6 Ways to Market Your Family Dairy Brand without Breaking the Bank
You’ve been milking at the family farm for 20 years and 3 years ago you started manufacturing your own products. Your farm bottled milk and variety of cheese and yogurt products have been doing well in the local grocery store, but what can you do to give sales that extra push?
It’s easier than you think. No need to hire a professional marketer. Here are six easy to implement strategies to boost your family branded product sales for little to no expense.
Make it Personal
People love being engaged and feeling invested in the businesses they support. Part of your product appeal likely involves a focus on locally made products, environmentally friendly packaging, or perhaps being organic.
Have your customers promote your products while supporting the causes that drew them to you in the first place. The key to this is to know who your fans are. Be sure to develop a contact / email database and collect information with any interaction with current or potential customers.
Tweet about daily farm events
Snap pictures of newborn calves, of your kids helping out around the farm, the latest tractor repair, or anything else that you think might draw interest. Customers love to feel like part of the family and keeping them updated on daily farm and local events helps them stay connected.
Host an annual open house
Invite current and potential customers to visit the farm and meet the cows producing their daily cereal milk or favorite pizza topping. Advertise the day for free on Twitter, Facebook, your customer email base (if you have one), local bulletin boards and roadside posters.
Make it a family day by including a children’s petting zoo, farm themed face painting and other low expense activities. Current customers will bring friends and family members, giving them the opportunity to learn about you, sample your products, and see the production/manufacturing facilities.
People enjoy sharing their creativity and, even better, winning prizes for it. Run a social media contest asking people to submit recipes that use your products. Select or allow site visitors to vote on their favorite recipes and compile a recipe page on your website or create a hardcopy that could be sold or included in gift baskets.
Prizes for winning entries could include free products, coupons or gift cards. Other contest ideas could be how customers reuse your environmentally friendly packaging (e.g. glassware) if you do not have a return system in place, or perhaps a calf naming contest.
Expand Your Audience
The more people that know about your products, the higher your sales are likely to be. That’s the challenge for any small business. Consider the following ideas to reach more people and grow your dairy brand awareness.
Offer to cater a community meeting or other event
Are you on the parent committee of your child’s school? Do you have an annual sport’s team meeting or attend other local meetings? These events are the perfect opportunity to get people to taste your products.
Offer to bring some food plates incorporating your products, even something simple like a cheese platter, Greek yogurt dip with vegetables, muesli and yogurt or milkshakes for kids.
Run a workshop at the local school
Take a couple hours to talk to the kids about what is involved in running a dairy farm and manufacturing facility. Depending on the age level you could talk about animal care, nutrition, business or some basic food science.
Take it a step further and offer to host a field trip. It gives the kids a more visual experience and there’s no need for you to travel. If the school has a newsletter, chances are the event will be included, allowing your brand to reach parents and other teachers. Other opportunities could include summer camps, career days and local fairs.
Sell your products at a farmer’s market
Depending on the size and location of markets, this option may involve a little more cost and planning due to logistics and cooling needs. Another alternative a roadside stall if this is reasonable in your area.
These are just a few low-cost ideas to get you started, do you have any others? Feel free to share with us on social media.
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