Launching your vegan or plant-based food or beverage product to the mass market can be an incredibly confusing time. You’ve spent sleepless nights and countless dollars on research, planning and development. You’re now just a few weeks or months away from taking your product to market, but you have no idea how to start a marketing plan. What do you do first?
As the only vegan and plant-based focused public relations (and vegan-owned) agency in the U.S., I personally understand your predicament. I talk to entrepreneurs all the time who are in your exact situation, and I want to help.
I understand your mission. I understand the challenges of growing a startup and not having a large marketing budget. Of course, you dream about your product being a best seller and national media talking about how wonderful it is, but where do you start?
Here are 5 things to consider doing before launching your product:
1. You don’t have to have a large PR budget to go big, but you should hire a professional to help you get the word out about your product.
One of the things I hear all the time is “We don’t have budget to pay an agency until we start selling the product.” Hmm. Sounds reasonable on the surface, but how will you get the word out that your product exists? Part of a successful PR strategy for a vegan food or beverage promotion is to create a demand for your product among consumers, and then retailers and restaurants will want to sell it. It is really difficult to do this without hiring a professional agency or without spending dollars on traditional or digital advertising.
PR is more cost-effective and more credible than paid advertising. The national and global media are regularly talking about climate change, health and animal welfare. Every day it seems there’s another major story about a new plant-based product. Partnering with the right agency will help insert your product into that conversation.
Unlike many PR agencies, at Orange Orchard we don’t always recommend an ongoing retainer to promote your brand. Sometimes the best thing for your brand is a low budget, short-term product launch program. (Let’s talk.)
2. Carefully consider who you put in charge of managing your social media.
Make sure you have a communications professional manage your social media. You don’t only need to make regularly scheduled posts. You need a planned-out strategy to have the right messaging that will resonate with a large audience. Too many times vegan or plant-based brands are talking only to people who are already vegan or plant-based. Don’t you want to reach a larger audience?
3. Hire a professional to do your branding and identity.
Do research before you create a name brand. You want to be able to own your brand name when someone searches for it online. You should also plan on spending a little more to hire a branding professional to create your logo. I’ve seen too many avoidable lawsuits over names that are already registered or logos that are too similar to something that already exists.
As they say: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”
4. Get professional media training.
There’s no “off the record” when you’re speaking to the media. Professional media training can be a very simple process, and we highly recommend any new executives have some training in this regard. … Unless you subscribe to the notion that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. (Trust us, there is!)
5. Hire a professional photographer.
This one is a “nice to have” and doesn’t have to cost a lot. To get a bigger story with the media, sometimes it can be as simple as offering more great photography to accompany the story. We can work with you to develop a shot list for your photographer so you can get a handful of really great photos that will help tell your brand’s story.
Partner with Orange Orchard
To summarize, your promotional efforts don’t have to cost a small fortune. We would love to speak to you about launching and promoting your vegan food and beverage brand. Contact us today to learn more.