Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: Spring Marketing Strategies
By Diane Chiasson
Five great ways to celebrate spring holidays and bring bakery clients in through simple promotional tactics.
By Diane Chiasson
With spring at your doorstep, events and activities arise, which are great opportunities for customers to get together to celebrate. Many people view springtime as a fresh start, and so should you. For many bakeries, April is a transition month, a time to get ready for the busiest time of the year. After a long, cold winter, it’s time to ramp up your bakery marketing strategy in time for the busy Spring season. April is a good time to do some spring cleaning, as well as getting ready for the major holidays, events, celebrations and themes that are relevant to this time of the year.
Here are 5 ways you can prepare your bakery for the Spring:
1. Make a plan for spring holidays
With major holidays, celebrations and graduation season around the corner, you should spend some time coming up with a plan for the next few months. Easter is one of the busiest days of the year for the bakery business. Don’t forget that there are other celebrations like April Fools’ Day, Passover, Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and graduations, arguably making this the busiest bakery period of the year. A solid spring bakery plan will help you stay organized and focused. When writing your plan, be sure to answer the following questions: Will you have a specific theme for each occasion? Will you have any special recipes or promotions? Will you have specialty items? Will you need extra help? Will you be hiring more employees? Will you update your website?
You should take a look at some national events calendars on the Web. This will help you stay on track for these special holidays, events and celebrations. You may find specific days or celebrations that might be a perfect fit for your bakery.
2. Clean, decorate and make it festive
A good way to start off the busy spring season is by giving your bakery a deep clean. Give a power wash to your exterior façade, have your carpets steam cleaned, degrease the hood, and toss out things that you just don’t need. It’s a good way to show your customers and your employees that you appreciate them. Like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, springtime is where you can really put a spin on the feelings spring evokes in all of us. Don’t forget to match your décor to fit the celebration. Set the scene with fresh flowers, colourful napkins, and plates, creative signs and banners in your windows, and add some quirky bakery merchandising displays. Don’t shy away from using bright colours. Colours will make your customers happy, boost their appetite, and make your bakery operation more inviting. A bakery owner knows that a positive experience is just as important as the food; it’s a powerful tool in bringing guests back.
3. Create a spring bakery menu
Take advantage of the warmer weather to add some new, interesting, and colourful bakery items on your menu. You don’t need a full menu overhaul, just rethink your menu layout to emphasize your existing bakery products in some new and exciting ways. It’s the perfect time to remove heavier cheese-based items to give fruit-based desserts the spotlight on your bakery menu. It’s also important that you review your menu prices to make sure food costs are in check. Above all, focus on good food and great customer service.
4. Offer something special for the kids
It’s always a good idea to organize some creative activities to keep children from getting bored. Set aside one corner of your sitting area as a kids-only zone. Fill the tables with some papers, markers, colouring books, board games, and even some modeling dough. There are many ways to keep kids occupied and enjoying themselves while parents have a little break. Whatever you decide to do, make it prominent in your marketing material so parents will know your bakery is a great place to bring kids. Don’t forget that if the kids have a great time, they will ask their parents to return to your bakery store.
5. Evaluate your bakery’s website and social media plan
Be sure to get the word out about your bakery and your special spring promotions. You really need to take some time with your staff to review your website and current social media plan. You should infuse your Web presence with spring spirit. In addition to greeting your guests on your website with some special promotions, you should also revamp the look and feel of your website to reflect the spring season. Don’t forget to regularly update your website by using pictures of delicious bakery items as well as clear call-to-action to boost sales. Offer plenty of information on your website and in your social media posts. Depending on your budget, you may consider running a targeted ad campaign for Facebook users in your area. Share at least 3 messages with your followers. To decide on the ideal media plan, you should think about what kind of experience you want your customers to have in your bakery.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 35 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com