......................an easy and inexpensive branding tool.
More on the importance of the traditional press kit.....
......................an easy and inexpensive branding tool.
Art and coffee.....the perfect blend. Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Hot or Cold, Dark or Decaffeinated there is a cup for you.
This is the motto that illy has lived up to. For over 80 years illy has been providing the world with top quality coffee from Trieste, Italy. illy has established themselves as leaders in the market through their innovative marketing strategy and quality product.
A key part of their marketing strategy has been art. The tabletop is one of the last mediums of advertising and art that is yet to be completely taken advantage of. illy has pushed the boundaries of the norm to create a brand that innovates and redefines a cup of coffee.
By collaborating with artists such as Daniel Buren, illy has turned cups of coffee into pieces of art that are admired throughout the world. Art is a market that is rarely tapped into....... especially in the tabletop world.
To see all the ways illy has incorporated art to their brand see their website illy.
Another amazing brand that has sought and accomplished using art to market their product is Italy’s Lavazza.
Served around the world, Lavazza is a family run business that has sought to distinguish themselves from their competitors: Starbuck’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. What can you do to distinguish yourselves from multi-billion dollar companies? Brand recognition and quality leads to an increased market share as well as a competitive brand.
Being different, and breaking from the norm has allowed their brand to develop in to world-leader in the coffee industry. Lavazza’s evocative and risqué advertisements have left the world wanting to know more about this Old Italian Brand. Pushing the boundaries has rewarded Lavazza with the brand recognition only given to a select few brands.
The illy brand, aside of being a high quality, is also associated with high prices and inherently, restricted to a niche market. Couple their high prices with their powerful "art marketing" campaign.
Both illy and Lavazza, through their branding strategies have become exclusive, expensive, and recognized as quality coffee worldwide. The next time you go to make a cup of superior quality coffee make sure you use illy or Lavazza. We love the branding....love the coffee more.
- Daniel Grewal
Because some of you have asked about it, we are reprinting our article on the importance of consistency in brand building. We're glad you have found it helpful.
When it comes to building your brand whether you’re a restaurateur, a tabletop dealer/distributor, or a tabletop manufacturer....there are two main words to remember – CONSISTENCY and FREQUENCY.
As a restaurateur you strive to deliver a great dining experience to your guests, no matter the level of your restaurant. Doing so means that you will gain loyal customers and loyalty often results in higher spend per visit….and more return visits. One of the best ways to insure more return visits is to provide a consistent dining experience for your brand. Your brand represents trust and customers want to know they can trust what type of service, meal and overall experience they will have when they visit your restaurant. Consumers don’t like mixed messages (experiences) when choosing where to spend their dining out money. Using tabletop items consistent with your overall brand message can provide strong reinforcement to consumers on the type of dining experience they can expect whenever they visit your restaurant. Fast-casual leaders such as Panera, Chipotle, and Five Guys are hugely successful in large part because they deliver a consistent dining experience to their guests.
Same goes for the dealer. Operators have more choices than ever of where to purchase their tabletop. Being consistent in service, supply, pricing, and generally how you treat your customers throughout the purchasing experience helps insure repeat purchasing and less overall shopping when operators are considering both new tabletop items and re-orders. If a dealer/distributor is inconsistent in their messaging through that experience, it’s far more likely that customer will check pricing/availability from several sources before making their tabletop purchases. Whenever that happens, gross profit margins on the eventual sale are certain to erode. Also, less gross profit for the dealer generally results in less earnings for the dealer salesperson. Plus, with an inconsistent brand message, it takes more of a general overall sales effort to convince the restaurateur why they should buy their tabletop from your dealership versus one of their other options. People – including restaurant operators – want buy from sources they trust. Strong brands represent trust.
Consistency for the manufacturer’s brand message is critical. Being known for having a wide range high quality dinnerware is fine, but that reputation will be lessened if your company’s selection of flatware, glassware, or accessories is of lesser quality, with only a handful of patterns or items. Same with service – if a your reputation is built upon outstanding service levels and that you introduce a new product that they have difficulty servicing….the your brand message is going to suffer. The same goes for a manufacturer who is strong in one geographic region and weak in another. Like most industries, the hospitality industry is small and communication is great. As a manufacturer, if you are weak at serving a particular part of the region/country/world….that word gets out and weakens your overall brand message. Customers with multiple locations want to know that you'll be able to service all of their locations with the same quality service levels.
Another issue for manufacturers is whether your brand message is consistent across all delivery platforms. Do your collateral materials – catalogs, brochures, etc. – support the quality of your products? Does the “billboard – look” of your trade show booth reflect properly the brand message you are trying to send? How about your advertising and promotion? Remember, everything you do reflects back upon your brand….from the products you have to the people you hire…even something very small such as the design of your business cards…is a part of your overall brand message. An inconsistent brand message is a weak brand message.
So, whether you’re a restaurateur, a dealer/distributor, or a manufacturer….you have a unique and individual brand. Whether you have a strong brand or a weak brand often depends upon the consistency with which you deliver your message.
Knowing who you are…..and who you want to be is critical in determining the brand message you need to send to your customers….whether you’re a restaurateur…a tabletop dealer….or a tabletop manufacturer. And when you send that brand message it needs to be sent with CONSISTENCY.
Authenticity…..the real deal.
Seth Godin wrote the other day about marketing swagger. And the substance that’s needed to back up the swagger. In today’s world – hospitality tabletop included – restaurant guests and tabletop customers are looking more than ever for authenticity. Marketing swagger is great….but if the experience does back up the swagger, you’re pretty much dead.
And…you WILL be exposed. In a world of YELP, Trip Advisor, and any one of a number of review forums, your “swagger without substance” will be discovered and trumpeted.
Having the swagger is important as it instills confidence with your customers. But, definitely have the substance to back it up.
Authenticity. Customers want it. More than ever.
A question we’re often asked at TabletopJournal is what makes Steelite so special and how do they continue to grow their business? After spending much of today in product review sessions where new product after new product was showcased, along with new uses and updates for existing products….you might well assume that the answers to be those questions would be product related.
However, from what I have witnessed in my very short visit at this sales conference, it’s far more about the people – and their passion – than it is about the individual product that leads to the success at Steelite. While their products are the most creative products of their types, in the end what is impressive is how the Steelite people use these products to provide solutions to their customer’s tabletop problems.
From VP, National Accounts Tony Taneal to Denver area Sales Rep Ron Gallman to Tabletop Specialist Mary Beth Miller to Midwest Sales Manager Jack Eaton…. they all shared the passion for selling tabletop with each individual encounter we had with them, as did many others whose names I didn't get. It is this passion for providing tabletop solutions that seems to run throughout the Steelite organization.
Today’s product breakout sessions were a good example. Each upbeat and fast moving session was run by a knowledgeable expert whose passion and energy was on full display. You saw it in the informal hallway gatherings - discussing this product or that...how they might work to solve a particular customer's problem. Other companies may try to compete on a product basis, but Steelite seems to be competing on a talent basis….and their inventory of talent runs deep.
So, while there can be no doubt that Steelite has some truly creative products – with many more on the way - it is the people and their talent – and, yes, their passion - that are perhaps this company’s most impressive assets.
What do you think of when you're thinking of your “BRAND”?
Remember…. your brand is what others think it is, not what you think it is. With that in mind, your brand is what you stand for, what type of company you are when nobody is watching.
Brands are promises and how well you deliver on those promises is a large part of your overall brand DNA. Ultimately, your brand is an accumulation of all the many and wide-ranging touchpoints and experiences that people have with your brand.
So, in the end, your brand is really a result of many activities, not a single logo, website design, mission statement or slogan.
Some relationships....are just meant to be. Bauscher/Hepp and Tafelstern/WMF new catalogs are out. Restaurant tabletops everywhere have begun to smile.
We're pretty sure the new Luigi Bormioli catalog can't be far behind.
To learn more about Bauscher USA and the extensive portfolio of top tabletop products, go here:
http://www.bauscherusa.com/ or give them a call (888.840.4333) to get your own new catalog.
Maker’s Mark knows how to show that they are a quality, aged, fine liquor while still “staying young” and having fun with their advertisements. This is a marketing plan that reflects the culture of their company.
Shouldn’t your company do the same?
- David James