I recently visited a neighborhood business, the Brickhouse, a great little restaurant here in the Bay Area. As I looked around this fun joint, I instantly got a sense of the personality of the owners and what it is that they care about. I started to think about all of the ways this particular business marketed themselves not through advertising, but through a great customer experience and word of mouth marketing. Let’s look at a few things I noted and see if there are any ways to make use of them with your own business.

Do You Have a Story?

This business talks about the owner who makes a pilgrimage every year to Alaska to catch the salmon himself. The Wagyu beef is right off of his family’s farm. The Bavarian beer was chosen by the owners while they were in Bavaria. They promote this story prominently on their large chalkboard menu.

Question: Do you have a story about your passion for running your business? Promote it in any materials you display and on your website. Telling your story to your customers can make them feel closer to your business and also spread some great word of mouth.

Is Your Place Fun?

This is definitely a laid back restaurant, with mismatched antique furniture, and very inviting with bizarre pictures and items on display. For instance, they have a bicycle hanging from the ceiling that has two seats and two sets of handlebars going in opposite directions. It’s subtle but funny.

They have a “Question of the Day” chalkboard with fun and random questions that people can answer and get something free. Makes for some great conversations.

They promote their “Big Ass Burger” which won an award for Best Burger in the Bay Area which always gets people talking.

The people that work there are super nice, laid back and funny.

Question: Can your business be fun? Injecting some fun into your business can be easy and if you’ve got a physical location, and could get people in the door.

Do You Promote Green?

This business proudly displays a Green award they won, and tout on the menu that they only buy local and sustainable products. This makes the patrons feel like they’re helping the community and the planet.

They use chalkboards for menus. It’s great for making up-to-the-minute changes and great for the environment.

Question: What can you do in your business to go green? If you are a green company, make sure you tell the world. People like doing business with companies that help our environment.

Do You Promote Your Business?

This business has coffee punch cards at the register, and after 10 cups purchased they give you a free coffee.

They promote their website in their window.

They prominently display a sandwich board out front to let passers by know that the place is open and any specials or entertainment they’re serving up that day.

They have free WiFi, except for their busy lunch hour when they ask that you either come back later, or better yet, buy lunch!

Question: Will your business allow you to monetize every inch of the space? Look around and find new areas where you can be displaying something new. Cross sell one product with another in your location or on your site. You might find that you could double your sales.

You don’t need to have a physical location to do what this restaurant is doing. Look at your business and make sure that every time you can interact with a customer, you’re making the most of it.

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