Appealing to Customers’ Lifestyles Means Believing in a Mission
A recent episode of Foodable interviews four enterprising restaurant owners on the topic of taking the leap from restaurant to lifestyle brand. The panel agrees that the key to success in extending a brand is to drink the kool-aid, or in this case, the Intelligentsia coffee: restaurants have a legitimate lifestyle play when they’re authentic, consistent and practice what their brand promises.
In other words, customers are savvier than ever and are quick to pick up on falsehood or persuasive branding that feels impersonal, canned or inauthentic. Being a lifestyle brand restaurant doesn’t have to mean hosting cooking classes, selling branded clothing or finding a relatable celebrity spokesperson – before any of that is even possible, brands have to know their audience and create a purposeful presence that customers will want to identify with. It doesn’t just work to unveil a new brand, as in Applebee’s branding misstep I wrote about in the past. To get into customers’ heads and habits, you have to be specific, intriguing and meaningful.
Let’s talk about how to find opportunities to make your business important to your customers’ lifestyles and to ensure lasting loyalty.