Trend: For more than a third (36%) of Today’s Consumers, it’s important to spend time researching a product before buying, compared to 22% two years ago. Nearly half (46%) say they are likely to look for fulfillment by educating themselves about something that’s important to them. Bombarded with irrelevant information and a cluttered marketplace, they are researching more, digging deeper, and scrutinizing to pinpoint what’s right for them – what resonates – from automobiles to restaurants.
Opportunity: Consumers are more precise about what they want and have more of a more specific experience in mind. Respond by being specific and articulate about your business and what it offers. Hone your brand – making sure all aspects of the dining experience tie in and are consistent. Restaurants with an identity crisis – without discernible points of view or those trying to be all things to all people – are more likely to be passed over. A common theme with consumers is authenticity; they’ll sniff out imposters or copycats. Credentials and bona fide expertise help – post your chef’s resume on your Web site or tout it to the media; promote family recipes; emphasize your grower connections, etc.
Caution: Sending a strong signal about who you are includes being clear about who you aren’t. Perhaps you can’t be family-friendly without alienating business clientele or can’t be true to your niche if you constantly dilute it.