Have you recently set up your own cake business? Need some help with crafting the right message for your business? This helpful guide by the founders of The Cake Professionals, Phil and Christine Jensen, will take you through how to start building your brand and create a marketing message that'll help you to connect with your desired audience.
Running your own cake business: Part one – creating a marketing message
Phil and Christine Jensen - founders of The Cake Professionals
Before we dive in, a lot of what we're going to talk about here builds on what we shared in our blog on branding (‘How to name your cake business’). It’s well worth a read because your marketing needs to fit with the brand you’re building.
Here’s a quick summary of three things we need to know before diving into marketing...
Build your brand
- Know your brand identity – what kind of business are you? Fun and cheap, quirky and creative, exclusive and luxury…?
- Know your customers – develop a detailed picture of the people you're trying to sell to.
- Know what you’re selling – you’re not just selling cake! We’re talking about the whole experience of buying from you.
Creating your marketing message
Great – now you have your brand nailed, it’s time to let people know about it. Successful marketing is about getting the right message, to the right people at the right price. Simple! Let’s focus on the message.
There are three steps:
Scratch your customer’s itch!
Don’t sell to yourself. It’s an easy mistake to make. We imagine what we'd like and we come up with marketing that we love. But, will our customers love it?
The best place to start in shaping our marketing message is not with what we want to say, but with what our customers need to hear. What are the questions they’re asking? What’s the itch they're trying to scratch? Knowing what our customers need will help us powerfully connect and communicate with them.
So, what does your customer need? An inexpensive cake, great service, high quality finish, a big order handled professionally, a particular style, a fun birthday cake, a stylish wedding cake… Tap into that and you'll have their attention.
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What makes you uniquely you? There are lots of fabulous cake makers out there and each one is a little different than the rest. So why should a customer choose you over another cake maker?
This is where you need to think about your unique selling points (USPs). What makes your business different from those around you?
It could be your customer service, background and experience, distinctive style, clarity in pricing, exclusivity, quality of finish, creativity of design, award winning baking, or the training and learning you’ve invested in.
Now we have a good idea of what the customer needs and why they’d buy our product, we need to craft a message they’ll connect with. That message will be communicated in many more ways than just words. The logo, font, colours, photography, and writing style we choose all contributes to our marketing message. They combine to share the kind of businesses we are and the product we’re selling.
As a practical example, let’s take a look at one of our adverts in a wedding magazine for our cake business – Peboryon.
One of Peboryon’s adverts in a wedding magazine.
As a brand, Peboryon is focused on high-end, memorable, exclusivity and great customer service. For our wedding cakes, our aim is to reach clients whose values match our focus, and who are planning weddings in the top bracket of spending.
- What is their need? They want a high-quality cake maker to fit with their high-quality event and who fits their style.
- Why are they buying? They're having a classy wedding and need a delicious classy cake!
- Why will they buy from us? We produce high quality cakes with unique designs and great customer service.
So how do you convey that in one magazine advert? One approach would be to use lots of text and literally say everything. The risk is we could say a lot but actually communicate very little.
We decided to do the opposite and let the cake do most of the talking. We chose an image, font and layout that spoke of quality, exclusivity and design. We have a short customer quote to say it was a memorable cake. We have a picture of ourselves to make it feel a bit more personal. Most of all there is space. The minimalist approach makes the product feel well designed, effortless and expensive.
When crafting your marketing message, ask yourself – will the people we’re specifically trying to reach with our unique and wonderful cake businesses connect with the message we’re sharing?
In part two of ‘Running your own cake business’, we’ll discuss finding and selling to the right people, at the right price (coming soon!).
Looking for more top tips on starting your cake business? Here’s a handy guide on the first 4 things you should do when setting up your cake business.