While riding home from the ISU campus on Cyride, I overheard what may have been an older sister or aunt asking an 8 year old girl, “What is your favorite food?” She thought for a second and then enthusiastically responded, “Papa Johns!”
I stated thinking to myself, “No, no, she meant what food do you like not what restaurant you like.”
But in this little girl’s mind, food and restaurants are intertwined through branding. When we have a great customer experience at a restaurant, the food ordered tends to taste better. It could be the service, the dish, the atmosphere or a kind, attentive waiter/waitress.
Branding is the use of a name, sign, symbol, design, or experience, or a combination of these, to identify and tell a story about goods/services/sellers that helps differentiate this offering from others (Neumeier, 2006; Schmitt, 1999). According to Understanding Aesthetics for the Merchandising and Design Professional, branding is: (Understanding aesthetics for the merchandising and design professional – 2nd edition by Ann-Marie Fiore)
- to increase awareness of the brand;
- to help the consumer differentiate it from competitors;
- and to imbue the brand with meanings that appeal to the consumer and further differentiate it from the competition.
As we conclude the 2nd largest retail shopping season (Back to School) and enter the largest holiday shopping season, we need to ask ourselves, “What is our customer’s favorite and how can we enhance their perception of our brand?”
What is it that brings customers back to your shop– hospitality, favorite food, location, price, quality or atmosphere? What is your favorite food?
According to Understanding Aesthetics for the Merchandising and Design Professional, branding is….from the competition