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Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage Industry

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage Industry

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The food and beverage industry is very much different than any other industry there is. For example, here, loyalty starts with the very product, but that doesn’t mean your work is done if you manage to make a quality and delicious one. Your success depends on what are you going to do next. Making yourself known is the first step, but you have to move on to fostering brand loyalty to survive in this hyper-competitive area. Here are some simple tips that will help you position your brand and make it a must-have for loyal customers.

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage IndustryBe a part of your local community

Unless you are Coca-Cola, your aim (for now) is not to conquer the world. As a small manufacturer, you should address the needs of your local community and appeal to their taste. Locals love to know that some product is made out of locally-sourced fruits and vegetables.

This will not only result in mutual friendship with other entrepreneurs from your community, but it will also cause higher appreciation for your work among locals because you are boosting the local economy.

Don’t ignore the tourists

If your store is located in a popular tourist destination, you should not ignore tourists who could easily bring a huge chunk of your company’s profit. The good thing is that if you have won the hearts of the locals and got good recommendations from them on Trip Advisor and other apps, tourists are more likely to come by to your store.

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage IndustryCater to different clients

When you first started your business, your idea might have been to cater to the urban young population. However, recent studies have pointed out that diversification is paramount to keep customers in the food and beverage industry.

This requires offering different aspects of your brand to a diversified clientele. For example, a quiet family dining or juice place downstairs and an urban place for younger guests upstairs.

Set a reasonable price

Going with the highest price will chase away your customers while going with the lowest will cause your business to lose profit. So, how to find the balance that works for both you and your customers? The pricing strategy for your products needs to include considerations about your costs, your competition, your target audience, to name a few.

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage IndustryBy combining all of these factors, you will let your customers know you understand their needs, but you are also providing them with a quality product that is worth the money they pay.

Use the power of social media

If you are into food and Facebook, you have probably come across Buzzfeed’s food channel – Tasty. These short videos portray mouth-watering dishes being made (and eaten), and their top post has about 200 million views and 5.5 million shares. This says a lot about how social media makes you visible, but how it creates loyal customers?

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage IndustryEasy: it enables you to conduct surveys, communicate directly with your audience, and keep them informed about what’s new about your brand.

Provide with quality content

Customers can smell a sales pitch a miles away, and here’s some news for you: they don’t love it. Internet users, particularly, prefer quality content, served truthfully with a side dish of shareable information. Writing a blog can not only help you position yourself as a credible source in your industry, it can also lead to people coming back to your website or social media pages, just as they’ll come back to your store.

It’s not a brand, it’s a lifestyle

Social media and your content can help you promote your brand as a lifestyle and not a line of products. This way, users will want to promote for free because they are promoting something they can agree with. This can include offering behind the scenes look into your kitchen (e.g. Chobani) or supporting a cause such as Naked Juice’s Drink Good Do Good campaign.

Put your product “out there”

Selling in your store and online isn’t enough to make it in the food and beverage industry. You have to take your product out of its comfort zone and showcase it on street food markets, integrate it with venues, and ask famous chefs or other celebs to try, review, and if they’re satisfied, promote your beverage or food product.

Have a loyalty program

The simplest way to implement a customer’s loyalty program is to give free food or beverage for using your service or providing referrals. Such strategy encourages more spending, so it is, naturally, good for you. You can be more creative, though, but don’t complicate it too much. The type of reward should be something you can actually provide (without you having to withdraw the loyalty program when you realize you can no longer fund it).

Building and Measuring Customer Loyalty in the Food and Beverage Industry

Measure the loyalty of your customers

You must always be up to date with how loyal your customers are so that you could know how to improve this relationship. There are severally ways to effectively measure customer loyalty in this branch:

  1. Surveys: because of the anonymity, they can provide you with honest critics which can help you grow and improve.
  2. Referral programs: providing rewards for sharing and promoting your product provides you with more customers, but also with a healthy feedback loop.
  3. Social media: the activity on your social media pages (likes, shares, and comments) can tell you which posts should you be boosting and the kind of people you are engaging with certain content.
  4. Data analysis: a loyalty program which allows you to keep track of the data will help you go in the right direction. However, raw data means nothing if you don’t know how to analyze it, so make sure you have the experts who know how to read between the lines.

Building customer loyalty is an uncertain terrain in any industry, but it is even trickier for the food and beverage niche. The most important thing is to start with a good product, and follow the instructions that will help your business grow.

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About Catherine Palmer

Catherine is a designer, marketer, and writer. Business success, management, and business growth in this digital age are topics Catherine is quite interested in lately. She has been researching and learning for some time now, and she is always happy to share her knowledge and inspire others by writing some quality content.

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