Denise Lee Yohn

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.

How to Succeed in a New Market

Q: You've got a popular concept with a few locations in one market, and you're looking to expand into a new market. What's the best way to do so?

A: Expanding into a new market can be both risky and rewarding, but there are a few ways you can increase your odds of success.

Taglines That Work

Q: I'm launching a new concept and trying to decide on a tagline. What makes a tagline work?

A: Taglines are powerful communicators. The right tagline can attract attention to your concept, help position your brand, and make people remember you.

It’s Budget Time!

Q: It’s a new year and it’s time to set marketing budgets. What are some guidelines to follow?

A: The New Year is a great time to kick-start your marketing. But before you jump right into budgeting, take the time to outline your marketing objectives. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s difficult to identify the best approaches for reaching your goals and determine how much to spend on each.

Year of the Brand

In this last Brand New Perspectives of 2012, I’m breaking from my usual Q&A format to recap some of the most important brand developments in fast food this past year.

Despite the sluggish economy and uncertainty that typically accompanies election years, companies in our industry chose to make some of their boldest moves in 2012, and some exciting new chains took the stage. Here are my picks for the seven biggest brand stories of the year.

Innovation or Core? Try Both

Q: How do you innovate in new areas while maintaining strong execution on your core business?

A: Three hundred industry leaders recently grappled with this question at the Women’s Foodservice Forum Executive Summit. Speakers and attendees shared insights on and challenges with achieving the right balance between innovation and core execution.