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How to build brand awareness & maintain a loyal following

You’d have to be a hermit to not have noticed the street food revolution across the UK in the last 10 - even 5 - years. With the rise of trendy eateries such as Dinerama in Shoreditch and Mercato Metropolitano in Borough, street food markets, mobile bars and pop-ups have become the go-to socialising hotspots for the modern millennial. It’s not just a London phenomenon either; Birmingham’s Digbeth Dining Club is sending waves across the Midlands, whilst GRUB in Manchester is the place to be seen in the North if you’re after a swift half and bit of scran.

We’re not complaining - the UK is on a voyage of experimental and delicious culinary exploration and we’ve bought a one-way ticket to tasty town. But the questions this begs is, how do you make your business stand out in such a crowded market?

Take a look at our top 4 tips for building brand awareness with legs which will not only build you a following, but a loyal one full of repeat custom and footfall!

1. Giveaways


So you’ve pulled up to the curb in your food truck. You’re positioned at the market at the helm of your mobile bar. You’ve set up your killer market stall. You’re ready to rock. But how do you build that buzz? We’ve spoken to a lot of our partners about how they’ve previously created hype around their brand and one of the most common answers which kept cropping up was giveaways!

The Piadina Project - who need no introduction! - recently held residence at the new W12 Studios space launched by Incipio Group and smashed their first few weeks by announcing a giveaway campaign across social. There really is nothing like the promise of 100 free of charge fried chicken piadinas to get people talking and make some brand noise.

Think of it as a means of generating a crowd and getting some bellies rumbling. It’s been a trick of the trade to give away samples at markets since time began, so why not make some noise about it online and get the message to the masses?

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2. Mind your Ps & Qs


Ok so this is an obvious one, we hear you. Picture this though: you’ve been prepping since 5am, the heavens have opened and you’re wet to the bone and now a customer who apparently knows everything ever about your product is causing a stink. You don’t exactly want to shake their hand and chew the fat with them do you? BUT YOU SHOULD.

The secret to repeat custom is having the energy of a Columbia Road flower trader but the politeness and patience of a saint. It’s those customer relationship skills which will pay the bills. Manners are becoming extinct so make sure you’re doing your best to donate some decorum into the decency bank. A bit of banter, a few questions and a smile is the difference between someone coming back to you again and tagging you on their Instagram story and a crappy complaint on Facebook. Social media is immediate and crazily influential when it comes to your brand perception so stay on your A-game.

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3. Competitions


Competitions: the holy grail of social engagement, boosted followings and raising brand awareness - when done right. If you’re struggling to know where to start with your social media content strategy, competitions are a great way to get off the ground. However, heed our warning - make sure you know exactly what you want to get out of it. Setting some KPIs from the outset is crucial to ensure your efforts stay on track and work positively in favour of your brand goals.

Here’s our top tips for smashing a social competition:

  • Plan! Check the competition rules on your channel of choice and determine the length of your campaign, what you’re going to present as a prize and how you will deliver it - all the nitty gritty needs to be mapped out!

  • Promote! Keep your copy short and snappy and drum up some hype for the exclusivity of your product on offer. Use your hashtags and do a bit of research, we recommend #competition #competitiontime #win #giveaway

  • Precision! For brand awareness and engagement make sure to give clear instructions to the customer about what they need to do to enter - for example on Instagram your requirements could be they follow your page, like the post and tag two friends in the comments in order to enter

Make sure to follow up your initial post with stories, cross-social promotion and pop it in your newsletter if you have one to drive traffic, boost entries and ultimately sky rocket your brand exposure and engagement.

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4. Tagging


Make sure that on all your collateral - from menus to your food truck, or even your branded stash - you have your social media handles so people are always aware of where they can find you. It’s crucial as well to have your social media icons on your website so if customers are considering whether to try your product or book you for an event, they can see what you’re up to and make a decision after seeing even more of your amazing brand.

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We’re currently on the lookout for those of our partners who would be keen to do a cross-promotional competition on social with us. If you’re interested, give us a DM HERE!


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