Kusina: Local Food Business Brand Awareness on Stay-At-Home

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

Local food businesses were one of the affected businesses when COVID-19 hit the Philippines. The strict health protocol of the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ kept the door closed for most food establishments.

In the list of businesses allowed to operate under ECQ, food delivery services were only opened. During community quarantine, people were forced by authorities to stay at home as employees and business owners alike struggled to financially keep up with the pandemic. Although most businesses have currently loosened up, there’s still a limited number of customers allowed to enter establishments. 

Despite these challenges, you can utilize social media for the increased brand awareness as you start your food business, thus with little to no health measures that you have to supervise. This marketing strategy is highlighted now more than ever because people staying at home would order for delivery—seen on Facebook groups like Tondo Food Delivery and food delivery applications like Foodpanda and GrabFood.  

Brand Awareness of Food

Mang Inasal’s promotional photo of the Filipino favorites

You spread brand awareness by determining the food you’d like to sell. On the Facebook page of Tondo Food Delivery, a lot of foods can be found as owners and other food business pages promote their product. 

Usually, owners post about their products for their marketing strategies, and customers would comment for any questions or orders. The audience can also post about something they’re craving for, and commenting owners can then introduce to them their products. On Foodpanda and GrabFood, customers can easily see these small and medium enterprises’ products by navigating.

You can identify whether the food is for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just for snack or dessert. Others may be satisfied with the usual, new, or something different that you can make for them.

On another note, there’s seasonal food like puto bumbong and bibingka that send warmth to every Filipino during the cold Christmas season. To refresh themselves during summer, people crave cold food like shake or ice cream. For grand birthdays, weddings, and other bountiful celebrations, pork lechon is present as a symbol of happiness.

Truly, customers have different wants when it comes to choosing what they eat. An example of this is how hit the McDonald’s BTS meal was in Indonesia. Thousands of customers sent food delivery riders to different branches as McDonald’s introduced the meal to the country. BTS has a very large fandom all over the world, and McDonald’s is a global fast food. So, it’s unquestionable that the brand gained this huge support especially from the fans called BTS Army.

This enthusiasm was also felt here in the country where numerous fans are. McDonald’s Philippines sold more than a thousand meals on the launch day with almost 3.5 million nuggets. This suggests a sales increase of %1000 compared to the usual nuggets sale. Therefore, supporting local businesses is incorporating people’s interests in your food business that can build brand awareness.

Another element in brand awareness is the delectability of the food. There are local food businesses with low to no delectability, thus not fully considering how it would negatively affect the audience’s experience or impression. They might taste your ‘bad’ food, and not buy from your business again. Your audience might be disappointed in paying the food’s price (especially if it’s costly) because something’s lacking in flavor or taste.

On the other hand, it’s a different experience when customers feel satisfied. It’s the impression that could lead them to order again from your business. 

Mang Inasal became successful because of their offered Filipino favorites. Having roasted chicken paired with unlimited rice on their plates, millions of Filipinos fell in love with Mang Inasal’s way of giving satisfaction to their hungry and craving tummies.

In the strategy of how you project your product in social media branding, you have to listen to the pulse of most people. From this, you may duplicate the usual taste of the food you sell, take inspiration from any ‘peg’, experiment by fusion, or try something with your own recipe. Surely, there are a lot of ways to market your food that will attract your target audience while they’re on stay-at-home.

Brand Awareness of Costs

Starbucks’ coffee value

You can also increase brand awareness by coming up with the food price and delivery fee that justify your ingredients’ prices, labor, and other practices as the food’s totality. For big and medium enterprises on Foodpanda and GrabFood, it must be expected that the food prices and delivery fees are pricey. Whereas, in Tondo Food Delivery where mostly small enterprises are found, customers can expect lower costs for the masses.

Among expensive and cheap prices and fees, what should you pick? As long as there’s a reason to be pricey behind the making of quality food, it’s fine as people know about it. Low costs, on the other hand, should fit your considerations and efforts in the financial state of your business, not letting investments and profits slip from your hands.  

The ingredients’ prices inevitably get costly which also makes the food high-price. One of the many ingredients in foods is pork with its expensive price rising that affected the local food business owners. The domino effect was a pricy pork food, too.

For customers, as long as the food is delicious, the high price must be worth it. So, you have to make sure that the food undergoes a good process resulting in a quality creation liked by the customers.

Some brands proved their high prices because the products are high quality. Starbucks, for example, received the hearts of coffee lovers as they’re delighted with delectable coffees and pastries. They also enjoy the venue for studying, meeting, bonding, and relaxing as the shop’s aroma never fades.

In a pandemic Philippines, money is not easy as both local businesses and customers are affected. Either you lower or set the price higher, considerations must be thought about, and you have to finally decide.

Brand Awareness of Service

Food PH MNL’s social media post on customers’ orders and delivery

In social media branding, being approachable to your customers staying at home establishes communication and opportunity to gain their trust in your brand—to build brand awareness. In the case of Tondo Food Delivery, there are experiences of customers being ‘inbox-zoned’ by the owners either because of inactivity or unresponsive to questions or orders.

This creates a bad impression on your business as you begin the customer-business relationship in brand awareness. Customers might be angered at the time they’re hungry or craving for something to eat, and you could ruin their day wasting their time. Additionally, it’s expected that many people see your product promotion, and it means you have to monitor if there’s someone who wants to order.

One of the processes of the online food business is its delivery. It’s expected that your customers wait for the delivered food.

Sometimes, you may deal with simultaneous orders from different locations, far in between. In this case, you have to maximize your time in delivering the food before your customer gets famished or pissed waiting for it. Traffic could get worse, travel could be long, and other unexpected road problems, but updating your customers can at least give them an idea of what’s happening. On the other hand, you may realize that there are customers supporting your local business, and you should be proud of it. 

Launching a local food business can be scary and challenging as well, especially that presenting your brand to the public is the first step. The overall service may not be good at first, but you’ll be great as you move forward toward more business opportunities and stronger social media marketing strategies.

Interestingly, many companies were small and medium enterprises until they’ve grown with a powerful presence both in the national and global arena. In 1975, Tony Tan Caktiong created an image of a smiling bee that represents his business’ hardworking quality. Fortunately, all that hard work paid off when it’s known as Jollibee, familiarized by both the Filipino old and young communities.

Through spreading that symbol of hard work, Jollibee’s brand awareness spread across millions of family tables. Therefore, this strategy is an essential goal in pursuing your target audience. As you start with your online food business, strategize brand awareness considering the food, costs, and service that will leave a positive mark on your customers’ experience and impression as they stay at home. That way, you bring the best of your brand not just to their homes, but also to their hearts. 

If you need more help with promoting your food business, or just want some advice with marketing your own company, schedule a FREE 20-min. consultation with Ambidextr today in our Calendly link:

Visual by: Jamica Dy Juanco

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay updated on work, tech, and everything content marketing.

Read More