Today’s consumers want to learn more about the food they eat. This is partly due to simple curiosity, but also reflects a growing concern for freshness and quality. Being communicative and transparent about ingredients, recipes and production processes can help build trust and strengthen relationships. But how can you put storytelling into practice in your store?
Start by identifying the signature items that differentiate you, and that customers keep coming back for. Then tell inspirational stories about them:
- Explain where the ingredients come from
- Share anecdotes that highlight their heritage
- Provide recipes and presentation tips
Some products or segments need more background information than others to justify their positioning. Take premium items. These products demand more explanation to clarify their higher price, and must provide something special, be it high-quality ingredients, authentic production processes or handmade decoration.
Storytelling is not about adding lots of text. A story can be very visual and extremely short, and even a few words can make a difference. If you’re using special, exclusive ingredients, simply explain this to make a quality statement: for example ‘made with hand-picked wild berries’.
Help them choose
Take multigrain bread as an example. Without any explanation, a customer may find it challenging to make the right choice from your product range. Explain the differences between products, emphasise their unique benefits, or focus on why a specific key ingredient is good for them.
More and more people are opting for fast food, and baked goods to go. This is an opportunity for bakeries to provide products for immediate consumption, to eat in-store or take away. Make sure your signage is clear, so people know where to stand in line. Highlight your to-go assortment and non-traditional bakery items, like hot and cold drinks, salads and soups. This can be an important driver of growth.
Your staff as ambassadors
You can communicate a lot with packaging and in-store displays, but if you don’t educate people and make your employees the ambassadors of your products, they will be hard to sell. Get them involved. Share insights and information so they can answer your customers’ questions.