Every weekend harvesters and growers bring their product to thousands of fairs, markets and festivals around the country. It is a remarkable feat of endurance, organization, logistics and risk by farmers, fishermen and value-added manufacturers. They have chosen a path of directly connecting with their customers to tell their story and create brand loyalty and it works. According to the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory , there are 8,720 farmers markets listed, a 7.07 percent increase since 2013.
It’s not a new way of doing business, it’s been around since the beginning of time (or trade) throughout the world and continues today. So how could you further benefit your bottom line? You shouldn’t have to ask - collaborate., of course!
If you are selling a food item that has an impact to wellness, are you telling that story? Is there a line in the sand between your product and that of your competitor in the marketplace? Take a walk and make note of your first impression of other vendors, their presentation, their messaging.
Let’s say your food product is garlic.
·Do you have a “go to” book that you are co-selling along with your garlic that tells its history and ways people have utilized it for healing since the beginning of recorded history? How about a gift pack that includes the book? (Connecting with an author or health professional for your product is a win-win.)
· Do you have a video running with the latest clips of documentaries or interviews with health professionals on the why’s of garlic? (Connecting with professionals who are prescribing garlic via video blogs is a win-win.)
· Signage and uniforms. Is your signage and clothing at your tent or table, consistent with telling the story of supporting health? I’m not talking snake oil sales techniques, I’m suggesting signage that tells your customers why they should select you and your product beyond others, beyond price. If you’re selling good quality food with positive health benefits, is that what the first impression tells your potential customers? (Consider the co-marketing opportunities with authors, film makers, functional medicine professionals in your signage and uniforms that instantly tell the story.)
· Don’t abandon the home or professional chef. Consider that families are searching for simple, affordable, appealing solutions to nutritious meals. (Connect and collaborate with those who incorporate your products to amplify your messaging.)
Schedule customer story-tellers to tell how they utilize the product in their daily lives and what it means to them. How do they integrate it and why? Make sure, all of the legal disclaimers are made before you start this path, but individuals authentically telling their story of a connection between utilizing the product and their perspective of the positive impact to their health is powerful.
Bottom line. Stand out by facilitating (make easier for your customer) healthy eating through your storefront at the local market. Along the way, you may also find some healthy collaborations with those up/down the food as medicine supply chain.