Consolidate

Once all of the elements are in place – you need to consolidate your brand. You have developed it, talked about it, created relationships to assist in the communication. You now need to confidently consolidate it. Showcase your business at shows, exhibitions – the right ones. Launch events, celebratory events – inviting the right people. Entering awards to gain recognition – consumer and trade.

Discover

Shows and Exhibitions are an important shop front for both trade contacts and for consumer sales. You need to be ready before you invest in these – and need to be equipped to make the most of them. It is not just about a great looking stand for a few days but the lead-up to the show, follow-up after the show, making the most of all press opportunities available to you – chances to meet buyers, press, sampling of your product. Make sure that you squeeze out every potential opportunity. This is where we come in – making sure you do this! Trade and consumer shows are also very different events – you need to have clear objectives. Are you looking for direct retail customers, development of relationships with distributors, a chance to entertain existing customers, export opportunities, to generate income, break-even, market research, a PR exercise in awareness. Knowing what outcome is needed ensures that you approach the show properly.

Events can play a part – from the glitzy launch of a new product to a family day at a rural farm shop. All take organising and then you need people to come… This could be specific press, media, chefs, buyers or the general public. The event itself needs to be successful in terms of organisation but also people need to know about it! This could be targeted stylish invitations to press, food critics etc… or general awareness in local, regional, national media. Once the event has successfully taken place there is then another chance for follow-up coverage. As with shows and exhibitions – it is not just about the actual day or evening – but your reasons for doing it, which are always ultimately about creating awareness to generate sales.

Awards are again about raising your profile – of course only if you win! If you do not win this does not matter – you can often receive valuable feedback which can help you make product tweaks and new developments. The wins are great for us to ‘shout about’ – they are useful in PR, to carry an accolade such as a Great Taste star on the product packaging and in any advertising. Many buyers look at specific awards as a way to select what they would like to learn more about. Sometimes it is just to boost your team with a win for all of their hard work. You must select the best awards to enter as they do take time and cost money and they must have a value for the business and the people within the business.

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