Marketing strategies for Bakery Businesses
If you own a bakery, creative marketing can be a big driver of business. One of the biggest advantages bakeries have over other food-centric businesses is the unique ability to market themselves. Profitability for individual companies is determined by the efficiency of operations and marketing efforts.
Take a look at all the unique ways bakeries can expand their audience with these top marketing ideas:
1. Tempt Your Customers
When you’re marketing to bakery customers, you always need to be tempting them with something new. For instance, if gluten-free is the craze (and it certainly seems to be, these days!) develop a whole line of gluten-free foods to satisfy that new market sector. When you have something new, your customers are much more likely to be tempted into taste-testing it themselves.
2. Get creative – Entice your Customers
Any smart baker knows that keeping their doors wide open when weather allows, gives them free advertising to consumers who are in the vicinity. The best part is, as long as you’re already baking, it’s completely free to prop open your doors and entice hungry patrons with your mouth-watering aroma! An example of this was when Krispy Kreme gave out free doughnuts to customers that came into the bakery when fresh doughnuts were out of the oven.
As you walk past any boutique shops or restaurants, you’ll notice that most of them have a sign outside their shops. This is usually done to draw customers inside. It usually includes a quick, clever message and the store name and some promotional language. This is another affordable yet effective way to entice your customers.
Get creative and put yourself in the shoes of your preferred customer: ask yourself what would entice you to walk through the doors of an unfamiliar bakery.
3. Be Smart on Social Media
Keep your customers on the line by making your company easily accessible through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Before you go and start posting whatever you want, however, take some time to understand social media marketing. On social media, people don’t want to be sold to constantly – it’s their time to browse photos and videos, catch up with old acquaintances, or find the latest events – so don’t hammer them with overtly promotional contents.
Social media works best when it’s a mix of conversation, content and promotion. The right mix of each aspect will vary depending on your market, business and audience, but it’s safe to assume that no one wants to follow an account that’s posting purely advertising and promotional content.
4. Strike up a Conversation with your Customers
If you’re unsure what your customers want from your bakery, strike up a conversation or hold a survey. When you have the insight of your best customers, you can create services and products that meet the needs and desires of loyal customers of your business.
The value you receive from paying attention to what the customers want will help you create more tempting offerings that keep people coming back.
5. Start a Website with Online Ordering Functionality
Websites have become a necessity for any small business that wants to succeed. As a bakery, you have the added ability to offer an easy-to-use ordering function on your website so patrons can get their baked goods on the go. Take some time to shop around for a web designer that meets your needs as a business owner. Once your website is set up, you will have a whole new venue to drive revenue through. And if your business is 100% online, respond promptly to form submission or site queries. Let them know there’s an actual human person on the other side of your digital presence.
6. Sponsor Community Events or Groups
Putting money behind a great cause will help your bakery expand its reach to targeted groups of people. Whatever cause you support, you can find an event or group that’s for it. If you’re looking for a good cause to support, why not start by analyzing your audience? What causes are they supporting and how can you help out? For example, you could sponsor neighbourhood charity events.
7. Offer Discounts
Offering discounts to your customer is also a great way to keep your bakery in their face. You can have discounts during public holidays and festive seasons. You can have discount offers every three months, this is very important for your business. As a bakery owner, you need to find ways to add perceived value to your products that make the offering even better. What can you give away that doesn’t cost much but adds tremendous value to your current offerings – a coupon, free slice or extra sample?
8. Build your Email List
Get your email game on point by placing a sign-up sheet on your counter. Ask customers to leave their email to stay up-to-date with the latest news and product offerings from your bakery. Start developing email marketing campaigns to send out monthly updates or weekly notifications. Include anything that you think might be newsworthy to your customer base.
9. Always be Friendly
As a bakery, you need to take on the role of the friendly, neighbourhood shop where customers always feel welcome. Your patrons enjoy coming to your bakery because after a few visits, you’ve made a personal connection with them, know their face, their favourite order and possibly even their first name! You’re providing an experience that a big grocery store simply cannot.
Keep the lines of communication open. It goes without saying that you should greet customers with a smile when they come through your door.
Read our last blog post on 7 tips for growing a successful business.