Add value to stand out from the crowd

03 July 2020, 08:09 AM
  • We look at how offering added value can lead to increased customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and even higher sales
Add value to stand out from the crowd

The food and drink industry has always been highly competitive. Particularly at a time when businesses are struggling and consumer spend has decreased, how can you offer added value to your customers to ensure you stand out?

Telling a story
When it comes to independent retailers and fine food and drinks companies, many customers place quality, provenance and the shopping experience ahead of price. It’s an important factor when it comes to offering more value to customers.

“When we talk about price alone as a motivation for buying, we set aside taste, nutrition and flavour – not to mention how food is produced,” Rosie Jack, manager of Bowhouse, tells us.

“The food and drink sold and produced at Bowhouse has never simply been about price, but about value. Visitors to Bowhouse, and now those who shop at our online marketplace, Bowhouse Link, are hugely aware that the produce they’re buying is grown and produced locally and are shopping for this combined with great taste. Supporting independent producers and the local community by buying something truly fresh and delicious is the priority. Our role within this is important: we must continue to tell the story behind our producers, showing that a shake-up of existing supply chains and buying in a more direct way has an impact on lives, communities and health.”

Learning to pivot
Of course, lockdown and ongoing social distancing measures may mean businesses have to rethink the way they offer value to customers. For the Bowhouse team, the regular Bowhouse Market Weekend events offered a unique shopping opportunity for customers, and helped to increase interaction between traders. But adapting to the current climate has seen the team pivot the way they offer this experience to customers and traders.

“At our markets, we provided live music, street food, support for charities and of course, the chance to meet producers in person. But Bowhouse Link is also a collaborative project with a changing roster of guest producers and charity involvement. We continue to tell the story (on our social media feeds and in our e-communications) behind the food and drink too, which is a way of affirming what may be a higher price point. We can show the people behind the produce, its sustainability, the fair trade approach and the way it’s integrated into community life.”

An engaging experience
For newly opened Italian deli Cotica, part of Firebrand Pizza in Marylebone, extending its offering beyond the products that line the shelves is an important part of ensuring a memorable customer journey.

Cotica offers a traditional Italian deli experience, selling authentic fresh and dried foods. But the team is eager to be more than just a shop, and has even launched a quarterly magazine.

“We want customers to experience our passion for Italian food with engaging staff encouraging people to try samples in store. The team also discusses new recipes and tips for customers to get the most out of our produce,” founder Guy Holmes tells us.

“The main reason for launching the magazine is to establish ourselves as an authority on Italian food in the area – both the deli and the restaurant. Each edition will include articles on the various products from Italy. We’ll also include recipes and promote the individual items we sell.

“Being predominantly restaurateurs, we understand that our business isn’t just to provide nourishment, but to provide hospitality and an experience. That ethos continues into the deli. Our businesses need a fair amount of customers to be viable, therefore repeat custom and brand loyalty which comes from exceeding customer expectations is essential.”

No matter what type of experience you offer your customers, adding value to create their experience more memorable can help secure an engaged audience for your business.

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