The most valuable and successful restaurants in the world are built on great brands. Noma. Eleven Madison Park. Wolfgang Puck American Grille. Morton’s Steakhouse. Chipotle. They may have different concepts and price tiers, but one thing remains the same: they’ve built brands customers love.

Restaurants deliver an inherently rich experience. Dinners out tend to be social and memorable, which gives restaurants an enormous opportunity to create strong, emotional connections with their diners. The physical restaurant itself has so many “customer touchpoints,” from lighting to silverware to signage. From the moment you step foot into a great restaurant, you feel the things they want you to feel–whether that’s excitement, sensuality, or pure joy.

And then you step out. And the next time you see that restaurant brand? It’s through a poorly designed email you receive in your inbox on Tuesday morning.

It doesn’t have to be this way, either for customers or brands. Just because you’re online, doesn’t mean your brand should take a breather. It needs to communicate the same uniform message that you worked so hard on bringing to life over dinner. But how to do that?

Here are some tips to build a consistent and memorable brand, both online and off.

Grow Awareness

The first step is always awareness. Even the best crafted, most enticing brand in the world is of limited use if there is limited or no awareness. You can build and increase awareness by choosing the right channels and tactics to speak to your customers.

Think about who your customers are, and where best to reach them. Some tactics to help build awareness include social media, community partnerships, promotions, guerilla marketing, and email marketing once you have a customer base. If you’re just starting out, consider advertising or try to get a story about your grand opening in a local paper or food blog.

Define Values

Your brand values define what your restaurant is. Consider ambience, your ideal clientele, the restaurant history–everything– when choosing your core restaurant values. What does your restaurant represent? Does it stand for service and luxury? Or is it an anchor that represents history and community? Is it hip and on trend? Or classic and evergreen?

Whatever your values are, build your brand around them. Think about whether your logo, decor, menu items, and tagline align with the values you’ve chosen. Everything should work together to tell one consistent and cohesive story. Try to explain your restaurant in 30 seconds flat. What would you say?

Discover Personality

What is your restaurant’s personality? If it was a person, who would it be? Is your restaurant personality an extension of the owner? Does it embody its demographic? A great tip is to have a list of personality traits to come back to when creating materials and writing marketing messages. Thinking about who your restaurant is will inform how you craft your messaging, voice, and identity. After all, wouldn’t it be strange to receive the exact same message from a fine dining place as takeout sushi? Your restaurant’s personality is a key element in helping it stand out, both online and off.

Branding is the best way to distinguish yourself from your competitors and engage your customers. When you develop and design a strong brand, you give yourself a foundation to lean on that helps inform the answers to the questions that come up as you grow your business.

With a fleshed out brand strategy, no matter where or why you’re talking to guests, you will have a unified core message. When you know who you’re speaking to and what you want to say, you’ll have no problems moving from offline to online, from menus to emails. Now that you know what you’re going to say, make sure your guests are hearing it with Zenreach.

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Marketing Restaurants