Building a brand from scratch.
We sat down with Ashishh Desai, a co-founder and sales director for Menufy, an Overland Park, Kansas-based provider of restaurant technology and online ordering solutions.
As a tech startup, Menufy faced unique challenges in marketing and developing a corporate identity. Ashishh discusses how they addressed these and built the Menufy brand.
Q: How would you describe your brand?
AD: At our core, the Menufy brand is about action-oriented restaurant technology. It’s our commitment to bring all restaurants into the digital age. Our brand is about reliability and a streamlined checkout flow. We’re a provider of online menus and ordering solutions, so our client restaurants need something that’s cost-effective and fully-integrated. At the same time, the people ordering the food want security, speed and convenience.
Q: How have you built your brand?
AD: We wanted our brand to semantically and visually reflect our mission, which is turning restaurant menus into online ordering websites, hence the morphing of the keyword “menu” with the “fy” verbal suffix. The food menu visualization of the M logo relates to the digitally available restaurant offerings. We’ve built our brand by being consistent and sticking to our mission.
Q: What’s the biggest marketing challenge you face? How did you solve it?
AD: As a bootstrapped venture, resources were limited during our early days. Instead of high-dollar push campaigns, we started off with what we did best: listen. The feedback loop from our beta users let us customize our software features for the precise business needs of restaurants, and helps continually optimize the user experience. From there, our direct sales efforts gained us an audience with restaurants and companies in the industry, which eventually led to relationships.
Q: Describe your approach to marketing and promotions. How do you find new customers?
AD: We’ve developed strategic partnerships and have used both inbound and outbound marketing to reach our target audience. As a proven and cost-competitive online ordering solution, we’ve also enjoyed (and appreciate!) word-of-mouth referrals.
Q: What’s the most unusual way you’ve spread the word about your brand?
AD: We gave all of our employees Menufy-branded suction phone stands. They all put them on the back of their phones, so every time they’re out in public and take a call or send a text, they’re showing off the Menufy logo to everyone around them.
Q: What’s in the future for Menufy?
AD: Our goal is to keep growing. We want to add to our restaurant network through our current client acquisition efforts, while reaching even more online ordering consumers.
Q: What advice would you give to small businesses and budding entrepreneurs?
AD: First and foremost for a tech entrepreneur, define a clear-cut Minimum Viable Product and commit to it. That will minimize scope creep. Rampant perfectionism will delay, if not altogether foil, lift-off. (If you’re not familiar with the MVP concept, I highly recommend The Lean Startup by Eric Ries). From there, surround yourself with professionals who have the skills and experience to form a “dream team” to execute your vision. As you grow, trust your partners and don’t get emotionally attached to an idea. Challenging thoughts are healthy as long as they’re constructive.
To learn more about Menufy and its services, visit Menufy.com.