Media Strategy, Insight & Resources

How to Grow Your Brand in New and Unfamiliar Markets

October 15, 2018

With more and more consumers choosing to dine out rather than prepare meals at home, it’s a perfect time to expand your restaurant brand and delight new markets with your delicious dishes and unparalleled service. Use these tips to ensure your expansion is a success.

Start where you are

Before branching out into new markets, take time to assess how your existing location is performing and, more importantly, what factors are driving that performance. If you’ve invested in a restaurant CRM, you should have a wealth of data at your fingertips about your current customers, their preferences, and sales. Use this data to make informed decisions about your next business move.

Research, research, research

With data about your existing customers in hand, you can begin to do research on “lookalike” areas with similar demographics. As you tour prospective locations, take time to familiarize yourself with other restaurants in the region. Are there notable trends that might impact your expansion? Are there gaps in the culinary scene that you could take advantage of?

Position your brand for success

Your brand’s position explains the qualities that differentiate your restaurant from competitors in your market. If you want to pop up on diners’ radars quickly, start by positioning yourself for success. Identify exactly what your restaurant will be offering that others in the area don’t and let that difference drive your messaging.

Focus on local impact

Since most people are searching locally for a restaurant, your physical expansion should be accompanied by a corollary digital expansion. You’ll want to expand your SEO strategies to include geo-targeted keywords and phrases, and be sure to update all of your online platforms to reflect new location addresses.

Mobilize your online marketing

Since modern diners are likely viewing your website online, it’s critical to make it easily accessible on any screen size. Launch your mobile-optimized website early to give excited prospects a chance to view your menus and even reserve a table for opening night.

Don’t forget to be social

Instagram, in particular, is a powerful social channel for restaurants. It’s not necessary to come up with too much witty repartee to capture your audience’s imagination when you’re serving photos of mouth-watering meals to their feed. Get prospects excited early by showing behind-the-scenes shots of your kitchen, dining room, and signature dishes to tantalize them before you’ve ever opened your doors.

Launch your new location with confidence

Through innovative strategies and advanced analytics, Morgan & Co. helps restaurateurs strategically plan for market growth. Our comprehensive marketing campaigns rely on quantitative and qualitative data to develop multi-platform promotions and seamless customer experiences. Contact our team to see how we can help you grow your brand in new and unfamiliar markets.

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