Most businesses assume that posting tweets or updating their company Facebook profiles regularly is an efficient investment in building brand identity in this digital age. In reality, it goes much further than this. Great brand identity in the modern age largely hinges on how well your business brings technology into the fold. Companies that struggle to leverage technology are missing out on opportunities to promote their businesses in ways that simply didn’t exist in the past.

So how do you make technology work for your brand? How can your business leverage it to gain traction with your markets to create lasting relationships? If you’re looking to push your brand awareness to the next level, read on.

Content is king

Too many South African companies are unaware of the power of inbound marketing. If you browse through a few local business websites, you’ll find yourself navigating away from them in seconds. The reason for this is the low-quality content and a lack of rich media that informs users about the value of the products and services on offer. The modern consumer is an information junkie who demands a more in-depth insight into a product before committing a cent to the purchase.

With the shift from traditional media to the World Wide Web intensifying, websites have become marketing gold mines that offer opportunities for businesses to showcase who they are, what they can do for their respective markets and build lasting relationships with their customer base. From blogs to visually appealing home pages that capture the attention of the user, websites have become prime marketing assets that smart businesses know how to leverage to their advantage.

Now just imagine your restaurant’s website showcasing your menu and your stunning décor. Think about how a blog page that contains interesting reads on food ideas, recipes and other topics of interest will create the type of brand identity that the most attention-hungry reality TV star would kill for. A well-designed, informative and catchy website is a particularly appealing marketing tool for small businesses that cannot afford the price tag associated with traditional – and rather ineffective – advertising mediums.

Let technology play an integral role

People hardly ever step out for just a meal. Eating out is a way of breaking away from routine for most of us, so make the experience an all-round enjoyable and entertaining one. Remember, the more enjoyable the stay, the more money ends up in the till.

Make Wi-Fi access available at no cost to your patrons. If you own a family restaurant, create a section for the kids where they can enjoy free electronic gaming to keep them entertained. Moms and dads will love the opportunity to spend some much-needed private time at the table before heading home to prepare for another taxing day ahead. Technology creates convenience, so take advantage of it to create the kind of space people look forward to returning to. Look at your market and ask yourself what kind of conveniences technology can offer them. If you spot a need, implement it before the coffee shop next door does.

Add technology to your staff complement

As a business tool, technology offers restaurant owners countless opportunities to build their brand identity and sharpen their competitive edge. Consider the modern PoS system and you’ll be amazed at how far it’s come. From static, one-dimensional cash registers, PoS solutions are central data repositories that offer restaurant owners gold nuggets in terms of marketing information. Customer information can be used to promote specials, create loyalty programmes and reach your market with relevant information and marketing material. The modern PoS system also speeds up back and front operations, resulting in an elevated customer experience.

Building brand identity is a process

Brand identity is affected by the things you do, and the things you don’t. The perception that your restaurant is stuck in a forgotten age can cause serious harm to your brand identity. Actively looking at how you can create conveniences for your patrons will pay dividends. Use technology to enhance the customer experience and don’t be afraid to try new things. Businesses must evolve with time and their markets in an organic fashion or face being left behind.

For more tips on how to use technology to your restaurant’s advantage, download our e-book, the definitive 21st-century restaurant playbook.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst