Pictured: ‘The Jar Bar, Dublin uses aesthetics to create an Instagrammer’s dream with comfortable, sleek spaces, and a rustic atmosphere for its patrons to relax in’ (Photo: Nela Build)
Think of your pub. How does it look? Does it have a theme? How do you want it to make your customers feel when they first go inside? No doubt you want them to feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed enough to stay for many hours of consumption and spending. Nowadays, people don’t just want a product or service, they want to feel good in an aesthetically appealing environment; they want to feel connected. Style can no longer be an afterthought because it’s become a critical source of product identity and economic value for businesses.
However, aesthetics is more than what your pub looks like, it’s about the overall experience your customers and potential customers have at all touch points, whether it be your website or interactions with your staff. People want interesting, enjoyable and meaningful sensory experiences in order to part with their money.
What Can You Do?
Build a Community
It’s important for your business to build up a relationship based on trust for your brand. Your customers should feel like they’re part of a community that appreciates and understands them. This can be achieved by investing in comfortable seating areas, with plugs nearby to encourage customers to stay and know that they won’t be rushed. This can also be achieved through online communities such as review sites, or Instagram. Making your food and premises aesthetically pleasing and ‘Instagram-Worthy’ is worth doing to get more customers through the door. According to the Independent, 30% of 18-35 year olds would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was low.
Aesthetics can also be intangible; reputation and customer reviews effect how people view your pub and can be the making or breaking of your business. Before trying somewhere new, people increasingly check a business’s reviews before making a reservation or arranging with friend to give it a try. They form assumptions based on how well you respond to customer comments, negative or positive. Businesses that deliver better customer experiences enjoy revenues up to 8% above their competitors.
It’s also important that businesses recognise negative reviews as an opportunity to turn the feedback into a positive one, by engaging and empathising with the customer. This is a proven way to foster loyalty and return custom. Offering a complementary meal to a disgruntled customer is a legitimate marketing and customer retention expense.
Let Others Know Who You Are
Your business logo and website should represent your business’s goals in some way. It only takes 0.05 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about your business based on your website, so make sure you have one that is clear and easy to understand. Also, don’t forget to explain who you are, what you do and why you do it, this creates the opportunity for a connection to be made with your potential customer.
Financing Your Aesthetics
Start by considering what part of your aesthetic needs to be changed or improved. You may want to take on the large task of refurbishing your pub, or something smaller like creating a website or updating your existing one.
Here at GRID, we specialise in providing finance to Irish pubs and hospitality businesses. You can access up to €500,000 to help you. For more information go to www.gridfinance.ie/ipg.