The cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom has had a significant impact on the food and drink sector, affecting both consumers and businesses alike. The increasing cost of essentials like housing, transportation and utilities has left many households with less disposable income to spend on food and drink. This, combined with inflation and Brexit-related uncertainty, has led to a slowdown in consumer spending on non-essential items. Essentially, people are buying less or buying cheaper.
The UK food and drink sector is one of the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis. What was already a crowded market, has become even more challenging and complex. This article offers a few suggestions for how brands can effectively market their products whilst remaining sensitive to the current situation facing the UK population.
Here are five possible ways that brands can build brand advocacy and use PR and social media to make sure their products end up in consumers baskets, even in a cost-of-living crisis.
Utilise PR to tell your brand’s story
PR is a powerful tool for brands looking to promote their products during a cost-of-living crisis. Brands can use PR to tell their story and communicate the values that drive their business. This can help to build a strong connection with consumers and communicate the brand’s commitment to providing quality products at affordable prices.
Provide expert comment, offer genuine advice, educate consumers on ways to make their budget go further, inspire them with recipes and content and so on – PR is a great way for brands to sensitively and effectively engage with their customers in an increasingly difficult and competitive marketplace.
Leverage social media to build relationships with customers
Social media is a valuable tool for brands looking to promote their products and build relationships with customers. Brands can use social media to engage with customers, listen to their feedback, and address any concerns they may have. This can help to build trust and increase loyalty, making it easier for the brand to sell its products during the cost-of-living crisis. Social media can help build genuine connections with the audience and its quick and reactive meaning you can respond to trends and be nimble in a crowed space to stand out and build brand loyalty.
Create quality content that educates and informs
Creating quality content that inspires and educates is a great way for brands to promote their products and educate customers about the industry and its challenges. Brands can create recipe videos, top tips pieces, hacks, and infographics that educate customers about the cost-of-living crisis and how to navigate it, as well as the impact it has on the food and drink sector, engaging consumers, building trust and increasing brand loyalty.
Focus on affordability and value for money
Research shows that consumers are either buying less or looking for cheaper alternatives. This means brands have to work harder to ensure they are the product in shopping baskets. Highlighting affordability and value for money will be key to this. For premium products, promoting key messages around quality, provenance and brand values will be crucial to justifying and incentivising the higher price point. It’s important to find an angle which fits into the current narrative – if you’re a luxury item, it’s important that you don’t try and get involved in the budget-conscious conversation as it’s not authentic.
Be transparent and socially responsible
Finally, brands must be transparent and socially responsible in their marketing efforts – it’s crucial that they avoid being viewed as profiting from the cost of living crisis and must instead look for ways to support consumers. Brands can highlight their commitment to ethical and environmentally responsible practices, consider CSR activity, such as donating a portion of their profits to charitable causes, as well as looking at ways to become more affordable and cost effective for consumers. One example of this is recipe inspiration to help in making ingredients go further
So, there you have it, the cost of living crisis isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s had and is continuing you have a huge impact on the food and drink market but as specialists in food and drink PR, content and social media, Hatch can help you navigate this tricky situation, ensure your brand stands out on shelf and firmly position your products in shopping baskets, online and in stores.