With a weak Australian dollar and a potential slow down in our economic growth in 2015, start the new year off by being aware of the trends in your industry and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Here is a wrap-up of a few important trends that will affect the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry this year from a design and digital perspective.
There has been some great new design and visual communications in the QSR industry recently and with the development of some exciting new retail precincts in Australia this year, we anticipate the introduction of even more innovative creative.
To distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive market, many QSRs will identify the need to offer a new type of graphic environment, original visual merchandising and innovative point of sale applications to customers hungry for a new dining experience.
The only way for brands to be seen on Facebook in 2015 is to pay for it
With Facebook continuing to limit organic reach this month, soon boosted posts and paid advertisements are going to be the only way for all businesses to be seen on Facebook. Successful social media will no longer exist without a media budget so QSRs will need to rethink their social media strategies to maintain customer engagement and to continue to build their brands with this platform.
Advertising on Instagram
Instagram has been running advertisements for over a year now, however each ad must adhere to stringent creative conventions and CEO, Kevin Systrom personally approves each one. This exclusivity makes Instagram a more premium advertising platform compared to its older sibling, Facebook. With 300 million users world wide* and counting, as Instagram fine tunes their advertising process, we anticipate that more national and international QSRs will embrace this new media opportunity in the very near future.
Source: eMarketer’s US Digital Media Usage report
Social media content will be more targeted
With most businesses now having to pay to reach their audiences through boosted posts or paid advertising on various social platforms, they are now able to target everything they post. Brands will focus more on the optimisation of every piece of content they produce and distribute in order to be relevant to their target audience. This will mean there will be even more fragmented marketing content across social media with brands producing different content for each specific target segmentation.
Tone of voice
The tone of voice in social media communications will also have more of a personality than what we’ve seen to date. The best way to earn trust and loyalty with your customers is to be human – express your personality though humour and wit in all your communications. QSRs are now realising this so we’ll soon see less corporate marketing speak and more informal language in social media posts.
Video will be key content
Video will have even more of a presence in 2015. Whether it is used as a website background, an in-store point of sale device, or as brand-building content on sites like Facebook, YouTube and Vine, QSRs will use video as a story-telling medium this year.
As there will be a myriad of videos emerging, it is so important that brands create concise, quality videos to break through the clutter.
Remember, it is anticipated that by 2018 online video will make up nearly 70% of consumer internet traffic*.
Source: Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2013 to 2018
The Digital Wallet will continue to be integrated into more QSRs with new mobile developments in ordering and payment being adopted by more stores. Pre-ordering and payment apps like Beat the Q and PayPal are gaining more of a following with popular eateries like Sabbaba, Toby’s Estate and Mad Mex.
With Commonwealth Bank’s Tap & Pay and Westpac’s Westpac Mobile Banking app offering mobile payment options for QSR customers, and Apple Pay reportedly launching in Australia this year with fingerprint verification, we’re only going to see more of these developments being adopted by retailers and customers alike.
In 2015 there will be even more emphasis on the physical space than we saw in 2014. This will allow QSRs to more strategically combine customer service with brand experience through permanent or pop-up stores.
There will be a greater emphasis this year on positive customer experience – almost 65% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. By 2020 – just five years away – customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator*. Just think about that for a minute…