As it happens, food and beverage is a cutthroat industry. It has some of the fiercest competitors in the market, making it highly competitive yet surprisingly unsaturated.
Even if you have the most delicious recipes at reasonable prices, there’s no guaranteed success. You must set yourself apart from the rest of the wolfpack by implementing effective strategies to build a strong F&B brand image.
Running a restaurant or hawker stall in Singapore can get very expensive, especially as inflation rates remain elevated.
The prices of basic goods, commodities, and services are rising, meaning you need to shell out more to ensure your food and beverage business continues to thrive.
The simple fact is you’re not just selling food to customers. You’re also paying for rent, labour and competing with all other food and beverage brands in the market.
Furthermore, if you are dependent on third parties such as GrabFood, Foodpanda or Deliveroo, your brand will not have its own unique visibility as you are sitting alongside all the other brands that are near you. You don’t even own your customer data and you still need to fork out a high commission to these third parties for every order made.
So how do you stand out? Besides having your own digital presence with your own branding, customer relationship management (CRM) and loyalty programmes on top of your swanky website, coming up with a solid brand marketing campaign is one of the best strategies available.
Whether you want to generate profit or break even in your restaurant business, there are a couple of F&B brand marketing tactics you can implement.
We’ll teach you the ropes in this article and offer expert insights and actionable advice on using digital and social media marketing to attract customers and reap the fruits of your labour.
1. Brand Positioning
Brand positioning starts with coming up with a statement that describes your business. A brand positioning statement defines your target customers and how you’d like them to view your restaurant’s brand. It’s the who, where, when, what, how, and why of your brand image.
Ask yourself these questions: What is my restaurant offering? Am I running a cafe or a hawker restaurant? Is there a market for the type of food you sell? Will people in your restaurant location buy your food?
However, brand positioning is more than just coming up with a statement and answering the questions above. You’ll need to do the work by researching what your competitors are doing, adjusting to customer feedback, and staying authentic to your business goals and values.
Here are other tips to help you establish and improve your brand positioning:
- Listen to what customers are saying – Your brand positioning must be relatable with your customers. Gather as much feedback as you can through social media interactions, feedback forms, social media messaging, etc.
- Market your brand positioning statement – Small F&B businesses will have a small following at the beginning, which is understandable. Don’t expect to immediately have a large following to test your brand positioning. This is why it’s important to create some buzz regarding it. For example, you can run paid ads on Google or Facebook to test a generic statement about your business. Then, compare it with the results of your brand positioning statement and record the results of people’s reactions.
2. Define Your F&B Business’ Mission Statement And Values
No successful restaurant or F&B establishment is without core philosophies. You must first be able to define a core philosophy that includes your mission statement and values.
Reflect on what your business is offering your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and try to figure out what you’re also looking for, in an F&B brand as a customer.
Do you want to offer a fine-dining experience at an affordable price? Do you want to be a fast-casual restaurant? Do you want to sell home-cooked meals?
Again, it’s important to look at what your direct competitors are already doing. If you’re in the fast-food industry, look at case studies from giants like McDonald’s, KFC, or Burger King for example. If you’re in the upscale dining market, see how Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck do it.
Once you have an understanding of how you want to present your brand, you can easily come up with a strong mission statement and define business values that are consistent with your brand image.
3. Build A Fast, Responsive, And Well-Designed Website
Your restaurant website is your first contact point between you and your customers. This is where they’ll learn about your menu offerings and how much you’re selling them for.
So, your website must not only be discoverable on a search engine. It must also be functional, user-friendly, fast, professional, and relevant.
A well-designed website can bolster your digital presence and brand identity. Use it to your advantage.
Each time potential customers visit and exit the page, they must leave feeling like they already know everything there is to know about your food and beverage business.
Building a website is never a simple affair. We’re not going to mince words. It’s time-consuming and costs a lot of money.
Fortunately, affordable website buildings and content management systems (CMS) are available. Get access to templates, plugins, and other user-friendly features that make it easier for the visitor to navigate your website.
4. Create Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Fun fact, almost 60% of the global population is on social media. This means 4.70 billion people worldwide use social media, with over 220 million new users who’ve just arrived in recent months.
It would be a shame not to benefit from this large social media following. This is why another great food and beverage brand image marketing strategy is to increase your business visibility through social media platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and even YouTube are great avenues for marketing campaigns.
Many businesses use social media to engage with customers, showcase relevant food videos, and receive customer feedback. All these can significantly impact brand awareness for every online food and beverage business.
Food video marketing, for example, is especially effective for restaurants. It allows you to highlight your food’s visual appeal and entice customers to eat or order takeout from your business.
If you’re busy creating your menu and handling customers but have little time to do all the above, you can also hire a digital marketing agency to help you with your marketing efforts if you have a budget to spare.
5. Discover Leads Through Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation, or search engine marketing, is an underrated way to target audiences online. Sure, you may have a beautifully-built website with easy-to-navigate pages.
But without SEO, you’ll lose the opportunity of capturing valuable leads. In fact, not optimising your website for search engines may not even make it appear on the search results.
With SEO, you can increase the chances of your website appearing on the first page of online search results. Major search engines reward SEO-friendly websites by putting them on the first page, as long as you target the right keywords.
For example, if you’re running a French bistro in Singapore, your customers will look up “singapore french bistro”. SEO allows your website to rank high and get more organic traffic for that keyword, especially if you implement it well.
Doing SEO alone can be challenging, but it is doable. However, hiring a digital marketing agency is usually the way. SEO techniques may include:
- Content creation about your restaurant’s dishes (to keep your site fresh and relevant).
- Sharing recipes.
- Uploading other relevant articles.
6. Influencers And Food Bloggers
Think about the last time you heard of a new restaurant. Did it come from random social media posts by strangers? Or was it featured by a celebrity?
This is the power of food bloggers and influencers. It’s a type of word-of-mouth marketing which costs you $0. Imagine a group of random strangers doing your restaurant and brand marketing for free.
This is a good marketing strategy because your target audience or customers will almost always trust reviews and experiences from real people. Aggressive email marketing, for instance, will have the undesired effect of driving them away.
Take advantage of customers who post and write about your restaurant in a positive light. The best part? It’s 100% free publicity. All you have to do is stay consistent with your marketing efforts and live up to customers’ expectations with the food you serve.
7. Set Up A Reward System
If you haven’t yet, it’s good to set up a reward system for repeat or loyal customers. As a food and beverage company, you must actively encourage customers to place positive reviews on your digital marketing platforms or visit your brick-and-mortar store.
Incentivise them through a reward system which offers them discounts the next time they order food from your business.
They’ll associate your restaurant with a positive experience, enticing them to keep coming back for more.
Did you know that NinjaOS has a pre-configured loyalty system to help engage with your customers?
Use our restaurant online ordering software in Singapore for easy and hassle-free restaurant management.
8. Examine Yourself As A Business Owner
It’s essential not only for F&B business owners to understand what customers want from them, but to also reflect if the business aligns with who they are.
By understanding the role you play in defining your brand image, you can more easily figure out which marketing strategies to use. You must also be at the centre of your brand identity.
You don’t want to leave a negative impression on your brand. This is why it’s necessary to leave some space to reflect on how your goals, wants and needs, affect customer perception of your business. Success is only possible if your business is running as you’ve envisioned it.
For example, if you want to set up a cafe offering locally-sourced ingredients, stick to it and use it as your brand identity. You may need to change things as time passes, but the brand identity must always be at the centre of it all.
Conclusion About Digital Marketing Strategies About Building A Strong F&B Brand Image
Building a strong brand image for F&B business owners may seem challenging. But it’s really about optimising your current marketing strategies and digital channels, as well as staying true to your objectives.
If you already have a website but aren’t getting as many page visitors as you like, try out local SEO. This essentially makes your website user-friendly and accessible on mobile devices.
Meanwhile, you can bring life to your social media platforms by adding fresh content and capitalising on positive reviews left by bloggers and customers with a large digital following.
Remember: there’s not a single, all-in-one digital strategy that will catapult your food and beverage company to success. It’s about experimenting, experimenting, and experimenting!
Contact NinjaOS for more information on digitalising your business to the forefront and be ahead of your competitors. . We offer comprehensive F&B ordering solutions at 0% commission fees, guaranteed.
Frequently Asked Questions About
Building A Strong F&B Brand Image
What Makes An Effective Visual Brand?
An effective visual brand is consistent regarding its brand name, visuals, graphics, videos, colours, and more. All of these allow the brand to become more cohesive.
What Makes A Great Brand Logo?
Your brand logo should be recognisable, simple, and new. More importantly, however, it should clearly convey your business’ messaging. Companies must invest in marketing strategies to come up with a single brand logo that can be replicated for their menu, products, and other offerings.
What Is Restaurant Digital Marketing?
Online or digital marketing for restaurants involves establishing an online brand presence through multiple channels, like websites and social media platforms.
Why Is Digital Marketing Important For Food And Beverage Brands?
Digital marketing is vital for F&B businesses as it allows them to maintain their brand image and establish an online presence. Digital marketing also helps attract customers by keeping your business’ credibility.
Should Restaurants Go Digital?
Yes. Restaurants with a solid digital presence can provide better customer service. Many brands are keen on finding efficient order management solutions to simplify and make their processes more efficient.
What Is A Digital Restaurant Menu?
A digital restaurant menu is a digitised version of a restaurant menu which customers can access through scanning QR codes on a mobile device.
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