Marmite Wars! Your restaurant’s value is in its brand

Unilever, owner of brands like Marmite and Persil washing powder demanded a sudden 10% price increase from Tesco. Tesco refused to pay up and Marmite started to disappear from the supermarket shelves. Would customers start to defect to ASDA and Sainsburys where they could continue to stock up on their favourite brands? Or would they discover Tesco’s own version of these products?

This dispute was about the value of the Unilever and Tesco companies. It wasn’t just a pricing spat between a supermarket and its supplier. Unilever is a £60 billion company because customers only want to buy Marmite and their other products and are happy to pay much more than for a generic product. Unilever’s value is in its brands. To a large extent Tesco’s value is in its brand. And it definitely applies to your restaurant.

What’s your restaurant’s brand?

Customers almost never have to eat at your restaurant. They can eat at other restaurants, pick up a supermarket ready meal or cook at home. Why do they eat with you rather than the restaurant down the road? Why should they do so? Why should they pay more? Why should they come more often?

You want to say you are better than the others. But everyone says that. More helpfully you might say how you are different. Appeal to the younger crowd , you make a particular dish no-one else does, popular for family parties. Each restaurant has different answers. In answering those questions you are giving reasons for customers to come to you. Customers know what to expect when they come to your restaurant. That’s your brand and it’s also the value of your business..

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