OK, I’ll admit content is king. But while you are putting that content out there don’t you think it is important to be consistent? We rely and expect consistency in our lives, such as when I pick-up a baseball anywhere in the United States I know what to expect. A baseball should always weigh between 5 and 5.25 oz and is between 9 and 9.25 inches in circumference. Maintaining consistency is also about living up to expectations and delivering on promises.
We work real hard to communicate messages to our audience, so why would we waste everyone’s time by confusing them?
It is important when building and maintaining a brand to be consistent.
when Talking to your audience.
Don’t mix messages. You know who you are, but does your audience? You never know when someone will see or hear about your restaurant for the first time. Branding is all about consistent messaging. Make sure that you don’t confuse your customers and audience, whether this is the first or 500th time you have reached them. All touch-points from in-store to your web presence to advertising and PR or promotions all require consistent messaging. When referring to messaging in this case it includes copy, visuals, logos, imagery and graphics.
Top of mind awareness is a result of consistent and repetitious messaging.
Don’t change with the wind. Is it ok to offer new products and seasonal offering? Yes, of course. But it does not mean you change who you are as a brand. If you serve modern Italian cuisine, don’t go offering a BBQ pork sandwich. It’s confusing. Can you have specials that are offered for diners that are a bit off brand? Sure. I just don’t recommend you advertising or promoting a product that is off brand. If you are known for Italian, then Italian is what you should stick with. This does not mean that you do not experiment with seasonal ingredients or the popular flavor profile of the moment. Just make sure that it reflects your brand positioning.
Don’t confuse your audience. Or your employees. I am all for coupons, offers and promotions. Unless you have a line of people outside your restaurant everyday, enticing customers is just good business. Be competitive with your offers. Track what your competitors are doing but don’t copy cat. Make a competitive offer that is consistent. Don’t be cute and change your offers. It’s confusing to the customer redeeming the offer and even more confusing for your staff. You can thank me now or your staff will thank you later. Keep It Simple. Don’t make it confusing or hard to redeem. If a customer doesn’t understand an offer, they will either not redeem it or be frustrated when the offer is not what they expected. Just another reason why you don’t need to change your offers.
I used to work with a client who religiously tracked competitive offers, as he should. He would come to me and say, “I want to do the same offer as competitor X. But (and there always was a but), I can’t offer that product at that steep of a discount. Or I don’t want to offer that same product, etc, etc. It was always an operational issue that prevented him from pulling the trigger. Plus, he wasn’t getting any support from me. I would tell him to keep his offer steady and consistent. It may not be unique or sexy but every time we pushed that offer, it drove traffic and sales.
Moral of the story, don’t be cute. Don’t over think it.
Stay true to your brand. And always maintain brand consistency.
Do you have anyone checking and maintaining consistency for your brand? Have you had any issues where the lack of consistency cost you a customer or market share?