A few months ago, when I shared the adventures of my great Parisian Macaron Taste Test, I talked about bakeries needing to decide where they fell on the spectrum — either a high-end Laudrée or the ubiquitous McDonald's. Once you've decided what you want your bakery to be, you have to embrace it and brand it.
This month, Modern Baking is recapping many of the educational seminars from the Atlantic Bakery Expo that was held in Atlantic City in March. Some of the sessions focused on branding and offered tips on how to deliver a cohesive message to your customers. Can bakeries still be successful by producing a great product, putting it in showcases and leaving it up to word of mouth to attract customers? While great products are the backbone of any successful bakery, that success can be multiplied by taking a few simple steps to present customers with a cohesive image and message.
Before you can build a brand, you have to decide what you want customers to think of when thinking about your bakery. Daniela Soberman, of the Athena Group, offered several suggestions during her presentation at the expo. The first thing she suggested was to make a list of four to five words you want customers to think of. Words you cannot use include nice, great, cleanliness, quality, value and service. You need to dig a little deeper to really get at what you want your bakery to convey. For example, do want to emphasize the ethnic products you offer, or the fact that you use only organic ingredients? Once you have your words, use them to start creating your brand, which is more than just a logo.
One thing to remember is your bakery's presence is not limited to a brick-and-mortar store. The Internet is one of your best tools in attracting customers, especially younger ones. Your website (and in this day and age, a website is a must) should be an extension of your store and your brand. It should convey the same “image” as your store and be an expression of your bakery's five key words.
So, what are your five words?