Business and Operations
7 Quick Marketing Tips
By Diane Chiasson
Keep your promotions going all year long to maximize the returns.
By Diane Chiasson
Bakeries are usually busy in the summer so owners tend to delay their marketing campaigns until the holidays. Excellent food, service and experience are all necessary to being successful in the bakery industry, but if you want a steady stream of new customers and keep your regulars coming back, you really need to market your bakery all year round. By doing this, you will create a snowball effect and will have new customers coming in all the time.
Here is a list of seven marketing tips and ideas to help get you started:
1. Maintain a Consistent Brand
Your unique brand is vital to your bakery concept’s success. There are hundreds of bakeries out there, and often you will find your marketing message gets lost in the crowd. Customers are overwhelmed with marketing today. You need to stand out. Every piece of marketing material should tell your brand story and promise. Be consistent. You should always send and promote the same message through social media, newsletters, website and advertising campaigns.
2. USP: Your Unique Selling Proposition
You need to differentiate your business from everyone else, so focus on what makes your bakery unique. Your marketing message must include your USP–unique selling proposition. Your USP should tell your clients why you are different, better and unique. Tell your customers that you have the best and biggest muffins on the block, and that you are considered to be the number one place for wedding cakes in town. Positive brand recognition contributes to customer loyalty and will draw new customers into your bakery.
3. Consistent Customer Service
As you well know, it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. Get to know your regular customers well and keep information on them in a database. Talk to your customers and learn what they want and keep this information on file. When you have their contact information, you will be able to send them birthday postcards, new menus and special event information. That personal touch will make them feel special.
4. Your Website
Many operations treat their websites as an afterthought. I surely hope that by now you have a good quality and mobile-friendly website. Along with your bakery’s name, logo, address, hours, telephone number, email address and social media links, you will need to constantly tweak your site by adding beautiful photos of your new products, prices, positive reviews, testimonials and media articles. Keep your website up-to-date and looking fresh all the time.
5. Don’t Ignore Social Media
Social media is the most effective way to be in front your customers and engage them all the time. Consumers use social media to search for new retail businesses. It’s also a great opportunity to advertise your bakery brand, location, menus and special events in creative and unique ways. Use short, concise and accurate descriptions, and use excellent and colourful photos.
6. Ask for Great Reviews
Word-of-mouth is the number one motivation for consumers to visit a bakery, and we all know the power of great reviews. A National Restaurant Association study reveals that over 60 per cent of consumers say that online reviews factor into their buying/dining decisions. Always ask your happy customers for a review—if you don’t ask, you will not receive. Make sure you provide an easy way for them to give you a good review. For example, print a note on every receipt asking for a review and have your staff suggest it. Use testimonials on your website. Social media is also ideal for sharing positive reviews. Negative reviews are devastating if not handled properly and immediately. Address the situation right away. Find out what caused the problem and take concrete positive steps to fix it.
7. Be Different
Avoid copying your local competition’s message. Think of what makes your bakery unique and what makes you stand out from the competition. Sometimes it’s as easy as explaining how you got into the business. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing around you and make sure to build a strong marketing plan and strategy to win yourself new market share.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is an industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing, promotional campaigns and more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com