It can feel intimidating for smaller wholesale food businesses to compete against the big brands. That said, there are a whole host of marketing techniques you can employ to tell your story, boost your digital presence, and reach more buyers.
So, how can wholesale food businesses that care about quality, fair trade, and sustainability ramp up their marketing efforts? Keep reading to get some useful tips.
Communicate your core values
Unilever found that roughly one-third of consumers now choose brands they believe are "doing social or environmental good". On top of that, the consumer goods company found that one in five consumers would "actively choose brands" with sustainability credentials clearly advertised on their packaging and marketing materials. Moreover, statistics show that 81% of shoppers research a product before buying.
So, if you're a wholesale food business that cares deeply about sustainability, integrate this into your marketing. Hone in on it as your unique selling point, and get your green message out there. If your business dedicates itself to using recycled materials for packaging, write about this in your company description on your website. If you only use fair trade certified products, shout it from the rooftops and incorporate this certification into your logo, banners and videos. If you’re a vegan brand, perhaps consider pursuing a Vegan trademark, and incorporating that on your packaging.
Of course, the practice of brands promoting their values is nothing new. Companies have been incorporating mission statements into their marketing for years. That said, of the first brands to do it was Ben & Jerry's, who, in 1988, included a "social mission statement" alongside their economic one.
Promoting corporate social responsibility then became contagious, and what was once radical became mainstream. Now food and drink companies are expected to elevate their core values. So make sure you get your brand's message across because consumers care.
Tell your brand's unique story
Alongside communicating your company values, it's also important to differentiate yourself from the competition. Every wholesale food business is different, and that's something to celebrate. That's why you should find innovative ways to tell your story.
In 2019, the Content Marketing Institute found only 52% of marketers frequently use storytelling in their marketing. Yet, a study by Origin and Hill Holiday found that it actually increases sales. That's because storytelling can be a mark of authenticity and that matters to consumers.
According to a study by Stackla in 2019, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a "key factor" when making decisions about the brands they like and support. Meanwhile, research from Accenture discovered that more than six in ten consumers consider a company's authenticity before purchasing their products.
So, if you have an amazing story behind your wholesale food business, don't be afraid to get personal. Connecting with your audience in this way can be invaluable. If you have a family food business that has been passed down for generations, let your customers know. As a founder, if you've overcome personal obstacles and challenges to build up your brand, tell the world. If you started your wholesale food business to help address climate issues, say so. Find your voice, craft your narrative and let your personality shine through while keeping your customer as the story's main focus.
These days, every business is trying to tell their story and what makes them unique, and with such a saturated market, it can feel difficult for brands to know where to start. Artos Marketplace offers wholesale food businesses the opportunity to tell their story effectively and get discovered. Our platform allows you to streamline your sales process and launch stunning product pages that tell your story to premium buyers all around the world.
Finding the perfect logo
In the marketing world, image is everything. From logos to videos, strong visual imagery can give wholesale food businesses a massive head start against competitors.
A brand's logo fundamentally acts as a communication tool. It tells the consumer what your brand is about, creates consumer interest, and facilitates brand recognition. So, logos must be simple, versatile and memorable. After all, your brand's logo will appear on everything from your websites and products to reports and ads. Logos are so important that even big brands redesign them all the time.
In 2021, Burger King, Vimto and Cadbury all revitalised their branding with new logos to help them convey important messages about their brands. Burger King's new logo sees its name in red sandwiched between two brown buns for a more natural and simplified look. Speaking about Burger King's new look, Esther van de Graaf, marketing manager at Burger King Netherlands, said: "It plays a pivotal role in maximizing guests' experience and shows the recent brand changes on digital, food quality and sustainability."
So, learn from the big names, and when designing your business's logo, strip it back and simplify. Many of the most iconic logos simply depict the product that the company offers. Some interesting examples of food logos done well include:
- Tegla's Salad In a Jar – This logo depicts just that, a sumptuous salad in a jar
- Brian's Vegan Almond Cream Dressing – This logo uses natural colours like greens, browns, and dark oranges, to depict two almonds, its key ingredient
- Pop Queen – This brand's logo is a popsicle in the shape and design of a bee to reflect its usage of honey as a natural sweetener.
The age of video marketing
Visual content in marketing is essential, too, and can help you tell your brand's story in a memorable way. Research shows that when information is paired with a relevant image, prospective buyers will remember 65% of it three days later, compared with just 10% for those who hear the information. On top of that, even if you tell your brand's story in a perfectly eloquent and interesting way, consumers will likely only read 20-28% of the words on the page.
As a result, videos are an excellent way to market your wholesale food business. Currently, according to Cisco, 87% of businesses use video to market their products. It also predicts that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic, and this makes sense.
A whopping 69% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. Moreover, consumers who arrive on an e-commerce site via a user-generated video are 184% more likely to purchase. These consumers spend 45% more, too. 86% of consumers have even explicitly asked for more videos from brands.
For smaller wholesale food businesses, some good ways of incorporating video into your marketing include:
- Streaming interviews with founders and employees
- Taking to the streets to conduct food and drink reviews
- Introducing the organic products used in your food and drinks
- Touring the farm that grows your produce.
On Artos Marketplace, wholesale food businesses can add exciting imagery and video to their product pages. Incorporating this visual element will help you explain your product's origins and what sets you apart from the rest, attracting buyers who really care about quality.
Navigating the world of ads
When it comes to ads, a product's appearance plays a huge part in its success. When prospective buyers are looking to purchase a product, 93% primarily focus on its appearance. Colour is a significant factor, too, with 84.7% of consumers citing colour as the most important reason behind their purchase.
When creating your ad, to make sure that your brand is reaching and engaging the right audience, utilise colours effectively. Red is often used to trigger appetite. Meanwhile, greens are often associated with health, sustainability and the environment. Pairing these kinds of colours can be hugely impactful. According to the Harvard Business Review, the "subjective," and "personal" concerns that buyers bring to the purchasing process are "increasingly important." This means that appealing to buyers on a personal level can increase your chances of sales.
Clarity is key here as well. With video advertisements or digital banners, brands have limited time and space to make an impression. As a result, your brand's message must be clear, repeatable and provide a solution without using confusing commercial language or jargon. Stick to a short slogan that communicates what you stand for and make it something that people can identify with.
Innocent is a great example of a company getting its slogan right. Over the years, the drinks company has had slogans such as:
Both of these slogans convey a clear message about the product and the company's philosophy in a fun way and only use four words each time.
Engaging with your audience
Connection with your audience is a huge factor for marketing success; this is why prioritising consumer accessibility is important.
Believe it or not, even in the age of technology, the human touch is still important to consumers. PWC found that 75% of consumers still prefer to interact with a real person over automated solutions. So, when deciding whether to employ AI to handle customer questions, it's important to consider this.
Having a social media presence is also integral for marketing your wholesale food business. An increasing amount of consumers now use social media to discover brands. Facebook found that 83% of people use Instagram to discover new products, and 87% make purchasing decisions after seeing product information this way.
It's important to note that having interactive content can boost conversions even more. The stats show that incorporating interactive content generates conversions 70% of the time, compared to just 36% for passive content. Customer polls and quizzes can be hugely effective here. So, if you've introduced a new flavour or changed your product's ingredients, ask your customers what they think!
Blogging, when done well, can help you gain visibility, and engage with your audience, too. According to Demand Metric, 82% of consumers feel "more positive" about a company after they've read custom content. Moreover, 61% of people are more likely to purchase products from companies with "unique" content. Again here, visual imagery plays a big role and blogs that feature images receive 94% more views than those that don't.
So, if you're a brand that dedicates itself to using organic produce, incorporate this into your blog. Write about the current trends and topics related to the world of organic.
Don't be afraid to be disruptive
In 2021, some companies may feel the draw to play it safe when it comes to marketing. A study by The Creative Group, for example, found that 43% of marketing teams don't take enough risks. However, employing some disruptive marketing can be incredibly effective.
While the term 'guerilla marketing' may sound combative, it's not. This method uses the element of surprise to catch potential buyers' attention and raise brand awareness in a memorable, low-cost and innovative way. This is brilliant for smaller food and drink businesses.
In Entrepreneur, Al Lautenslager writes that those who use guerilla marketing must employ "smarter" rather than "harder" ways to work, usually because of limited funds. So, marketers employing these tactics must use "information," "knowledge," and "imagination" to generate ideas that will "get noticed and talked about".
ALT TERRAIN outlines that there are a few different types of guerilla marketing that can make a big impact. This includes:
- Outdoor guerilla marketing – Here, thinking outside the box can give your wholesale food business an edge. Use video projections to immerse walkers-by in colourful light displays that advertise your brand or brighten someone's day by graffitiing positive messages in public. Or, if, for example, you’re an artisan bread company, you could spray paint a side-by-side comparison of the ingredients in your bread versus the ingredients used by a mainstream bread brand. These kinds of tactics will get potential buyers interested and asking questions about your brand.
- Indoor guerilla marketing – Cleverly incorporating stickers into the environment inside malls, universities and bus stations can be really impactful. One great example of sticker advertisement is from Tyskie. This Polish beer brand used beer stickers placed on doors to give the illusion that the door handles were beer steins.
- Event ambush guerilla marketing – Attend food festivals with employees dressed in costumes and masks related to your brand, choreograph a dance, start a flash mob. These are all great tactics that cost very little to bring to life.
Although these kinds of tactics can help your brand stand out from the crowd, it's important to make sure that you keep everything above board. Employing guerilla marketing tactics without permission can actually harm rather than help your brand. So, to avoid any lethal litigation, keep this in mind when planning your next big idea.
At Artos Marketplace, we understand the challenges that come with marketing your business. That said, we can give you a helping hand along the way to find premium buyers looking for high-quality food and beverage products. Our platform ensures that thoughtful brands like yours can compete with the current market leaders and thrive.
If you have any questions regarding Artos Marketplace, or you'd like to discuss a challenge faced by your wholesale food business, schedule a quick call with us today.