6 Trending Stories for Branding and Business

What we’re reading this month:

Who knew, jingles are back! 3 tips to convey your brand identity: http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/marketing-sales/2011/08/24/show-customers-your-brand-id/

Top 10 Facebook marketing tips for small businesses:http://solvater.com/2011/08/top-10-facebook-marketing-tips/

Infographic: a guide to Internet Marketing: http://unbounce.com/noob-guide-to-online-marketing-infographic/

Why Facebook Places lost the war with Foursquare: http://blog.tweetfind.com/why-facebook-places-lost-to-foursquare.html

Social media success is all about failures: http://www.businessinsider.com/success-in-social-media-is-about-learning-from-failures-2011-8

Brand equity and brand expansion: http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2011/08/exploring-brand-equity-and-brand-extension.html

Restaurants and Orange

We started this week with an overview of orange color psychology. Today, we want to dive in to how orange can be used in restaurants.

The menu

Orange is a common color for seasonal fruits and vegetables, and signals to  the consumer that the food is fresh. Many orange foods are in season in the summer or fall, especially through the holiday season. The brighter the orange, the more likely the food is in season in summer – like oranges. Around Halloween, pumpkins and sweet potatoes become more popular.

The Design

In restaurants, orange stimulates appetites and encourages sales. Orange is less harsh than red but has many of the same characteristics, so orange is very popular in restaurants looking to create a cheerful, social, energizing space.

Olive and Ivy, a Fox Restaurant Concepts restaurant located in Scottsdale, Arizona, features an orange theme. The restaurant is beautiful, and the rich orange theme mirrors the menu of Mediterranean cuisine mixed with California chic to create a crave-able experience.

Orange may also be used as a prominent color in the menu design, like this fine dining menu from Josephine’s Other restaurants that use orange in their menu design include Hooters and Dave and Busters.

Would you like to incorporate orange into your new menus, brand, or promotional materials? Please, contact us!

7 Trending Topics for restaurants

  1. It’s 2011, and most restaurant websites need to catch up. Here is an in-depth article on why restaurant websites are stuck in 1999: http://www.slate.com/id/2301228/
  2. While you’ve (hopefully) jumped on to social media, remember to look past “likes” and “followers” and measure your influence on social media. Jill McFarland takes a deeper look at restaurant social media here: http://www.jillmightknowjack.com/2011/08/restaurants-social-media-good-bad-and.html
  3. Find out how important color is to the success of your restaurant with this post on color psychology: http://itsmyingredient.com/2011/08/04/restaurant-color-psychology/
  4. One thing you can learn from the world’s best cocktails: they all have stories. Find out what else you can learn here: http://www.thebarblogger.com/what-you-can-learn-from-the-world%E2%80%99s-best-cocktails/
  5. It’s hot in Phoenix, and we can barely see the glimmer of cooler weather on the horizon. Try out the 5 best cocktails in the city to cool off: http://www.citysbest.com/phoenix/news/2011/08/03/best-summer-cocktails/
  6. The best of the 11 trends for restaurants in 2011? Frugality fatigue. Be ready to celebrate, because your guests are ready to spend! http://www.fesmag.com/index.php/news/foodservice-news/item/5118-technomic-identifies-11-leading-restaurant-trends-for-2011
  7. Add “send out email newsletter” to your calendar, because with these 7 tips, your newsletter will be ready to go! http://blog.commlog.com/2011/08/02/aug-2–email-marketing-tips-for-restaurants.aspx

Orange Color Psychology

The color orange is warm, inviting, and stimulates two-way conversations because it is both physically and mentally energizing. Orange also inspires motivation and positive outlook in life. Many sports teams use the color orange in their uniforms and mascots, including the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, as orange has been shown to stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence

Incorporating orange into designs targets a younger audience who are more accepting of the color. Some people see orange as a “cheap” color, so caution must be used when incorporating it into designs.

Orange around the world:

  • Native Americans associate orange with kinship
  • In Japan and China, orange symbolizes happiness and love
  • Christianity associates orange with gluttony
  • Favorite color of the Netherlands, where the country’s monarchy is called the “House of Orange”

Do you have more questions regarding orange and design? Contact us, we’d be happy to answer them!

Branded table tents

As we mentioned Wednesday, table tents must have the same look and feel as the rest of the marketing materials that a restaurant uses. Kona Grill uses their table tents for seasonal promotion, and continues the theme in their email campaigns. For example the table tent below is used to promote their “Slim Chance” menu which offers low calorie food and drinks for a limited time. Although the table tent insert uses different imagery than the email campaign (also below) they feature the same style of photography, and the same layout for the campaign name. The style of the [slim] chance is mirrored on the Kona Grill website, in the regular menus, and on the Facebook page.

Table Tent

Email Campaign

Table tent uses

The table is the point of purchase (POP) in most restaurants. This makes the table tent a valuable piece of advertising real estate. A table tent narrowly  targets  a restaurant’s market – the guest has walked through  the door and is sitting at a table, prepared to spend money. From a restaurateur perspective, it can be difficult to decide how to use this marketing tool. We’ve outlined a few options for table tent usage.

  1. Food and drink promotions. Table tents are a great way to introduce or test new menu items without reprinting the entire menu. Many table tent options are designed to make changing out specific promotions easy and quick.
  2. Dessert. Put the idea of dessert in a guests mind right when they sit down, and keep the idea in front of them their entire meal. The guest is more likely to order a dessert if they are constantly reminded of the sweet treat a restaurant is promoting. This works especially well during slower times to entice guests to spend more when restaurants aren’t as focused on turning tables quickly. Need more information on spending per minute? Click here.
  3. Advertise events. Restaurants can also use table tents to communicate when happy hour times, lunch or late-night specials, or special events are happening throughout the week, month, or season.

A few things to keep in mind when using table tents:

  • Great photography sells. If a brand frequently uses photography in advertising, email campaigns, and the menu, it is cost effective to use the same images in table tent materials, in addition to helping align the table tent design with your overall brand.
  • Captive audiences. People look at table tents when they sit, after they have ordered or if they need something to keep them occupied. This is why drinks and dessert are great options for table tents – drinks are ordered throughout, and dessert is ordered at the very end.
  • Guests have time to look at table tents, they can read copy, and refer back to it; such as a call to action to join your social media pages. Copy can be used to give more details, but needs to be used with caution in order to prevent overwhelming the guest.

Do you need help with table tent design? Contact us to get started!

Making the most of your Point of Purchase

No matter the type  of business you operate, the point of purchase (POP) area is key to making a sale.  With 70% of buying decisions made at the POP, your POP marketing display is critical. Make sure your POP displays align with your brand – by using your brand handbook – and make an impression on your buyers.

Some common POP marketing materials include:

  • Tradeshow/expo booth. Banners, fliers, and pamphlets are just a few of the items businesses can display at a tradeshow or expo. In a tradeshow/expo environment, you need your POP display to grab the attention of your target market  and stand out from  nearby  booths and competitors .
  • Cash register. Your customer is at the register ready to hand over cold hard cash, so this is your opportunity to convince them they need to purchase other items.
  • Restaurant table. Your menu, table tents, and check presenter inserts are all great options for POP materials. Timeliness is important in a restaurant environment. For example, you don’t want to have dessert advertised in a check presenter. Opt instead for a gift card purchase or email newsletter signup.
  • Online checkout page. Utilize technology through product pairings. Amazon does this extremely well by suggesting what the customer might like throughout the checkout process.
  • On tables during a presentation. A breakdown of services for reference during a presentation.

Do you need help or have more questions about POP? Please let us know.

Blue Cocktails

Blue design isn’t appealing to the senses in the food realm of restaurants, but behind the bar, it’s a different story. People are hard-wired to associate blue food with things that are toxic or will poison them, a blue drink has the ability to add a splash of color people crave.

Maybe it’s the tropical blue that Blue Curacao (made from the Iaraha Citrus) creates when added to a perfect margarita (or other cocktails) that causes people to like the drink. The bright blue reminds them of a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean by mirroring the crystal clear coastal water. The relationship between “blue” and “drink” is a good one. Phrases people grow up with, such as “the clear blue water” and “icy blue lakes” make blue sound like a healthy color to consume. It makes sense that people view blue drinks as ice cold, calming, and refreshing. Complete the cocktail with a splash of bright color, like a lime wheel, lemon twist, or plump cherry and you have a crave-able drink!

We want to know: what’s your favorite blue drink?


Let’s face it, people don’t like blue food

If you’re designing a restaurant there are certain colors to stay away from, and blue is one of them. Blue and purple are associated subconsciously with toxins and spoiled food. Why? Blue foods are not commonly found in nature, with the exception of blueberries and a few other rare foods. Our ancestors regarded blue as a warning color, indicating the food was poisonous.

Sight is the first sense evoked by food. If the color of the food is unappetizing, a food can be immediately rejected. Studies have shown that blue food makes people lose their appetite completely, and in some cases become sick. Just imagine eating a blue steak. Gross!

Quick sensory design tip: using blue in your menu design or restaurant’s interior may not be such a good idea! Restaurants that use blue in their theme may be more focused on the environment their guests are in than the actual quality of food. Modern Steak, which has a blue logo and blue tables is a trendy place to be seen in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s reputation for food however, is not stellar. While many reviews focus on the “great ambiance” and “beautiful décor,” few elaborate on the quality of food. A well-known food blogger in Scottsdale wrote a review complete with pictures of Modern Steak. We have included some of his photos in this post, let us know what you think of how the food looks!

Some diet plans use the reaction to blue to their advantage. Put a blue light in the refrigerator or eating off blue plates.

When was the last time you ate something blue?


Useful Link: Rating Diet Plans

Psychology of the color blue

“Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones… it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another color – pink.”  – Raoul Dufy, French Fauvist Painter, 1877-1953

Blue is associated with corporate America because so many large companies’ logos are integrated with blue. Intel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and IBM all have blue in their logos. These companies may have chosen blue because it enhances communication with others and aids intuition. Blue is also the least gender specific color, appealing to men and women equally.

Use caution when incorporating blue into designs. Too much of the color can be cold or uncaring. Blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming and sedating, too much blue may cause too many chemicals to be released.

Blue around the world

  • In Mexico, blue is the color of mourning
  • Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” contributes to his transition from a classical to abstract artist
  • Blue symbolizes paradise in Iran
  • In China, blue is associated with wood, east, and spring