For many people, owning a bar is the ultimate dream. Whether it’s a place where you can have your friends come and hang out or a big money-making venture that you hope to grow, there is something about owning an appealing bar. However, you can’t just open up and expect people to start coming. No, you must market it right, which involves building your brand.
No matter what a business is, it needs to have a brand. A brand is often what you want to highlight about your business that makes it unique. For instance, a brand could be that you make high-quality products or that you are edgy or modern. Once you choose your brand, it should carry through into every part of your business. For example, your marketing will have your branding, contact with customers, and bar decor. Here are five important steps for building a brand for your bar.
Step 1: Figure Your What Makes Your Bar Different
You need to determine why people want to come to your bar. Consider this your mission statement. This is what makes your bar stand out from all the other bars and why customers should choose you. For example, you might say, “A bar focused on serving craft beer. We have drinks from micro-breweries all over the world.” You are stating that you are offering a wide selection of specialty beers, and from that, you know that your target customer base will be beer connoisseurs.
It doesn’t have to be deep or complicated or convey some message like your bar will change the world. Just what you do, and in some cases, why you do it. To get a mission statement, there are some questions you want to answer for yourself. They include who you are, what you’re doing, your goals, and how you will accomplish them.
Step 2: Consistency Is Key
Your brand has to trickle down into every aspect of your bar’s operation. It starts with the marketing, of course, but also the decor, your glassware, and the dress code for employees. This is especially important if your bar is upscale. You can have the vibe of a swanky joint, but if your bartender is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, it ruins the appearance. So make sure that you pay attention to detail. If your brand is being eco-friendly, then you should follow that through all the way down to the agave drinking straws you put in your drinks.
Make sure that your social media channels reflect your brand as well. Along with having your logo and colors on your profile, your posts must also have a voice that is consistent with your brand. To use the upscale example, you should use proper English and avoid slang and emojis.
Step 3: Find Your Brand’s Personality
You might not realize it, but your brand has a personality. Think of it like a character in a book or movie. How would your brand communicate if it could? That personality will determine how you craft your marketing messages and social media posts and how your staff interacts with customers. You can be patient with this one, as it takes time to develop your voice truly. It’s one reason why having control or final say over your social media is important. You must be consistent, and you don’t want somebody posting something on your behalf that doesn’t fit the personality.
Step 4: Customer Experience
Always consider the customer experience. It’s important that you take a bird’s eye view of everything so that you accurately gauge what you want your customer experience to be. For instance, we often think about what the customer will do once they are at the bar and ordering a drink. However, their experience starts before that. It might even start before they walk into your bar. Should you have a greeter for your bar? Will you have a sit down section? Will there be loud music, or will it be in the background? Think about what you want your customer to feel and think as they enter your bar and go through the ordering process.
When you consider the steps of the customer, you can use your brand to create a unique customer experience to your bar. It will help you get into their shoes and will help your brand build a deeper connection with your customer. In the end, every customer should have an idea of your mission statement, even though they have never seen it before.
Step 5: Create a Brand Book
Over time, it can be easy to let things slip and to be less consistent with your brand. This can happen especially if there is some staff turnover. To avoid this, build a brand book that will help you keep your identity strong. A brand book is a guide to your brand. It’s also something that can be given to new hires as part of their orientation or initiation. In it, you will have guidelines for posting on social media, sending emails, creating advertising and colors, and how you create website pages. If done right, it will be a quick and easy reference so that you will always be on-brand.
Owning a bar is a tough business. There is a lot of competition, and people don’t spend time out socializing as they did before Covid. So you need to do whatever you can to make your bar stand out in the crowd. By building a strong, consistent brand, you can make your bar into the attractive hot spot you want it to be.