Denise Lee Yohn

What Great Brands Do

Q: What does it take for a quick-service brand to become a great brand?

A: I get this question all the time. Many people look at superstar brands like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Nike and mistakenly conclude those companies achieved their successes as a result of good timing, great advertising, or just plain luck. But I’ve found that these companies have employed specific, somewhat surprising, techniques that have turned them into industry icons.

What You Can Learn from Grocery

Q: A Whole Foods just opened a block down the street. Should I be worried?

A: Yes! While a nearby Whole Foods is likely to draw traffic and attract higher-income customers to your area, it's also likely to steal sales from your restaurant. People now perceive grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and even standard chains like Kroger and Safeway, as more convenient, more affordable, and higher quality than quick-serve restaurants.

The 10 Best Ways to Do PR

Q: What does it take to get good publicity for my company?

A: Just like every other marketing tactic, public relations has undergone significant changes in recent years. No longer can you simply send out a catchy media advisory and expect to get press coverage for your news.

Everything Communication

Q: I've got a solid logo and look for my business, an ad campaign that works pretty reliably, and a good following on Facebook. What can I do to take my brand to the next level?

A: Try this: Imagine your brand as a source of light. In an ideal world, the light of your brand would shine brightly and directly on your intended customers so they could see very clearly all the wonderful value that your brand offers them.

From Negative to Positive

Q: What's the right way to handle a negative online review?

A: If you're like most restaurateurs, you're a perfectionist. So a negative review on Yelp or Trip Advisor can really sting.

A particularly harsh comment can even prompt you to experience some of the stages of grief: denial, anger, depression. But, just as you would deal with grief, you have to get to acceptance at some point—and the sooner, the better.