The most-effective tool for marketing a bakery is great, fresh product. For many customers, just driving by and smelling fresh-baked goods is enough to convince them to stop in and make a purchase. Although walk-ins are definitely an important part of your business, there are other tools you can use to grow your bakery business.
- Tasting samples – Smell isn’t enough. When you’re baking a fresh batch of cookies, muffins, etc., make sure to have samples available for tasting. Have one of your employees stand outside your bakery and offer these samples to passers-by. If the weather’s nice, leave your door open so the smell of your products reaches those who are close. There’s power in sensory marketing.
- Business deliveries – Spend some time researching the businesses in your area. Learn how many employees they have and when they take breaks. During break time, stop by with a fresh basket or box of baked goods. Make sure to leave a business card so they know who to thank (and who to visit when they want more of your products)! Magnetic business cards are a great product to use because they allow customers to place them in a visible place like on the refrigerator. When these businesses need breakfast for a morning meeting or a gift for an employee’s birthday, they’ll have your information right in their office.
- Holiday-themed products – Baked goods are always very popular during the holidays. Show your festiveness by decorating your bakery with window clings that fit the holiday of the moment. Since clings aren’t adhesive, you can remove them and store them for next year. In addition, create special products that are holiday-themed that will attract new customers. Even consider hosting a holiday event, like pictures with Santa during Christmas or a Halloween carnival. By showing customers that you want to interact with them, they’ll be more-loyal to your business.
- Recipe contest – Another great way to interact with customers is to host a recipe contest. Use social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with your customers and ask for their favorite baked good recipes. Narrow down your applicants to, say, 10, and host an event where you bake all the recipes and allow your customers to taste them and vote for their favorite. Award the winner by adding their recipe to your menu! Promote this contest by using a vinyl banner outside your bakery listing the dates for recipe submission.
- Loyalty card – Every bakery should have some sort of loyalty program in place. Create a Baker’s Dozen card for all of your customers. Each time they visit your store, mark or punch the card, and once they’ve reached 13, they receive something free or a discount on their next purchase! Everyone likes a little something free, and this is another great way to keep your customers coming back for more.