PICA #115

Today's special is grilled melanzane.

What kind of restaurant would your brand be?

The digitisation of advertising has made opportunistic and predatory approaches easier to justify than brand building.

There are restaurants in tourist hot spots that never see the same customer twice. The reason is not just the transitory nature of casual visitors, it is the restaurant business model. They aim to extract maximum value from each customer with minimal cost and effort. Conversely, some towns rarely see tourists and have only a handful of restaurants. That type of establishment knows its clients because they return, some once or twice a year to celebrate an occasion, others several times a month and some regulars may even eat there every day. A restaurant for tourists is sales focused while a restaurant for regulars is marketing focused.

In the above analogy, I would argue that the regulars restaurant is a brand while the other is not a brand. Sure both have a name, a sign over the door and even a social media presence but if it is true that a brand only exists in the mind of the customer then only one of the restaurants is a brand. A brand makes itself appealing to attract and retain customers by cultivating a positive experience. Predatory commerce is focused on conversion. Building a brand requires time, resources and human empathy, the reward is multiple future return sales and value resilience. Predatory commerce is fast and cost-effective, its weakness is that it requires a constant influx of new clients.

If you are creating a point of reference in your category with long-term prospects and value, you are in the brand-building business. If you are focused on instant gratification and revenue, the predatory commerce model is fine… until you run out of tourists.