If there’s one thing we love almost as much as Nashville restaurant branding, it’s Nashville BBQ. When our clients at Hogwood approached us to brand their Nashville concept, we were excited for the opportunity.
At the start of the Hogwood BBQ restaurant branding project, our client Josh McBride contacted us with an idea to bring Hogwood, a successful Colorado catering business, to Nashville. Experienced with restaurant operations, he knew he needed a strong brand to carry Hogwood into a new market, so he reached out to Nice Branding Agency, and the rest is history.
Our restaurant branding projects start out with the development of a brand direction for the restaurant concept. This includes both a visual direction and a brand story. Once the brand direction is in place, we can then have a roadmap for the creative development of all other assets.
For Hogwood, although the catering entity had some elements in place, the transition from a catering business to a brick and mortar restaurant required the creation of a new identity that could be woven through every customer touchpoint.
To turn the existing catering business into a fast-casual restaurant concept, we developed a brand board to reflect the soul of the brand. The images on the brand board were indicative of a certain brand direction, and included rough wood tones, industrial hardware, aged recipe cards, wall installations, black-and-white focal tile, and a hint of mustard to bring in some color.
To align the message of the brand, we met with Michael, the chef behind the original Hogwood endeavor. This is when we finalized a message that would exemplify the brand voice and provide background to the brand. The brand story brought some context to the restaurant and conveyed to viewers the unique value behind Hogwood.
There are tons of BBQ restaurants in Nashville, so it was important that through the creation of all brand elements, we were able to weave a narrative that set the restaurant apart from the rest.
Typically, once the brand direction is in place, we move into the creation of a logo for the restaurant. For this restaurant, there was a logo that had been developed previously for Hogwood.
We compared the existing logo for the catering business with the brand direction determined at the outset of the project. While the logo was close, it wasn’t completely aligned with the new direction and aesthetic. Additionally, the logo was illegible in some instances, and it wasn’t versatile enough for the task ahead as the main mark for a restaurant concept.
With that in mind, we worked to revise the existing logo to maintain its heritage, while also bringing it up to date and in line with the rest of the brand.
Nashville restaurant branding is all about well executed experiences for customers. When we set out to brand the interior of the first Hogwood brick-and-mortar, we were able to see many of our brand board ideas come to life. We proposed a wood storage area that would highlight the rustic, soulful brand elements and put the focus on the fire.
Above this, we printed the brand story as a wall installation to communicate the voice of the brand and to evoke emotion so customers could feel the message.
Custom-made wooden community tables and industrial seating were used throughout the restaurant to bring the brand to life. Focal tile guided the customer journey, broke up the heavier wood tones and modernized the space. Additionally, rough hewn beams were used to support hanging lightbulbs to illuminate the dining area.
A simple, versatile menu was designed to be used both in print and online. The menu could be used for both dine-in and take-out orders. Corresponding menu boards were developed for the restaurant’s interior.
A complete suite of restaurant materials was also designed, including cups, attire both for merchandising and for staff, take-out bags, a gift card and more.
The Hogwood website concept we created was simple, with strong calls to action that prompted customers to get directions to the restaurant or view the menu to order online.
Here, highlighting the brand story was important. This website would house the online brand, so we infused it with all of the brand elements so Hogwood could rely on a strong online presence as they opened in a new market.
We loved working on the Hogwood BBQ restaurant branding project and are so stoked that they’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from our Nashville office, where we specialize in Nashville restaurant branding. If you’re interested in branding or rebranding your restaurant, give us a holler.