Opening a new business is always going to be a challenge but when you are opening a new restaurant in a location where no one knows you and you haven’t built a loyal following yet, it can be more than a challenge. However, there are some things you can do right from the start to build brand so that people understand right from day one who you are, what you serve and what sets you apart from other eating establishments in the area.

Four Plus Decades of Positioning Should Have Taught Us Something

Back in the 1980s, a pair of advertising gurus by the names of Al Ries and Jack Trout came up with a marketing concept called ‘positioning.’ It is a four-fold concept in which a new company needs to decide where it wants to be seen in the public eye. Before you set out to brand your new restaurant, decide if you want to be known by:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place
  4. Promotion

Where do you envision your restaurant being positioned within those four approaches to brand?
Do you want people to know that your food is special in some way such as organic or artisan? That would be product. Do you want to compete with Burger King or McDonald’s? That would be price. What about a spot on the boardwalk of South Beach in Miami? Of course, that would be place and for promotion, you could go in almost any direction you’d like! Perhaps you could sign on a brand ambassador that would promote your business, or you could offer special promotions like “Two Times Two Tuesdays.

Visual Identification Is Key

Positioning should be a first step in developing a brand and the more innovative and creative you get, the more you will stand out from other restaurants in your locale. Next, you want to relate your brand image with your positioning. When you decide to create a menu, for example, keep everything from layout to graphics with the ‘position’ you want to be identified. You can get free restaurant menu templates which you can add your own graphics to, your own menu items and prices, and any little advertising slogans you want to display. Visual identification can have an impact on your positioning if used creatively.

You can never underestimate the importance of a brand and in opening a new restaurant in an area where the competition is stiff, you need to pay special attention to your positioning. By developing a brand based on your position within a market, you can quickly develop a following that is looking for what you have to offer. Whether you want to compete with the big guys or develop a unique niche all your own, use the positioning method to build a brand and see how quickly you become a success. Four decades later and we’re still exploring the benefits of innovative positioning, but once you’ve mastered it, memorable marketing and branding are within reach.