If your bakery has great products and a small customer base, it usually means your marketing is not clicking. Companies like Café Valley, a supplier of baked goods to dozens of bakeries and other businesses, echoes the importance of good marketing in the food industry and has seen it make all the difference. Larry Polhill, Café Valley executive knows that one of the best forms of marketing is word of mouth, because it often leads to good reviews and referrals. Here are some tips to get your marketing up to speed and people talking about your bakery.
Become the Expert
The people coming in contact with your bakery whether they come in, or pass by, will probably be the same ones most of the time and they will probably do it regularly. Use these opportunities to share your expertise on baked goods. Place a new tip or fact in your storefront window every week so people can learn how much you know about the products you are selling. It is an additional reason for them to select you and it can start conversations between your staff and potential customers.
Everyone loves getting something for free and in many cases they even come to expect it. Use your storefront as a place where people can test anything in your shop before they buy. It has been shown that this type of marketing can increase sales dramatically. The samples should be small, but enough so people can fully experience your delicious food. Make sure that whatever they are sampling you have in stock, because most of your sales will come from them having an immediate impulse to buy what they are sampling.
Ramp up Your Online Activities
Devote near daily time to your online activities, specifically your website and social media accounts. Start getting customer emails and social network accounts. Social media offers a great opportunity to get your goods right in front of your potential customers. Promote your business through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can post pictures and descriptions of them right there, run contests and giveaways and invite them to share their reviews. Offer discounts using special codes, so you know where customers found you. This could lead to your buying ad space on a social network, if they are really effective for you. You should also consider an email newsletter campaign.
Study the Competition
Is there a bakery in your area that is doing very well? Go visit them as a customer and see how they run their business. How does the place look and smell? Is the staff knowledgeable and courteous? Are their goods tasty and fresh? What about their prices? How do they market their business? All of this information should be gathered and then compared to your shop. Be honest and you may discover some good insight and places for improvement.
Be Clear About Why People Buy From You
Your customers have a great reason why they buy from you. It may be your products, your location, your staff or even your winning smile. You need to know this reason and find ways to give them more of what they like. You bakery also probably has a reputation and you need to know what it is. Do people consider you the low price choice? Do you make the best éclairs in town? Do you get orders to them fast? In order to understand what people are saying, you need to ask them. Create a short questionnaire and ask people fill it in. Make it anonymous so people give honest answers. This is a great tool for helping you to determine what you need to do more and less of.