Q: My location is across the highway from a major amusement park that closes November to May every year. We've built a successful year-round business with our bar and live music stage. How do I brand a "rock bar and restaurant" business that's edgy enough to support a live music crowd and mainstream enough for families visiting the amusement park?
Denise Lee Yohn
Q: My company is planning to launch an Indian quick serve. This may be a challenge as there is no big Indian quick-serve chain in the U.S. What do you think should be the marketing strategy for the launch?
Q: Are there any low-cost methods of diverting eyes and mouths to our restaurant on an extremely local basis?
Q: What are three important things to keep customers coming back and building new customers into repeat customers?
A: It’s very smart to be asking about building repeat business. After all, many analyses show it costs a company more to get new customers than to keep the ones it has.
Q: We’d like to get started with a marketing and PR firm. What suggestions do you have for hiring the right fit?
You may not think you have much in common with a celebrity, but if you’re like most quick-serve business owners I know, you do.
No, it’s not your good looks and charm—sorry.
Like celebrities, you’re in the public eye a lot, so you get lots of requests for help. You probably get solicitations for charitable donations or sponsorships all the time.
Over the past year and a half that I’ve been writing this column, I’ve hammered home how companies that try to be everything to everyone end up being nothing to no one.
Focus has been my main message, as I’ve extolled the benefits of a “less is more” approach.
I thought I’d drop down from that 30,000-foot level this month and recommend ways to build strong brand relationships with some specific target markets. I’ve picked two market segments that are particularly valuable to most quick serves: Millennials and moms.
The statistics are captivating: more than $4,400 in sales per square foot, more than 90 percent revenue increases in the first six months of 2011, 40–50 new stores opened every year. Apple retail stores are hot. And if you’re like pretty much everyone I talk to these days, you probably have Apple envy.
The craving hit hard. My husband and I were driving back to town late one Saturday night after a U2 concert when we were both suddenly struck with the urgent desire for some Jack in the Box tacos. At once we began scanning the roadside signs, hoping to spot our desired destination.
As we sped by signs for all of the fast food restaurants, another thought hit me as well: A good logo makes a big difference.
It may be that a person usually needs to hear something at least three times before it registers in their mind. But something I heard at the 15th Annual UCLA Extension Restaurant Industry Conference recently stood out to me the first time it was said—and its impression only got stronger each time I heard the point repeated throughout the day.