Five great ideas for reopening successfully

COVID-19 shutdown and how you can take advantage.

Here are five real opportunities available to keep your brand relevant in the lockdown and come out all guns blazing when we open again.

The very visible impact of walking past bars and restaurants that are shut with the sad COVID-19 posters in the window has reached into the public psyche, everyone wants to see venues open again as soon as possible. However, the impact on the smaller F&B brands that supply to those venues is just as harsh and in many cases, we know terminal.

Take the example of our friends at Kingstone Dairy makers of the award-winning Rollright artisan cheese. Orders dropped to nothing with £400k of short shelf life cheese in storage. A wonderful shout out online and deliveries by car to end users got a lot of it sold and Kingstone will bounce back, but others aren’t so lucky.

Five ways to keep your brand relevant and sell effectively in a new trading environment.

The wholesale industry seems to think people will only want basic F&B items: Not so. After an initial party mood when the beer and burgers will flow. On-trade customers will revert back to demanding the best – the products you supply.

So keep up the conversation with your customers. It makes sense anyway but messages of intent and evidence of good ongoing working relationships are the sort of evidence the banks are looking for when deciding to extend the overdraft or similar assistance.

Solid gold! Trade buyers are not sitting on their backsides resting. Keep up the marketing activity. We sent out a survey to 500 venue managers, landlords and chefs and from the responses 70% said they are researching and planning for reopening. Some of this is maintenance and other issues, but there’s a lot of activity in redesigning menus, drinks lists, bar snacks. Keeping yourself visible is vital.

Wholesalers have not exactly been onside. Many brands have been delisted and the small print hidden in the many contracts has been used to the wholesaler’s advantage and penalised many brand owners. This might bring a short term gain for them but when consumer pull-through starts to demand better more distinctive products, they will not be ready to supply. Your online shop is useful, it brings in sales but can it scale?

Which leaves the question ‘which is the best route to market when we’re open for business again?’ If you want to go down the wholesale route you may be waiting a long time and their service is far from perfect. Running your own online shop can feel like a lot of hard work with patchy results and you managing fulfilment.

We think we have the answer. A managed marketplace, a service that takes the best of wholesale and the best of e-commerce and gives you sales directly from buyers.

With a choice of fulfilling the orders yourself or utilising our complete warehousing and fulfilment package, our team of sales reps are waiting for the industry to open and start promoting your goods to our trade buyers.

It’s a free commission-based service – take a look here to find out more.