Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 4

FOOD ENTREPRENEUR®
ADJUSTING THE TARGET:
Reimagining
consumer profiles
One-size-fits-all marketing
exercises are not the answer
©HD3DSH - STOCK.ADOBE.COM
BY NATALIE SHMULIK
B
usinesses need a robust strategy to reach their intended
audience - an objective that traditional target
marketing tactics can no longer achieve. To engage
the fastest-growing market segments today, brands need to
move beyond pooling people into a single buyer persona.
Businesses must recognize millennials and Gen Z are diverse,
informed and conscious of how their purchasing impacts
the world around them. To successfully
appeal to this massive market, it's not
enough to define our audience; we must
befriend them.
Defining a clear target market is
It's not enough
to define our
pivotal in the early stages of business
development. Brands need to know their
customers intimately - and one-sizefits-all
marketing exercises are not the
answer. Funneling people into faceless
buyer personas is an antiquated approach
that risks alienating a large number of individuals, cautioned
Eve Turow-Paul, author and founder of the Food for Climate
League. On the other hand, connecting with the right audience
can drive revenue, put marketing dollars to better use
and gain genuine growth opportunities.
In her research on the psychological and cultural factors
behind leading food trends, Ms. Turow-Paul found " the human
experience has become
homogenized, "
even among groups
that have traditionally
been segregated.
Consumers do not fit
into neat little boxes
labeled with race or
socioeconomic status,
she explained.
For example, organic
food initially was
sold only to wealthy
elites, even though
low-income populations
were equally
30
Food Business News
audience; we must
befriend them.
interested in the products. Similarly, vegan brands bypassed
marketing to Black vegans, who make up the fastest-growing
segment of plant-based eaters. Clearly, brands need better
tools to build a three-dimensional, living, breathing conception
of their intended consumer.
Rather than relying on ineffective caricatures, capturing
millennials' and Gen Z's attention requires targeting the
market through an empathetic lens, Ms. Turow-Paul advised.
Since the pandemic began, Americans
have struggled with rising stress, declining
mental health and feelings of isolation.
Approaching this market in an impersonal
way does not invite a genuine connection.
Instead, Ms. Turow-Paul counsels
businesses to ask, " What is keeping this
individual up at night? What are they worried
about? " Some brands have answered
by highlighting immune-boosting benefits
to address shoppers' health concerns;
launching restaurant-style desserts to provide easily accessible
indulgences at home; and elevating their give-back, such
as Chobani donating proceeds of its special-edition yogurt to
Feeding America.
The most effective brands have succeeded in creating a
sense of community around these shared values - which is what
consumers crave above all else. Actively listening to consumers
allows us to break away from traditional marketing methods
and creates pathways to communicating through social media,
innovative packaging and humor. Thinking like their audience
and speaking their language, some brands strategically poke fun
at themselves. Liquid Death Mountain Water promises death
to thirst and plastic bottles, while Swedish oat milk brand Oatly
jokingly labels " the boring side of the package. "
Leaning in to the founder's story is another powerful
Natalie Shmulik is the chief executive officer
of The Hatchery Chicago, a food and beverage
incubator. Email editor@sosland.com.
differentiator for brands seeking to make a human connection.
When founders peel back the curtain and show their
motivations, their team, their process, their imperfections
and personal stories, they give the brand a relatable face that
consumers want to befriend. This candid relationship allows
businesses to be conversational rather than perfect. Humanized
brands are ideally positioned to meet consumers' thirst
for connections - thereby earning their trust and loyalty. ▪
October 12, 2021

Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021

Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 1
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 3
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 4
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 6
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 9
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 10
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 13
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 14
Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 15
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