How to Inject Brand Personality into the Self-Order Experience
In the old west, cowboys would brand cattle with their own distinctive mark to identify them and sort the herd. Today, restaurants may not use glowing hot irons, but branding is still an important factor in consumer dining choices.
Respected restaurant consultant Aaron Allen sums it up: “We can all agree that restaurant branding matters. Everything communicates, whether by design or default. All the little experiences define the whole from every touch-point. Conceptualizing and realizing a top-tier dining experience requires more than putting together a tasty menu. You have to entice customers with a purpose and promise and to deliver on that promise.”
We agree and believe that a great guest experience is crucial to delivering on that promise.
If your brand promise is what your concept is all about, the personality of your brand is how you interact with your guests. That is where our creative team comes in. When we create your branded kiosk design, we want to present your menu in an intuitive and engaging fashion. That process is fairly consistent. It’s the style or “look and feel” part of the design where the personality of your concept shines through. Think of it as a personal conversation with each and every guest. The guest experience should express that personality in the design, photos, and, of course, menu choices.
On the surface, expressing the brand personality for an established concept seems straightforward. Often the creative assets like photos and style guides already exist, and there is clear direction on how the user experience should look and feel. But even veteran concepts are often new to kiosk ordering, and marketing departments may not fully understand the nuances of great kiosk design. Style guides and beautiful photos provide the foundation for the guest experience, but what is often more challenging to capture is the personality of your brand.
Vibe is a distinctive emotional quality or atmosphere that is sensed or experienced by someone. It’s that emotion in the guest experience that we need your help expressing.
Established brands can reinvigorate the guest experience by blending the familiar with new information or options available in kiosk ordering. Familiar items, logos, and colors are important to your brand personality. Take things up a notch by adding nutritional information and supporting lifestyle options like Vegan or Gluten Free. Show your regulars choices they might have been missing or let them unlock the “secret” menu with amped up versions of standard menu items. Kiosks allow you to give every single person the ordering experience you imagined.
New or emerging concepts have a much bigger task, as they are often still developing their brand identity. We encourage these clients to consider the kiosk design process as an integral part of creating their brand. The very method of ordering can become part of the brand, part of your style.
What's Your Brand Personality?
You are the expert on your brand. Our Self Order Kiosks are a platform to express it.
Creating a brand personality can seem challenging at first. You may find it helpful to visualize the ordering process from the guests’ perspective. Answering some basic questions about the process can clarify your unique style.
- How do you want guests to feel as they go through the ordering process? Would you like them to feel soothed by the promise of healthy food and transparency? Would you like them to smile and be surprised by boldness? Would you like them to feel adventurous and indulgent?
- How do you envision the guest interaction? Should the tone be formal or familiar? Fun or serious? Sincere or perhaps a little irreverent?
- How would you describe your design aesthetic? Modern or traditional? Minimalist or decadent? Vibrant or understated?
- What do new guests need to know about your menu? Would a favorites menu help those new guests order something they’ll love? What are your best flavor combinations and how would you like to draw attention to them?
Brand in Action: Buffalo Boss
Buffalo Boss Self Order Kiosks' playful, irreverent style brings a smile to every guest's face.
Jamar White is the owner of Buffalo Boss, with locations in Brooklyn and Harlem. Jamar recently added self-order kiosks from NEXTEP SYSTEMS to his Brooklyn location to improve speed of service and increase sales. Buffalo Boss presented an interesting design challenge because of the product itself. Although Jamar provided great photos, much of the menu is simply different sized piles of wings. Even with great looking photos, you end up with different size piles of the same product. We had a design that, although technically well executed, didn’t communicate the brand personality of Buffalo Boss.
Fortunately, Jamar did a great job of educating us on the vibe of his concept. Our creative team, working together with Jamar, came up with a unique way of incorporating the “Boss it Up” attitude into the ordering process. A series of photos of customers eating Buffalo Boss wings was used to add surprise and delight to an otherwise normal ordering process.
And customer reactions have been great. It seems to bring a smile to everyone’s face as they anticipate what the next photo will be. There is an emotional reaction that incorporates playfulness with a bit of attitude. Exactly how we’d describe the Buffalo Boss experience. Future development may include even more playful photos and offering customers the chance to submit photos to be included.