Monday, January 25, 2010

Online & traditional marketing for restaurants & takeaways

Marketing for restaurants & takeaways

Each week, E-creation produces a free marketing fact sheet for local businesses with traditional & digital marketing hints & tips. Today, we focus on restaurants & takeaways.

In the UK, food and drink spending outside of the home is close to £100,000,000. This represents a massive opportunity for growth & profit. However, thriving during times of economic difficulty requires simple, cost-effective marketing strategies that are proven to work. Marketing you restaurant or takwaway can be simply divided into four key areas:

• Passing trade
• Word of mouth
• Advertising & PR in the press
• The Internet & online marketing

Below, we have provided examples of specific, effective and quick to implement marketing to help grow your business. E-creation can help implement these as part of an overall strategy or on an individual basis. We can create a professional and unique website for your restaurant or takeaway for as little as £495. We can help with signage, design, logos, advertising, search engine optimization and social networking.

10 free marketing tips for restaurants & takeaway businesses:

  1. Have an easy-to-remember phone number. Simple yet effective!
  2. A portable folding sign that people have to walk around. It’s more effective at catching passing trade than in window marketing.
  3. Use Twitter to promote daily / weekly specials (done simply by sending a text) to achieve greater footfall & search engine rankings.
  4. Employ 3rd party marketing tools like TopTables for guaranteed bookings in slower periods of business using special offers.
  5. Create a Facebook group (it’s free!) for customers to upload photos, share experiences and do your marketing online for you.
  6. Include a photo gallery on website of famous clients (and keep a cheap digital camera on premises). Provides that ‘bling’ factor.
  7. Create an e-mail marketing database by offering a discount on first order / meal – and then communicate regularly by e-mail.
  8. Use the local press. Nurture your relationship with local press by offering ‘tasting’ evening – the PR can be invaluable.
  9. Most people eat out on their birthday – capitalize by using marketing database to ‘remind’ customers at appropriate moment.
  10. Use Royal Mail’s local leaflet drop service. It costs as little as £39 + VAT per 1,000 – that’s a lot of eyeballs for not much money.
So that’s 10 easy ways to increase turnover & profitability, as successfully used by 1000’s of UK restaurants & takeaways. There are many approaches to building business but often the simplest deliver results fastest & most effectively.

Click here for a printable PDF of our free marketing fact sheet for restaurants & takeaways.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Digital & traditional marketing tips for hair & beauty salons

Marketing ideas and websites features for hair dressers and beauty salons looking to expand business

Each week, E-creation targets a different business sector providing website design and marketing advice, especially for smaller local businesses. This week, we are focusing on hair dressers and beauty salons.

This is a market that traditionally would appear not to benefit from online marketing, given the importance of word of mouth. However, as the general population has become more and more web literate, customers have come to expect more from businesses in terms of the information they make available online.

For hair dressers and beauty salons, E-creation as developed a set of low cost, high impact online marketing tools:

  • Facebook - creating a Facebook fan group that enables your customers to upload their own photos of events they've attended after their brilliant haircut, share information with Facebook friends and interact with each other (as well helping to drive traffic to your website and improve search engine rankings).
  • Online bookings - a simple online booking system allows customers to make their appointments online (and for the salon to manage appointments using a simple online system) and even pay for it online ahead of time.
  • Printable gift vouchers - online personalised, printable gift vouchers enable 'loved ones' to purchase a hair cut or beauty appointment as a gift or surprise. These can be marketed through different channels (such as to open up a completely new market.
  • Call back technology for instant sales - web technology enables website visitors to enter their phone number and instantly receive a call back from the salon, which is created automatically by 3rd party software and connects the salon as a received call. This instant communication means better conversion rates into new customers.
  • E-commerce facilities for products - online shops can be easily built and represent a valuable revenue stream for salons who might otherwise see the business go to chains such as Boots or large retailers like Tesco. Hair and beauty products have large margins and can often be more profitable sources of income than haircuts or treatments.
  • Twitter - instant communication of special offers sent directly to subscribing Twitter accounts lets you fill quiet periods of business rapidly, increasing overall profitability.
Of course, cost is always a key factor for smaller businesses but at E-creation we prove to our clients time and time again that a website is a business investment, the same as creating a leaflet for your reception or attractive signage for the front of the business. The only difference is that a website can be seen by a much larger audience and provides the chance to create new revenue.

Hair and beauty salon website design templates means E-creation can produce websites for as little as £300 for smaller, salons who are looking to see a low-cost avenue to test the impact of having a website on business revenue.

For more established businesses, an investment of £1,500 enables E-creation to create an online shop, Facebook account and put Twitter into a website for a revenue producing tool that can add £10,000's to a hair or beauty salon's bottom line.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

‘Ich bin ein Berlingual’ with new name, branding and website using Berlin’s Akzidenz Grotesque.

‘Ich bin ein Berlingual’ with new name, branding and website using Berlin’s Akzidenz Grotesque.

13 January 2010

“Berlingual” is the new brand created by award-winning design agency E-creation for a growing business language school in Berlin. E-creation created the international identity as part of a complete re-branding and communications strategy revamp that plays on the difficulties of metaphors in communications across cultures and languages. The issues around language subtlety, clearly identified by John F. Kennedy’s 1963 ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech, where his famous phrase is also a colloquial way of saying ‘I am a jelly doughnut’, were used as a foundation for the design concepts.

The one month process was part of Berlingual’s transformation into an internationally recognisable brand targetting increased market share across Europe and 75% turnover growth target. Design will play a future key role in achieving this growth, as seen in the success of design-led organisations like Apple and Bang and Olufsen. “E-creation has helped Berlingual to achieve international recognition. The brand stands out internationally, our website clearly differentiates us from our competitors and the business cards are clever enough to win us businesses on their own. They clearly characterise and identify the business problem faced by our clients - communicating effectively in a foreign language – using the visual proposition ‘idioms are the clearest form of language subtlety’” says Berlingual’s founder Leo Waters.

The shape of the logo was inspired by classic ‘quote marks’ whilst avoiding common visual clich├ęs found in communications organisation’s branding. The logo’s font, Akzidenz Grotesque, was created by Berlin-based H. Berthold in 1896, providing a deep and authentic feel to the overall design with genuine history. Akzidenz Grotesque is the basis for one of the most popular ‘modern’ fonts, Helvetica.

The homepage of the website features an animation using traditional English business idioms. Three phrases included ‘top dog’ and ‘bringing home the bread’ were counterpointed by uniquely German imagery (the German shepherd and Swartzbrot) to instantly highlight the issues of communicating through idioms.

E-creation used Adobe Flash to create graphic headings and navigation “on the fly” and avoid a more labour intensive Photoshop route – saving the client time and money to amend it when creating other language versions of the website while maintaining graphical integrity.

“Clever design, historical authenticity and effective use of technology make Berlingual one of the best examples of how simple design is often the best approach. Creating a design ‘experience’ is essential for business success in today’s ‘brand rich’ environments – something E-creation nailed with Berlingual!” says Jan-Erik Paul, MD at E-creation. The branding and website can be found at

Berlingual is a new addition to E-creation’s growing international roster of brand & communications clients which includes Polish, German and US based organisations.

REF New York times