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Creating a new space for a new bakery brand

A retail downturn and a market with highly recognised, established brands is hardly the ‘ideal’ context for launching a new business.

If you want to build a brand in this environment, you have two options: play in someone else’s space (sounds crowded? yes, it is), or create your own space. Puckles Family Bakehouse took the second option to launch their brand to the Australian market in late 2011.

As a traditional quality bakery, Puckles offers fairly standard products and services – cakes and savouries. Building a strong brand meant that it was essential to find or create a niche without using the tired strategy of criticising competitors.

The business decided to leverage three trends: 1. A resurgence of vintage products and return to a love of heritage and ‘the way we were’ 2. A move back to family and my world 3. Customer emphasis on speed and convenience

They also capitalised on digital media innovation, still an emerging feature in parts of the Australian food industry, for building their brand story and customer relationships as well as supporting sales.

The resulting brand positioning was ‘contemporary nostalgia’ – and there were no competitors in that space.

Watch this video, created by Marketry, for a taste of the Puckles’ story:

Brand positioning as a decision-making tool

Brand positioning isn’t your tagline (those extra few words that often accompany a core logo). You can use it in that way but it’s most often an internal concept, rather than external marketing tool. Your brand positioning is really the edge you want to give your brand – the perception you want to create in the minds of your stakeholders.

If you visit the Puckles website you won’t see ‘contemporary nostalgia’ anywhere – although, in some ways, you will…everywhere. Brand positioning is the anchor-point to behind-the-scenes marketing strategy. It should be an active decision-making device, strongly connected to day-to-day activities. Puckles’ marketing strategy was designed to turn the idea of contemporary nostalgia into a living and breathing brand, founded in the values of tradition, family and fun.

Using brand positioning to your advantage

Here are three lessons from Puckles’ brand positioning and marketing strategy that are relevant to almost any industry or organisation:

Offer Puckles elevated a few key features in order to reinforce the desired position. Products use only real ingredients, with many of them made from old family recipes. Although Puckles carries a very traditional line of cakes and savouries, they’ve added some fresh ideas to their products like their official Angry Birds cupcakes. The in-store design is reminiscent of classic old-fashioned bakeries but with the integration of technology – digital screens, and the promotion of BakerTweets, so that Twitter followers know when the latest batch of freshly baked goodies are ready to eat. All aspects of design and marketing make it clear that Puckles is old-school, but in a modern way.

The lesson – highlight the features within your overall offer that most strongly match the brand positioning you want to achieve. As you develop your offer, use your positioning to influence the removal or addition of features, qualities and characteristics to help you truly become a leader in your space.

Stories Storytelling is becoming increasingly recognised for its importance in marketing. It’s part of a shift in recent years away from very linear marketing – ie pure one-way selling – to an understanding that people’s lives are more like networks than straight lines. Marketing needs to build brands as if they are living entities, creating layers, personality, multiple avenues for engagement. And, yes, this is part of enabling sales and profitability!

Puckles has developed several stories around its brand. These are displayed on the shop walls, in web copy, on its core YouTube video and on product packaging. These made it possible for new customers to feel part of the family. The content typically reinforces the nostalgia of the classic bakery, but is told with the contemporary edge of YouTube, Facebook, digital signage and more. The positioning also influences the tone and style of communication.

The lesson – make it easy for people to understand where your brand has come from, and where you are going, to make them part of your journey and encourage loyalty.

Channels Puckles is putting cupcakes on Twitter and family pies on Facebook to build customer loyalty by delivering a traditional offer with contemporary relevance. However, the positioning goes far beyond decisions around social media integration. The business has made a conscious decision to focus on building partnerships with local media outlets rather than more regional or metropolitan media, as well as on building a local charity program, to reinforce its commitment to the local community. The positioning fundamentally determines what communication channels the business uses, and how they are used, and it drives the relationships on which the business focuses.

The lesson – marketing channels continue to grow and fragment so, rather than spread yourself too thin, use your positioning to make decisions about where you want to place your brand and how you want to communicate with your market.

Marketry supports Puckles in developing and executing its marketing strategy including developing marketing collateral, copywriting, event management, media relations, community relations and development of core business presentation materials.

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