes, etc.
  • food – if you have decided that your menu needs a makeover to support your new brand image, you need to consider every entrée being served at your restaurant. For instance, if you wish to be known as the best steakhouse in your community, you have to go out and find the best cuts of meat, and then ensure that they are cooked to perfection by a highly skilled chef.

You’ve Decided on Rebranding – Now What?

After you have considered all the above components of rebranding, and have decided on exactly how you want to accomplish this rebranding, you’ll be obliged to adhere tightly to the decisions you’ve made with no room for wishy-washy waffling. In order for rebranding to work, everyone involved has to be committed to the concept of it, and everyone must be working together to pull it off.

All the elements of your rebranding should work well together so as to build a cohesive brand in the minds of your public. If the message presented by your branding is not clear, and all the components are not cohesive, it will create confusion in your customer base, and there will be no chance for crystal-clear branding. Brand recognition depends on this kind of clarity and this kind of commitment, so if you do undertake a rebranding initiative, be prepared to commit to it wholeheartedly.

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