What’s in a name? Well, quite a bit, as it turns out, and when it comes to brand naming for hospitality venues, a name is your customer’s first encounter with your brand, so make it count.
When it comes to launching your new hospitality venue, landing on a strong name is as much of an art as a science. So we’ve broken down our naming formula with our 7 key ingredients to successful brand naming for new businesses looking to make their mark in the hospitality or retail sector:
- It talks to your target market. Understanding your clientele is critical here, so take the time to consider the demographic of your customers.
- It distinguishes the business from its competitors by conveying its unique offering. In a competitive market, having a point of difference is critical in standing out. Consider what makes you different across your whole strategy- maybe it’s a distinctive menu offering, an impressive interior fit-out, the location of the venue or a particular atmosphere or vibe you want to communicate.
- It implies the business’ benefit. Brand naming can talk to a defining principle or ethos of the venue. In the context of the hospitality sector, it forces you to consider what your venue contributes to your community. For example, ‘Pantry’ in Melbourne’s Bayside takes a family-focused approach to a neighbourhood café with a name that implies homeliness and community as people come together at the local ‘Pantry’.
- It allows customers to bond with the brand and develop loyalty. The best brands transcend the physical attributes of a product, service, or company to form emotional connections with customers. Good brands tell a story that forms a bond with customers, so your venue has to tell a story to your customers. By inviting them into the story, you create a relationship beyond the transaction, encouraging repeat customers and positioning your venue as their new local. It’s a win-win.
- It has a symbolic association that strengthens the image of the business to the customers. Pop culture references and quirky quips help to create personality in brands. Puns and wordplay are common tools to create memorable and evocative names. Think along the lines of the vegan fast-food chain ‘Lord of the Fries’ or the acclaimed wine bar and fromagerie ‘Milk the Cow’ as good examples of intriguing brand names built through associations.
- It helps to motivate customers to go to the business. A memorable brand name creates intrigue and captures the imagination of prospective customers. Take ‘Naked for Satan’, for example, Brunswick Streets popular Spanish tapas bar, which takes its name from a quirky local fable. A Russian Immigrant, whose lengthy name was shortened to ‘Satan’ by his Australian neighbours, was known to make moonshine vodka in the basement of his Fitzroy home, which got so hot that he used to work semi-naked, or so the story goes. Not only is it a great example of a great brand story, but it’s also borne this punchy, intriguing name, helping to propel the venue to notoriety in the Melbourne bar scene.
- It’s available. Creating a unique identity for your brand means not sharing it with anyone else. A quick Google search is enough to tell you what else is out there by the same name. It’s also worth researching platforms to ensure that your customers can find you under the same name or handle.
At the end of the day, it comes down to having a solid business and brand strategy. In a hyper-competitive hospitality and retail scene, a good brand identity and strong name are a non-negotiable component to successfully executing that strategy.
If you’ve got an idea in the pipeline for a new hospitality or retail business, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your brand strategy- we love what we do, and hospo projects are our bread and butter (pardon the pun).