Finding success as a food vendor at festivals involves much more than having the best food the grounds have to offer. A lot of what influences a festival-goer’s decision on which food to eat includes things like recognizing booths from prior years, being drawn in by ambiance and experience they’ve created, and finding something that piques their interest.
That’s where branding comes into play.
Branding is a powerful sales and marketing tool that any food business, especially one that wants to be profitable at a festival, should incorporate. If you need to boost productivity at your business and generate more revenue, branding should be at the top of your list, and here is why.
Branding can be the string that ties your in-person and your digital experience together. Think about it – anyone with a reliable internet connection can see it online, and if you can get in front of the right audience, then they’ll also see it in person at the next festival. Because of consistent branding elements across the board, your audience will begin to recognize your brand and your business, making them more likely to choose you when it’s time for a meal.
Branding can transform your digital marketing strategy by helping you stand out among the crowds of other vendors. Using the right colors, fonts, logos, images, and messaging online will create a digital experience that is uniquely you, allowing you to stand out and get noticed.
When you build a brand around your business, people will start to become more aware of you specifically. For example, perhaps rather than seeing you as just a taco stand at the festival, customers will start to associate you more closely with your famous birria tacos with names pulled from classic cartoons. It’s these small differentiators that will help build excitement and awareness around what you have to offer.
SEO experts will tell you that you need to take advantage of link building to build brand awareness - this is a great strategy. Link building involves asking other sites that serve a similar audience (festival-goers) to link back to your website or social media platforms to build more excitement.
Branding tells a story. It fills in the blanks and answers the questions customers might have about you so they can see the whole picture. Knowing the background of a business, learning about its founders, seeing the pet mascot that inspired the nachos, or anything that can help your business stand out will paint a more detailed picture and allow customers a peek into who you are.
As mentioned earlier, branding is what makes the difference between just another food stand and THAT food stand they’ve heard about, loved last year, or have been dying to try. This recognition goes a long way at festivals. Festivals are often a place of nostalgia, and even after cars have been packed up, festival-goers may find themselves missing the eats and drinks of their favorite weekend of the year.
Create that nostalgia within your own food business and have them coming back year after year.
Festival-goers want to know right away what you’re selling when they are perusing all of the food and drink options they have to choose from. If your branding isn’t clear, it could confuse people and lead them to believe you’re selling something else, or it could draw their attention in other, more exciting directions.
Branding elements - like a logo, name, and messaging can tell customers exactly what you offer so they know what they can expect when they belly up to the bar to order.
Branding builds trust between customers and businesses as well. If someone has a great experience with a brand, they’re going to remember that. If they have a terrible experience with a brand, they will also remember that.
If you can create great experiences for your customers, creating a strong brand will help solidify that memory for them and reinforce their trust in you to continue delivering that great experience time after time, which is how you build brand loyalists.
As a food business, food is your top priority. But here, we make a pretty compelling case why branding should be your second priority. Branding will help you stand out in the literal crowd of vendors and festival-goers and reinforce the great experience you provide your customers with each time. If you’re looking for an edge to stand out in the festival scene this year, branding is it.