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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.