Welcome to the Complete Guide of Bar Branding! Today we’re going on a deep dive into the in’s and out’s of bar branding. We will discuss how to establish your bar’s purpose, and more importantly, how to communicate that purpose to your patrons.

Step 1: Find Your “Why”

First of all, you need to know your bar’s purpose. Why does your bar operate the way it does? Why does your bar serve what it serves? Your purpose will give your customers a certain image of your bar.  Your “Why” should be one clear, concise and consistent message that every person associated with your bar understands, employees and patrons alike.

A company that gets this right is Buffalo Wild Wings. They know what their purpose is and they communicate it in everything they do. They are a sports bar that specializes in chicken wings. This is apparent in their marketing, building design, employee uniforms, menu design, promotions, etc.

If you see their ads, they are covered in sports graphics, beer glasses, and chicken wings. There is nowhere to sit in the dining area where you can’t see 40 TVs all playing sports. This is a clear presentation of the company’s purpose. When you hear the words Buffalo Wild Wings, you think about wings, beer, and sports. Mission Accomplished.

This concept can and should be applied to your bar. If your bar is an upscale martini bar, this theme needs to be reflected in all aspects of your business. The building design should be modern and sophisticated. The staff should be dressed in a classy manner. The bartenders should be rude and condescending. Well, maybe not that last part! But you get the point.

Step 2: Back up the Purpose with the Product

Once the purpose of your bar is established it’s time to start building the product. Keep in mind that the product you are selling is not beer and food, but a good experience. Let me repeat that. The product you are selling is a good experience. The drinks, snacks and service are just the ingredients.

This should go without saying, but for the ingredients to add up to a good experience, they each have to be excellent. A cardinal rule in the bar industry is to not get cheap on your customers. Bad reviews can sink a new business very quickly. Reputation Builder has some stats backing up just how devastating bad reviews can be:

  • 80 percent of people choose to go elsewhere if they read bad reviews of your business online.

  • Customers who have a bad experience are two to three times more likely to write an angry review than customers who had a great experience are to post a happy review.

  • One negative review online (when not countered by positive reviews) can cost up to 30 new customers.

  • It takes 12 positive reviews to cancel out the nasty side effects of just one negative review.

Step 3: Turn the Product into a Brand

The secret to turning a product into a brand is consistency. Consistently communicating the “Why” of your business repeatedly to customers turns your product into a brand over time.

How is this done in practice? Here is the non-comprehensive but pretty thorough list of details to build your “Why” into:

  • Company Logo Should be easily recognizable and communicate your “Why”.

  • Signage Should contain the logo and the message the logo represents.

  • Building Exterior – Easily visible yet communicating your “Why”.

  • Building Interior – Create an environment that oozes your purpose!

  • Furniture and Fixtures – Contributes to the atmosphere of your bar.

  • Staff – Properly dressed for your “Why”. Proper demeanor for your “Why”

  • Menu Design – Should contain selections that reflect your “Why”. Should also contain your logo.

  • Draft List/Drink Menu – Same idea as above.

  • Paper/Plastic Products – Great place for your logo!

  • Receipts – Relevant company information, logo, and tagline if you have one.

  • Social Media Accounts – Communicate your “Why” to new and returning customers.

  • Email Marketing – Great way to remind your customers of your “Why”.

  • Business Cards – Communicate your “Why” to clients and vendors.

Step 4: Keep Being Consistent

Basically everything your business touches should be influenced by your mission. The better this is implemented, the more profitable your business will become. According to Fitsmallbusiness, “Consistent branding increases revenue by at least 23%.” ASAPScience put together a great video summarizing the added valued branded products have over generic.

Consistent branding will result in much more than just higher profits. Staying in front of consumers will help build brand loyalty over time. A loyal customer is up to 10 times more valuable over time than a single purchase, according to Fitsmallbusiness

What’s the trick to being consistent? Be brand focused in everything your business does. If your company colors are green and yellow, don’t send out mailers that are blue and red. Get your message out in your marketing, in your buildings presentation and in your customer interactions. You are working hard to communicate a certain image of your company to your customers, don’t do anything to confuse that message.

Hopefully this guide has provided some insight into how successful branding is done. If you need some help branding some of restaurant products, you are already in the right place! At Budget Branders, we specialize in branding the disposable products that restaurants use by the thousands. Thousands of brand impressions are being missed by not having your cups, napkins, or to-go bags customized. If this is a problem you need fixed, click that LIVE CHAT button and let’s get it solved!