Thank you to everyone who came along to Business Week events in October, and especially those who attended Musings on Food & Drink in Castle Douglas. Business Week is a relatively new initiative for Dumfries & Galloway and is still evolving, but it is becoming very important as a focal point for economic development for the region, helping to raise awareness of the wealth of inspirational businesses we have in D&G.
Douglas has collated the findings from our food and drink event, and they are summarised below. Even if you didn't attend, have a wee read through and see if these points spark an idea or a stroke of inspiration for your business.
- How do you see your business in terms of ethics and values?
- What does your customer value?
- What is your combined “value package”?
- How can you add additional value to your product, premises, packaging, people, promotion, price etc. ..… and yourself!!
The points raised were:
- Develop storyline / narrative of product – differentiation – quality
- Collaboration – group marketing to get scale and diversity - networking
- Add experiential - e.g. baker to baking school, live lobster tank
- IT poses challenges with respect to SEO, cost and updating
- Local is strong in local area but diminishes over distance
- Skills required in basic selling and customer service, up-selling cross-selling etc. – speak to customer
- Got to add the personal touch – customise experience to customer (e.g. quick call to regular customers if absent)
- Develop food tourism – PYO, Awards and Trade Shows
- Product pairing; co-marketing; sourcing local ingredients “Helping each other”
- “Go Mobile” - get your product into new markets e.g. add value through outside catering etc.
- Food presentation and photography
- Price should always be visible so the customer does not feel inhibited
- Major on the actual owner / producers
- Samples and promotion – selling smaller brand on promotion with bigger brands
- Use all senses – sounds, small, look etc. to enhance experience
- Staff clothing and uniforms as part of the presentation
- Labelling should have clarity and impact
- Educate the end user – change customer into “ambassador”
- Access business support from agencies, mentoring, peers etc.
- Build local markets that are easier and cheaper to access before moving out of area