Brian and Dan Busken, Busken Bakery, Cincinnati, presented several of their company's successful marketing and branding ideas that can be translated to bakeries across the country. Buskens had been known for its witty and eye catching ads on 15 billboards throughout the Cincinnati metro area and the bakery's changed the billboards about seven times a year, so potential customers were always seeing a new message. But after several years of billboard advertising, they decided that they needed to change tactics to keep up with the changing (i.e. younger) marketplace.
The bakery decided to move away from an advertising agency and began working with a publicist to help take the product back to the streets through events and social media, Brian said. They bakery began a series of product campaigns, such as buying an Ocho Cinco cookie translated to a vote when the local football star was participating on the Dancing With The Stars reality show or a product war that featured two local television newscasters and customers purchased one of two versions of the product to select the favorite.
All the product campaigns are all low-cost and are a perfect filler between holidays, Dan said. The key to success is to cover the hard costs when do a product promotion.
The Buskens also started a "Cutest Busken Baby Contest," where parents purchased an orange pumpkin face Busken Bakery onesie and took pictures of their baby in the onesie. The winning baby received free birthday cakes until the age of 18. The best part of this contest was how viral it went, Dan added. It was featured on the bakery's Facebook page and the parents were talking about it on their own Facebook pages asking their friends to vote for their baby.
Using social media or digital marketing is very cost-effective and fairly easy to measure, but it does take time to manage it and bakers have to remember that it is an open forum and customers are going to say what they want. Some easy and successful digital marketing ideas include e-blasts that are emailed to your list. An example of one that Dan and Brian sent for their yogurt company was an email that contained a coupon, good for only one day, for one free cup of yogurt. The coupon could be forwarded to the recipient's friends. The Buskens see up to a 60 percent redemption rate on the e-blast coupons. The best way to get new customers is to get them to actually try your product, Dan said.
The key to successful marketing in the new millennium is to allow people to interact with your brand, Brian said.