By Rob Twells
When it comes to creating an effective marketing strategy for your food or beverage company, you may have to approach it in a slightly different way to other industries. The food and drink industry relies on our five senses, and whilst many of those cannot be physically communicated through advertising, you can get clever with your campaigns to attract the right customers.
For your business to be successful, you need to stand out from the vast amount of competitors offering similar products in the industry. Don’t wait around or rely on word of mouth as your ‘marketing technique’, not only is this a poor business decision, we have no control over it. No matter how good your products are, without a proper marketing approach, they are unlikely to be the talk of the town. Instead, focus on things you can control in order to see real tangible growth. How do you do that you ask? Well, we have all the answers…
Branding is one of the biggest focal points of a business, across every kind of industry. Whilst it doesn’t particularly play a part in getting in front of new customers, it can be a big benefit when it is. Branding is crucial within the food and beverage industry, as it can make up a big part of the customer’s decision to purchase your products. With little else to go on, new customers who come across your products for the first time will tend to make decisions based on a combination of the appearance, and the flavour/ingredients listed on the packaging.
The taste pallet and preferred flavours of the general public is not something you can change. If you have designed a widely acceptable flavour (with prior product/flavour consumer research) then you will appeal to a larger portion of the population, but not to everybody. Purchase decisions for individuals are likely to come down to the aesthetic of the packaging and the product itself. Basic, poor and low energy branding and presentation will create the perception that your food and drink items are not worth buying, especially if you are hoping to charge at a profitable price.
Branding is an exceptionally important marketing tool that can help communicate your flavours, tastes and even textures of your products. Take Galaxy chocolate for example, their logo and branding shows a smooth, ‘chocolate’ lettering with an impression of a creamy texture, just like the chocolate itself. Make sure your branding and packaging project the right impression of your taste and flavours.
Embracing the world of social media can have one of the greatest impacts of all on your businesses success. With sites such as Instagram and Facebook encouraging visual content, food and beverage business owners can harness the power of photos and videos to market their products to the public. There is a saying we ‘eat with our eyes’, so by pushing out quality, tasty looking visual posts on social media you are creating the ideal image for your brand. People love a bit of #foodporn, so making sure each post is taken with a high quality camera, with a variety of different shots, products, graphics and video media.
A great example of this is Project Doughnut, a Derby artisan doughnut bakery business which has used social media to market their menu of doughnuts. They push out frequent competitions, videos, photographs, behind the scenes content, IGTVs, reels, and stories – each encompassing their branding image – to develop a huge following of over 106k in only a few years. They also use their platform to announce new flavours, pop up stalls, new business developments and PR; they even managed to get a blue tick. Their social media campaign is top tier!
If your business or its products are just the same as all the rest, you are never going to stand out. You need to have some sort of aspect that makes you unique, or a particular USP which makes you different from the rest, even if it’s an invented one. Your unique selling point is the thing that will get customers interested, the aspect that will attract retail and supermarket buyers, and the distinction that will make people choose you over your competitors.
Determine what is special about your brand, and push that in your marketing campaigns. Do you use organic or natural ingredients? Does part of your profits go to charity? Even if your products aren’t new and revolutionary, like doughnuts, you can find a way to make them seem so.
To grow your business, you need to know who your ideal customer is and where to find them. You need to ‘talk’ to the people who are potentially interested in the product category where you are competing for market share. This heavily involves social media, but there are so many other places to find your target audience where you can find content marketing opportunities. Do you offer baby or young child healthy snacks? Find as many mummy blogging websites and influencers as you can and use them to your advantage. Offer a new sports drink? Take a look into sports advice websites, sports influencers and sport personality sponsoring opportunities.
Once you know who you are talking to, working with influencers who’s following demographic is your ideal customer base, is a perfect way to reach the right people. The influence of influencers has grown substantially in the past few years, and should be used to harness new opportunities and business growth.
If you would like help to create a powerful digital marketing campaign for your food or beverage business, our team of digital marketers are here to do just that. Get in touch with us about our food and beverage web design and marketing services today!