How to your BBQ team
You’ve been up at 4am every Saturday and Sunday for months tending fires. You’ve tried every rub and sauce combination known to humankind. You’ve got big bold BBQ plans. The next crucial step is Branding. Get it right and everything else should fall into place. Get it wrong and you’ll have to scrap the lot and start again. Here’s How to Brand your BBQ Team.
How to Brand your BBQ Team: You are your Brand
Your brand is your unique presence in the world. It need to represent yourself / your team. It needs to reflect your personality, your attitudes and your intentions toward your BBQ. So the first piece of advice is to be yourself. This way you can relax into your brand and it will feel less like work – that’s not what BBQ is about!
The other option is to create a persona or image and present that to the world. There is nothing wrong with this and lots of people are very successful with it. The catch is that you have to maintain and present that image at all times which can become tiresome if not authentic.
In the age of Social Media, people can smell inauthenticity a mile away so it’s always better to be yourself. Theming your brand can take days or even weeks, so don’t worry if it doesn’t come together straight away.
How to Brand your BBQ Team: Your Name
Your name needs to reflect the collective personality of your team, and it also needs to reflect the intentions of your team. If you’re looking to just have fun at comps and take it no further, then a non-serious name is fine – a lot of BBQ team names are a little risqué, so have fun! However, if you are looking to move into business with it, you need to consider two things: would people be happy talking about how they’ve hired your business and would other businesses want to associate their brand with yours. I’m talking Sponsorship here, but that’s a discussion for another day!
There are two more golden rules for choosing your name. First, it needs to be short and memorable because you want people to be able to recall it quickly. Most names are only two to three words long, and have a double meaning or are a pun of some kind. Secondly, you need to make sure there isn’t already a team with that name. You can start by checking out the list of teams on the Australasian BBQ Alliance website. You don’t want to get your logo and merch done, only to have to have it all done again!
How to Brand your BBQ Team: Your Logo
If your name is an audible representation of your brand, then your logo is a visual. As with everything else in this world, you get what you pay for, and this is especially true of logo design. There are definitely cheap options out there, such Fiverr.com where you can get a logo done for as little as $5. This is great, but the designs tend to be clichéd and/or generic: you’ll get a logo that is only a little different to the next person. Your logo needs to not only represent your brand, but also stand out from the crowd.
If you have the budget, it’s a great idea to invest in a professional graphic designer. This will ensure you get a great, unique design that you will be able to build a following or product line on. A strong logo is essential for teams looking at sponsorship or building their hobby into a business: there aren’t many companies out there who’d be happy to see their logo up next to a picture of a cow defiling a pig!
How to Brand your BBQ Team: Your Merch
The final thing to keep in mind is that YOU represent your brand as much as your brand represents you. As such, you need to wrap that walking billboard in some merch. When you’re first starting out, there is only one rule: Keep it Functional. A perfect example of this is a branded hoodie. If you only have shirts and the weather turns bad, you just pull on your team hoodie and keep on representin’. If not, you’ll pull on some other jumper and be advertising for them instead. The three essentials for merch are t-shirts, hoodies and hats. Branded marquees are next, but they are quite expensive so you can wait on them if you need to. As with logo design, look online for cheap, and look local for quality.
So there you have it: the three keys to building a strong brand. These tips came to me from Ralph Barnett from Shank Bros BBQ, a career marketing man turned BBQ competitor and personality. Catch the full interview on: