Marketing lessons from my favourite brands – Wagamama rules!

Marketing lessons from my favourite brands – Wagamama rules!

I love it when I come across a brand that really inspires me. I’ve always been a fan of the food at Wagamama’s but have never really looked at it as a ‘brand’ until yesterday. 

As a ‘treat’ Mr Howley took me the well know ‘fast-food’ chain (he’s a keeper isn’t he?) where we devoured noodles, gyozas, prawns and supped on chilled drinks. We recalled that the last time we came, the lovely waiter got chatting and mentioned how they were soon going to change the menu. This triggered us to realise that there were a few alterations to how the menu looked, but fundamentally – they had kept the basics the same. 

We chose our order (must remember we prefer the chicken not vegetable gyoza’s – doh!) and whilst chatting about the days events, the ‘luxury’ paper table mats caught my attention… images at the end (i’ve kept them large so you can read the text!). The text is friendly, fun, inviting and interesting to read. I noticed a few techniques from my NLP learning days – sentences that may seem a little obscure, but resonate massively to the reader i.e. everything goes so fast these days, sometimes you need to eat slow; and how about the phrase; looks beautiful doesn’t it? Maybe i’m over-analysing, but I reckon a clued up NLP geek has got their teeth into this. Positive messages like: 

You just want to pick up that big wooden spoon and dive on in

Yes there’s time for a yuzu infused beer

…it’s subliminal messaging to the max! Of course you have time for a beer… there’s no question about it, and doesn’t it seem nice to evoke a cosy emotion about diving into a bowl of hot broth (waiter – bring me another dish i’m sure I can squeeze in more!)

It also really interested me that there is very little use of a full stop, and can you believe – they don’t even use CAPITAL LETTERS! Now, in the past, there have been a few folk that have critiqued my copywriting and corrected sentences and the like. I’m all for feedback, but, (and a big but)…. this is where companies need to face facts. What we got taught when we were little, and even before I was born is changing. I will not use 10 words if it only needs 3 – sorry, that’s me there is a skill in shrinking overly boring technical copy that would make anyone fall asleep. Of course, grammar is hugely important and spelling mistakes are a massive no-no. Yet – this is 2015 – remember i’ve talked about humanisation? It’s right here… people talk in short and sweet sentences. As my client said today – we’re not living in Shakespearean times are we? No – you’re not. Ok, so some industries and businesses will want their copy to remain more traditional than others and Wagamama is a little extreme. But take from the great and learn a new style of writing. 

So other than the lovely words they use, here are my top lessons from Wagamama:

  • A new menu – Yes, but they didn’t change it massively – just enhanced.  Sometimes if ‘it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ works a real treat and even costs you less
  • Always deliver – maybe i’m lucky, but i’ve never had a bad meal – they always deliver good, fresh food and the service is always friendly. They also don’t over-promise… “madam, your food will come out at different times” – sure thing, just looking forward to eating it, yum yum!
  • Succinct key messages, core values – you know exactly what you’re going to get. There’s no fancy pants about them – it’s just good food sat on a bench – don’t expect anything else. But you do get free green tea (billy bonus!)
  • And yes, i’m repeating myself – they obviously have a wonderful marketing team and great copywriter. They know how to engage with their audience and have nailed it. For any business, getting the right tone of voice and ‘speaking’ to the customer has never been more important – we want to feel loved don’t we?

So who’s with me? A fan of Wagamamas or not… take note and take a fresh look at your business and how you sell yourself. Could it be improved? Feel free to add your thoughts below and share any other favourite brands that inspire you. Until then. I’m hungry and off to find food.

marketing lessons - Wagamama rules

marketing lessons - Wagamama



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