Last updated on February 22nd, 2018
“Have a glance at some ‘Sweet Stats of Food & Beverage Industry”
As per BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) In the U.S, food accounts for approx 13% of a typical household’s spending, ranking third after housing & transportation. As per Plunkett Research, the food & beverage industry is estimated to be approximately $450 million.
So, if you are in the Food and Beverage business then you need to up your branding game to enjoy the larger share of the pie.
As exciting as it is, the food and beverage industry relies heavily only on our five senses. In fact, unlike other recreational activities, dining has always been a matter of a lasting impression of taste and flavors. From French cuisine to the American soul food, marketing of your food is done mostly by enticing the visual palate. Global franchises such as ‘Taco Bell’ or even ‘Chilli’s’ have one thing in common: they are delicious to see. Also, everybody knows about them.
To be able to sustain a food and beverage business the first essential ingredient is to be able to make good food. Whether you are a chef or hiring multiple chefs, or even starting your own bakery, you need to know what your potential customer wants or in the other words, create the want for your product offerings.
Here Are 11 Highly Effective Marketing Strategies For A Food & Beverage Business
01. Brand Positioning Your Restaurant
So what is your outlet or restaurant offering exactly? Are you a bakery or a bistro? Do you identify yourself with the people in your area or rather do they identify with your offering. If you are a Mexican restaurant that offers amazing fish tacos in an area where people love American steaks and burgers, you have two things to establish.
Firstly you have to make people aware that tacos are yummy too and secondly you score advantage of being the first one of your kind in that area. You also need to realize whether you want to be a family restaurant offering beverages for the whole family or also wish to offer beer like ‘Chilli’s’ does.
If you are a coffee shop do you want to relate to the executives who are picking up cups of coffee and rushing or the struggling writers sitting with their laptops trying to make magic happen. Hence, you have to be sure about your target audience before you make any move. It is, however, essential to know what you are also expecting off your customers.
02. Packaging Your Product
Let’s go by the old adage, “A book is judged by its cover” in the same way a product is judged by its packaging. One of the biggest ingredients that marketing professionals concentrate on is the packaging of the product. This does not only include the literal packaging. Rather, it starts with the basic logo design of your brand to the menu card and how it is presented on the table. Sometimes the logos on your cutlery can have a strong impact on your consumers.
The stirrer offered with your cocktail can also showcase your brand logo, and this will remind people of your bar every time they see it. People hire professionals to make a simple yet effective logo from companies such as Designhill who not only create a logo that is customized to your requirement but also convenient for all the other collaterals of stationery that the logo will appear on, such as business cards, brochures, menus, advertising materials such as posters or digital ads or Google ads.
03. Make A Statement With Your USP
Perhaps your angel investor or your partner is investing in your idea because there is potential in it. The biggest potential that most investors see is the USP or the Unique Selling Point, which can be anything from making the best cream cheesecakes in town to using only organic or vegan ingredients in the menu for your food truck. Hence, it should be showcased in your packaging. For example, a brand as simple as Baskin & Robbins stands out because it makes an effort to come up with new flavors every month.
Your SEO strategy starts with an online blog. The best place to begin is by having your own blog on your website. You can integrate this with your other social media platforms as well like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so that each post gets multiplied and creates a good impact.
This is your best communication channel where you can create a huge following for your brand. You can also start partnering with professional food bloggers and ask them to review or writer about your business. This way you end up reaching out to more people and can enjoy a more dominant online presence.
05. Email Marketing
Start an email marketing program and create a monthly/annual schedule so that your posts are relevant and spaced out through a period. E-mailers are quick and easy to send, and all that you need are email listings of potential as well as current customers. Keep sending mailers about your new product offerings or competitions, exciting events, discount coupons to keep customers engaged.
06. Social Media Marketing
Do you know how much impact your twitter page header design has when it comes to online marketing. A company such as Burger King or Hardy’s is famous today for being so cool and relatable with the current generation because they are on all the social media platforms including Foursquare and Reddit.
Instagram is one of the biggest platforms where an Food & Beverage business can thrive through social media. People love clicking pictures of food. So not only are you posting pictures of your food and events but people are also posting reviews of your food with pictures.
07. Hosting Events at Your Restaurants
You can host food festivals and seasonal or occasional events such as St. Patrick’s Day or Valentine’s Day celebrations to offer couples special menus or packages. This can be advertised online as well as through fliers and posters based on the grandeur of your event. Events also help in brand awareness and spreading the word out.
08. Listing Your Business in Online Directories or Websites
There are numerous websites such as Zomato, Food Panda, etc. on food and beverages where you can list your product and menu. There are tons of smartphone apps and websites that allow you to use their platform as a means to sell your product by giving a marginal commission to the platform.
09. Festive and Seasonal Offers
Even without hosting events you can always procure more customers through offers and discounts based on occasions. For example, if you have coolers in your menu you can highlight and offer them at discounted prices with other food items in summer.
10. Partner Or Associate With Other Brands
Brands such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola offer the opportunity of a more marketable product by simply making sure that you highlight their product in your marketing campaigns. Domino’s offers Coca-Cola beverages while more posh restaurants will showcase their exclusivity with a particular brand of rice or spices especially an Asian brand. Affiliations always give consumers more confidence to try your product offering.
11. Re-inventing Your Image
Finally from Madonna to Kellogg’s characters in the packaging, all go through a revamp over a period of time to stay relevant with the current consumers and by refreshing their image.
While some companies change their logos very often food and beverage joints find it easy to give their products a fresh feel by simply changing the color scheme of their company. One of the most impactful stories in terms of re-invention in advertising is showing Santa Claus as wearing red attire instead of green which it originally was. The Coca-Cola campaign worked so well that today Santa Claus image stands with the red attire that was started by Coca-Cola.
To sum up, there are limitless opportunities to market your product. From catchy cover and packaging designs to something as simple yet crucial as the boxes used for delivering your food. The key is to understand your potential consumer pool’s psyche and then formulate and keep reinventing your brand.