One of the most competitive industries on the planet today is the food industry. Food products are difficult for many businesses because margins tend to be low, there’s always a start-up that’s willing to undercut your margins to make an impact on the customer base, and tastes for food can change rapidly. In order to get your product noticed, you’ve got to do more than just create something tasty. You need to create tastiness in all of the senses.
It all begins with your ability to be able to clearly identify your product. What makes your product better than all of the other food products in your category? If you’re selling a potato chip, is it made from GMO-free products? Natural flavors only? Fire grilled tortilla chips? The better your description happens to be, the easier it will be for your consumers to be able to identify with your product and want to eat it.
Food Product Marketing Strategies That Grow Your Business
1. Know Your Price Points
It is incredibly easy to price yourself out of your market with food products. In some instances, being off on a price point by less than 1% is enough to send a potential customer to a competitor’s product! It must be remembered that nothing is worth more than what someone is willing to shell out to get it. Factor in all of the elements, including distribution, and find a profit margin per item sold that you’re comfortable having.
2. Cast a Wide Net
The success of your food products depends on how easily they can be identified in the store. At the average grocery store, for example, your product is competing for shelf space with 40,000 other products. If you use multiple marketing options to promote your products, you’ll create a higher level of brand recognition that will cause more people to seek out your items when they’re craving what you make.
3. Don’t Ignore Mobile Devices
One of the biggest segments of the population today is the Generation Y crowd. How companies market to them right now is likely the future of how all products are going to be marketed. That means having content, advertising, and even social interactions that are mobile friendly so that you can provide the instant recognition of a problem and the gratification that more people need in society today.
4. What Makes You Different?
There’s definitely something about your food product that makes you different than any other food product. It’s what makes you better and this is your strength that you must market to every segment. Point it out, make it a key part of your campaign, and realize that different segments may see different strengths. Being gluten-free but not sugar-free, for example, won’t help you market your food product to very many diabetics.
5. Text Marketing Provides Options
SMS marketing has high open rates and doubles as a relationship builder like no other marketing strategy. With over 1 billion mobile phones in circulation, this technology has become an integral part of life in really just 10 years or so for most households. Use this opportunity to get involved in someone’s life at a core level and you’ll be able to create a level of brand loyalty that is comparable to a handshake and a promise two generations ago.
6. Location Isn’t About Where You’re On the Shelf
Food products have a natural marketing point based on the location of their creation. If you have products that are stored in a warehouse for a long period of time, this is a lot less attractive than a food product that goes from the kitchen to the store shelf in less than 24 hours. People today are growing very concerned with the idea that they’ve substituted “food like” products for real food in their diets, so showing sources, processes, and outcomes can be a low-cost way to market effectively.
7. Demo Your Product
Although your food can’t speak on your behalf, its flavors will do a lot of talking for you. The only problem with this is that people won’t just purchase your product because you say it tastes great. Samples of your food products, however, will let a prospect experience a no-risk way to see how much value you can actually provide. There’s really no better way to prove the perceived value of your marketing than this.
8. Be Recognizable
Brand recognition is important and that can only come from a branding effort that removes as many barriers as possible. Think about some of today’s best food products. What makes them stand out in your mind? What attracts you to wanting to eat them? That’s how you want to be recognized.
9. What Is Your Perceived Value?
Perception of value is one of the most difficult problems for a food product to solve. The obvious problem that gets solved is hunger, but that’s not good enough for the average product. What other need can you satisfy? This is where you an emphasize your value to a specific segment of your market share. People who are environmentally conscious will see more value in a product with a zero carbon footprint. Paleo eaters will want naturally gathered foods. Even something basic as having more food for the same price as your competition works.
10. How Long Does Your Food Last?
No matter what your food product’s life cycle happens to be, it’s a natural way to market your product effectively. Short life span foods speak of natural ingredients without preservatives. Canned goods can be stored for extended periods of time. Even the length of time your business has been doing business can be a way to extend the levels of trust that people see in your food.
11. Get Involved
Your retailers and distributors are the gateway to your success or failure. Even if you make products out of your own kitchen to sell by yourself, if you’re not involved in every aspect of the sales process, you won’t be able to control the sales pitch. For the retailer, it is your food product that becomes their brand. For the home entrepreneur, your involvement [or lack thereof] is a testament to the levels of success you’ll experience.