Bolster Loyalty and Sales

Bolster Loyalty

With attention on family brands, both retailers and brands can drive increased foot traffic with unique positioning.

By Neil Fusco

Family businesses look, feel and act differently. The inherent qualities that make them different also make them special and when leveraged, these qualities can truly set both the brand and retailers up for success.

“Authenticity has become vital, not only to brand storytelling, but in every part of the customer experience – from advertising to email and everything in between,” according to a recent study conducted by Stackla that aimed to identify just how much consumers craved trust between themselves and a brand. It is attributes like this that help to shape our knowledge of what shoppers are searching for. In fact, this vital (and sometimes fickle) relationship between consumer and brand can be strengthened by highlighting the fact that a business is family-owned.

The attributes that inevitably make a brand stand out can of course be leveraged on the brand side, but can also be leveraged on the retailer side. How the two work together should honor and celebrate the values held by a family brand. Here’s a glance at what that might look like.

Brands: Tout Your Authenticity … Authentically

Today’s shoppers are passionate about their food because it makes a bold statement about their identity. As a family brand, there is more opportunity to tell a story that is transparent and authentic. Especially when family is still involved in running the business, the personality of the brand can take on a level of personalization not often felt from larger or more corporate CPG brands.

This level of authenticity must be woven within each consumer touchpoint. Know your story is simple because it’s a part of the foundation of the brand. However, telling that story so it reaches shoppers that haven’t yet learned of you, shoppers that are interested in learning more about you and shoppers who have been loyal to you takes patience and a level of nimbleness that can be cumbersome for some. In this area, diligence in storytelling will win consumers who stand by not just your products, but also the people behind the brand.

Look to concise brand messaging across your integrated public relations, social media and digital strategies to bring true cohesiveness to the brand.

Retailers: Win Big with Small Brands

Bolster Loyalty 2There are plenty of ways retailers, both larger retail chains and smaller, independent partners can benefit from strong partnerships with family-owned brands. In fact, because such brands are resonating with shoppers, making concerted efforts to drive more foot traffic to these products will ultimately expand your shopper demographic.

With a major movement towards organic and all-natural foods, these are no longer considered niche or health food items. Instead, they are the norm. According to USA Today, in 2017, organic food represented 5.3 percent of total retail food sales in the U.S. Furthermore, sales of organic food hit a record $43 billion in 2016, up 8.4 percent from the previous year, according to the Organic Trade Association. This staggering growth demonstrates an increased interest in categories once considered to be “niche”, and what’s more, it puts many family-owned brands in the position to capitalize on the values they already employed long before they were trending.

Sharing the stories of the family brands represented in-store is a great way to differentiate the products represent on shelf, as well as the retailer as a supporter of shoppers’ values today. Retailers and brands can work together as one and explore opportunities to collaborate with one another. Not only will this bring consumers to retail locations, but it will also drive trial of items.

Family Brands are Different and Special

Family brands challenging their categories with competitive products recognize they are playing a different game than larger brands. The same strategies employed by national brands may not translate – both from the retailer’s perspective and the brand’s.

Family businesses are oftentimes portrayed as having a stronger tendency to make decisions less for the bottom line and more for the sake of the brand’s quality. Likewise, consumers appreciate the labor of love that comes from family brands. Through the sharing of anecdotal stories and the grit that has gone into forming the brand, shoppers feel as though they’ve had a part in it. In this way, unprecedented trust is formed, and with that trust, loyalty. For retailers, this offers just as much value.

Chef Neil Fusco grew up on a small farm in southern Italy, where hard work was just a part of everyday life. He was the eldest of five, the first-born son of Italian farmers who eventually immigrated to New York. Chef Neil began working in the food industry, first as a restaurant owner and chef and then as the founder of Cucina Antica. In building Cucina Antica Foods Corp., his goal has been to offer a quality product that families can feel good about sharing, of building bonds around tables and food. His hope is that these products may help make many beautiful meals and memories around your table. The Cucina Antica line features award-winning pasta sauces made with imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes and organic salad dressings and ketchup made with no added sugar, no preservatives and no paste!


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