We are all habitual creatures living within familiar boundaries. We tend to go through life carrying out the same routines, retracing our steps time and time again.
And so it is with the brands we buy. Take a simple test for yourself. Do you drive the same make of car that you drove previously? Are you still with the same cell phone carrier as your last contract? Are there certain appliance, television and computer brands you gravitate towards? And not to get too personal, but when is the last time you changed the brand of deodorant you buy?
Chances are you see some repetition evident in your own purchasing and usage habits. It’s only natural to stay with the tried & true, the known over the unknown, even when there is little risk associated with trying an alternative.
Food Consumption Is No Different
The purchase of groceries follows the same general pattern of buying from a preferred set of food types and acceptable brands, with a few favorites at the top of the list, along with a dash of experimentation from time to time.
Food loyalties and brand loyalties can vary from one category to the next, but generally speaking our buying behaviors tend to remain within a predictable range of choices unless acted upon by an outside force. Promotional marketing serves the role of that “outside force”. Those of us who operate in this field find ways to “activate” consumers into trying new things. The tools at our disposal include advertising to educate consumers about meaningful product benefits, professional influencers to heighten trust & credibility, coupons to lower the price barrier and the use of free trial samples to eliminate risk altogether.
Marketing Healthy Foods
Marketing of foods, especially healthy foods, relies on the three pillars of taste, benefits and price. Obviously taste is the main driver of consumer satisfaction, but product benefits and price are not far behind. If a food is “good for you”, consumers are more willing to sacrifice a bit in taste. Furthermore, if you can intercept a consumer around the time they begin to look for specific food benefits and label claims, your brand will gain more notice than at other times. Periods of dietary change at the macro or personal level can offer opportunities for significant influence. Perhaps it’s because of new scientific evidence in the news (think “red wine helps lower cardiovascular risk”), or maybe it’s the result of a change in health status (“since you’ve developed high blood pressure, you’ll need to reduce your salt intake”); consumers are more open to try new foods at certain times.
Timing and Context
Dialogue Company offers opportunities to reach people at a time and in a context when they are undergoing dietary change due to their health status. We intercept people who are looking for specific label claims such as: cholesterol lowering, sugar free, high fiber, whole grains, low sodium, omega-3, vitamin fortified and low calorie. People who are seeking these benefits are much more likely to try new products, to experiment, and to change their habits of a lifetime. These changes can affect breakfast, lunch and dinner foods, not to mention healthy snacking and desserts. It’s an ideal context to introduce or reintroduce healthy foods to a receptive audience.
As long as food health claims are real and meaningful, we can deliver marketing messages through healthcare professionals who will add credibility and authority to your message, which adds even more impact. We work with dietitians, physicians, nurses and diabetes educators who are supportive of providing their patients with healthy but practical food solutions that are readily available and affordable.
If you are a food marketer seeking to build your brand among a niche of consumers looking for health benefits, contact us and we can craft a food marketing solution tailored to your needs.