More than ever before, it’s crucial to have an online presence for your food brand. But you already know that! The hard part isn’t making a social media profile… It’s creating a cohesive brand experience that your customers will recognize and fall in love with wherever you meet.
Your brand lives in many places… your kitchen, your storefront, your social media, your website, your packaging, etc. So how do you create ONE brand message to unify them all?
Here’s 3 Things that you should to do take advantage of all your platforms:
1. Be Consistent
This is the most important step. There is no way that you will ever develop any traction if your logo is different on your packaging than it is on your website. It will be very difficult to recognize and remember your brand and products without consistency
Just think if McDonald’s used a different ‘M’ on their buildings, bags, and website. They would never have become the widest-known brand in history!
How do you ensure everything stays the same? Create a Branding Guide! All the biggest companies do this so that all of their team members are using the same exact font, colors, spacing, etc. Even if you’re just starting out it’s a good idea to keep track of all of your branding decisions to refer back to later.
You should start with your primary platform first. If you have a storefront where you sell your products, start there! It’s much easier to update a website, than a building. Cloud kitchen? Make sure everything on your delivery apps is the same! Selling your food online? Start with your website.
Square Online offers great eCommerce resources. Restaurants saw a 189% increase in sales with Square Online. You can set up your online shop and ordering pages for free! You can choose your own colors, fonts and layout elements to fit your specific brand. If you already have your own website, they also let you link their checkout feature so you can take advantage of all of their features while keeping your existing platform. You can even link your online store to your Instagram profile and let customers shop! If you don’t have a secure payment system, this is a great way to upgrade while keeping your brand consistent.
2. Offer Online & Offline Options
Hopefully, your customers are all different types of people who all come together to enjoy your delicious food or beverage. That means that some people will prefer in-person experiences, and some will prefer online! Think about your business and your demographic to determine which one should be your main focus. The best idea? Invest in both!
If your in-person sales are lacking, but you have a huge online following you can create a pop-up shop! Advertise your limited-time-only physical store on your website and social media and you’ll sell out in no time. You can sell out of your kitchen, or temporarily rent a small space in a trendy area to take advantage of even more offline traffic.
If you don’t want to build a pop-up shop, you should still make sure your customers have lots of options for receiving your product. Square Online supports a variety of ways to get orders to your customers from delivery to pickup, and even contactless self-serve ordering using a QR code. For delivery, you can choose on-demand delivery and connect your customers with delivery drivers without paying marketplace commission fees. If you prefer to use your own staff to deliver orders that’s an option too.
3. Cross-Promote Yourself
With so many platforms where your customers could find you, it’s important to advertise the rest! You never know which touchpoint will become your biggest money maker.
Here’s some great ways you can support your own business:
- Share real, offline customer experience stories and reviews online, including your website and social media channels
- Advertise your website and social media handle on all physical materials including your packaging and in your store-front. No dine-in? You can still print out a nice poster!
- You can use classic promotional materials like flyers to direct people to your website. Offer your customers a discount, free add-on item, or BOGO deal if they order online. You can customize this offer to anything that best fits your business. Pro Tip: Include a QR code for easy access!
Worried about managing inventory across all your platforms? Square can track it all for you! This is especially great if you’re already using their services to process in-person payments.
Whether you already have your distinct brand identity and platforms, or if you’re just starting out, Square Online offers lots of great features that can seamlessly integrate into your business model and keep your brand consistent. Sign-up for Square Online and start building your online ordering page for FREE today!
There you have 3 Things you can do to keep your brand consistent both offline and online to build your identity in today’s industry. Want more marketing tips? You can view my other blog posts on the topic here, or check out my YouTube Channel!