Posted: 4th January 2016
Jennie Hermolle is a marketing coach and consultant that helps artisan food and drink producers access top-notch marketing to release their brands’ potential.
Human interest stories capture consumer’s imaginations. The story of how you came to make your artisan product will be more personal and more authentic than any big brand can lay claim to. Give us some insight into the triumphs and disasters and tell your story in your own voice, with honesty and pride!
Consumers instinctively want to relate to your brand in a human way. Make sure you are providing a clear brand personality for them to engage with. As a small player, you don’t need to appeal to the mass-market and so you can afford to put your brand out there with a really distinctive attitude.
Small makes you nimble. Big can mean bloated, unwieldy; even small changes can have big implications in larger companies causing massive inertia. Whereas small size gives you enormous freedom to experiment and test-market. Just don’t forget to take time away out from the day-to-day business hum-drum and seek out inspiration.
Audit all the provenance angles of your product including where all the ingredients come from, how you source them and your methods of production. Make sure you are using these as key selling points across back of pack, website, point of sale materials and leaflets etc. and provide regular provenance-led content features on social media and to local press.
Don’t underestimate the value of your product expertise. You have vital product knowledge and understanding at your disposal whenever you are marketing your product or interacting with consumers. In contrast, the majority of employees that we come into contact with are very far from product experts. Don’t be afraid to position yourself personally as an expert to the world at large, to make the most of valuable media opportunities.
In contrast to bigger brands, you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds for focus groups to learn about your customers. The face-to-face interactions you have at festivals, markets etc. gives you invaluable direct access to your consumers. Use these opportunities to get feedback on your products, how they are being used, and what recipe or format developments are of interest.
As an artisan producer, quality will be paramount to you. Unfortunately quality does not always speak for itself and it may not be immediately obvious to your potential customers. For food and drink products, providing tastings is key. But taste is still an extremely subjective experience influenced by a variety of non-product factors including: mood, weather, colour of the plate, shape of the glass, and what you tell them about the product. So tell consumers as much as you can to enhance the experience and explain all the factors that contribute to your superior quality e.g. traditional methods used, quality raw ingredients etc.
These 7 top tips are just top-level snippets from my blog series ‘7 Ways for Artisan Food and Drink Producers to Out-Shine Larger Competitors. For the full story see: http://authenticbrandmarketing.co.uk/small-but-mighty-7-ways-to-outshine-larger-competitors/
Jennie Hermolle is a marketing coach and consultant that helps artisan food and drink producers access top-notch marketing to release their brands’ potential. She has 15 years brand marketing experience (ranging from blue-chip to SME) and is passionate about authentic food and drink brands.