Restaurant owners and marketers know more than anyone how important it is to form a strong relationship with customers. Creating shared values promotes brand loyalty and increases word of mouth. Cause marketing is one way restaurants can connect with their customers.
As a branding strategy, cause marketing is on the rise and is becoming significantly more important as millennials expect more from the places they do business with. They don’t just want a nice restaurant experience with a good atmosphere, they want to know that their hardearned dollars are doing something for the greater good. In fact, it’s been reported that 91 percent of millennials are willing to change their buying habits to support brands that rally behind a social cause.
So how can you implement cause marketing into your business? Here are five tips to take your strategy to the next level:
1. Align with a cause that actually makes sense for your brand.
Finding a cause that is the right fit for your restaurant is crucial to any successful cause marketing program. With hundreds of social causes to choose from, there should be one that speaks to the heart of your brand and even the hearts of your guests.
2. Commit to your cause.
Whether you’re giving a portion of your proceeds to a non-profit or committing to eliminating food waste by the way you dispose of unused food, you want your team to have total buy-in. Showcasing your whole team’s commitment to the cause and publicizing these efforts can help to build a connection between your restaurant and customers.
3. Leverage your cause in your marketing efforts.
No good deed should go unnoticed. If your brand is supporting a social cause, you may win some earned media through press coverage. Being a socially responsible brand can earn you an advantage over competitors. Your restaurants’ involvement with a charity may be your guests’ deciding factor when looking at their dining options. The content of this document/layout will be officially proofread prior to the final approval of the art or copy document.
4. Authenticity is a must.
If the cause chosen is one your brand is truly passionate about, it should sell itself. Let the message organically show through your marketing choices. Here are a few cause marketing examples that were well received because of their authenticity. Consumers know an inauthentic message when they see one, which could potentially result in catastrophe for your restaurant’s image.
5. Learn how Push can help with your restaurant cause marketing.
We’re always here to help you strategize and execute a strong cause marketing campaign or platform. Just take a look at the work we did for Sonny’s BBQ. Restaurant store design, marketing strategy and brand positioning are a few other ways we can help your restaurant build a strong, relevant foundation for its future. Check out more of our work here.
Not sure if an agency is right for your restaurant? Our recent article about bringing a branding agency on board might help you decide!