Friday, January 13, 2012

Restaurant Branding Files: Going Global

In our previous blog post, we shared with you elements that make a strong brand. Today, we are giving you ideas on how to take your food establishment’s brand to the global market.

We are now past the stage of coming up with catchy marketing slogans or printing custom beverage napkins for your restaurant. At this stage, we assume that you have an established brand with a modest to strong following. Your patrons will expect a certain level of improved service from you but the upside is that they will also feel more willing to pay a premium for a “global” food brand.

Here are some pointers to take into consideration when expanding your brand.

1. When taking your brand to an international market, you need to consider cultural sensitivities. How does the English name sound when taken to, say, the Japanese market? The key here is proper research. Find out cultural norms in the country you intend to penetrate. Make sure your product name is not offensive abroad. If necessary, you will need translate to better communicate with your new audience. Sometimes, it will be a trial and error exercise but as long as you are learning, then you should look at it as an investment. When translating your brand, don’t scrimp on the budget by using online, computer generated translations. A sub-standard translation is dangerous and can ruin your business name before you even start building it. It is best to work with a professional so invest in one. Also, don’t forget to cascade your translated brand to your restaurant supplies such as your custom cups, custom beverage napkins and other supplies. Otherwise, you risk creating unwanted brand confusion.

2. Review your logo and make sure that there are no words or symbols that might be offensive to your targeted foreign market. For example, if you intend to penetrate a Middle Eastern market, you have to be aware of their cultural taboos. Colors are also important communicators so find out if your existing colors bear a negative connotation in your new market. As part of your research, it also helps to check if there are no other business establishments in that country with a similar logo as yours.

Come back next week for the second part of this post.