Many Health Nutrition marketers (including myself) have been so focused on digital engagement strategies lately that they may be forgetting the obvious: Health-conscious consumers respond to brands that are genuine, honest, and community-focused. These are all qualities that you can talk about online, but when it is time to demonstrate those qualities, it is time to go offline.
Lately, I’ve been considering the impact Grassroots Marketing can have for Health Nutrition brands. Grassroots Marketing is true engagement marketing because it challenges you to simply and directly connect with your target audience in the places where they work, eat, shop and relax. I’m convinced that now is the time to refocus on strategies such as this. Marketing at a street level will help build interest and trust in your brand, and it will give you even more to talk about online. How can you lose?
Here are 5 ideas for getting back to basics with Grassroots Marketing:
Hang Naïve Signage
Visit any laundromat or coffee shop and you’ll see the most basic Grassroots Marketing technique there is: the paper flier. Some fliers feature Xeroxed photos. Others are hastily written like ransom notes. Best of all are those with little tear-off tabs at the bottom. No matter how horribly designed or written, fliers always seem to get results. Whether you are a large company or a fledgling Health Nutrition brand, I challenge you to mix a little naïve signage into your marketing mix. It’s free, it’s charming, and it will take your customer by surprise—especially if you are a large or well-known brand! Remember to add your company url or an interesting QR code in order to tie your efforts back to the digital world.
Stage Product Demonstrations
Another classic of grassroots marketing is the product demonstration. Product demonstrations can be as simple as offering samples in a store OR they can be interesting. Why not stage a more unexpected demonstration of your product in a city park or on a busy street corner during lunch hour? There are a million ways you can turn your demonstration into an entertaining event that will illicit a reaction from the crowd. Get creative, and try to focus more on connecting with people and making them happy. The idea is to show the genuine, human side of your Health Nutrition brand. Try tweeting about your demonstration shortly before it occurs so that you can drive traffic to the site and play to an already interested crowd.
Host or Sponsor a Weekly Event
If you have a storefront, this will be much easier, but even companies that manufacture health and wellness products can make it work. The idea is to isolate activities that your target customer enjoys and host or sponsor such an event that will engage them on a regular basis. For instance, if you are marketing a sugar substitute, you might consider hosting weekly diabetic cooking classes in key cities or communities. Be sure to share videos or photos of the event with your social networks to encourage greater participation.
Co-market with Local Businesses
Even large brands can create a more intimate connection with a community by joining forces with local businesses. Starbucks often uses this technique to give their corporate chain a more authentic, grassroots vibe. For instance, in their hometown of Seattle, Starbucks sells donuts from a very popular downtown donut shop to ensure that their stores retain a “local flavor”. You, too, can create an “in” with any community by partnering with a business that is considered to be a local institution. Just be sure it complements your brand.
Support a Local Cause
You can strike a cord with your community by getting behind a cause they care about. Help clean up the city, fight for clean water or encourage your employees to get out and volunteer. When your brand becomes a part of something larger than itself, it demonstrates an authentic desire to make the world a better place. And who wouldn’t trust a brand like that?
Read more about authentic marketing tactics for heath nutrition brands: