Applying “from the makers of” to local businesses

21Apr10

Over the past few weeks, two new restaurant concepts have opened in Chicago’s River North area. While you’d never know it based on the restaurant names and branding, these two restaurants are each being operated by veteran Chicago restauranteurs. For whatever reason, they’ve elected to make the new brands totally unique, without any reference to their existing restaurant successes.

When you’re already well-known for something that customers like, it seems obvious that you should use it as a reference point when promoting a new offering. Product manufacturers do a great job at this. For instance, you’ve probably seen lots of ads and in-store displays and package designs that tout a new product “from the makers of” a product that’s already popular. By associating the new product with the existing one, the new one inherits some of the trust and other positive sentiments that people attach to the reference item.

Restaurants and other local business should do the same thing. Even if your new restaurant offers a different type of food and price range and atmosphere than what you’re known for, it can’t hurt to use your existing venue as a reference point. For example, you might say that “John’s Steakhouse is the newest restaurant from the people that brought you the award-winning City Grill,” or something along those lines. If you leave out this reference point, you’re taking away a valuable signal that tells your already loyal customers (and anyone else who happens to recognize your brand name) that your new venture is worth a try.



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