With the constant uprising of new competition, food truck owners need to make sure they are doing the right things when it comes to marketing their food truck’s brand. Today we look at five of the top marketing mistakes that you could make and how to fix them.
5 Marketing Mistakes Food Truck Owners Make
Don’t focus on your brand
After a long and tiring day of running your food truck, there is always one thing that will remain; your food truck brand. Your brand is what your customers see, what attracts customers, and what separates you from all of the other food trucks and restaurants in your market.
Many food truck vendors make the mistake of branding early in the truck’s creation and then leave it on the back burner. One of the biggest problems is your food truck losing its identity. Consumers like to feel a part of something and a brand serves as a conduit to do that.
Here are some tips to strengthen your food truck brand:
- Be consistent. Look at your printed materials, logo, truck wrap, and mission statement. You need to convey the same message when it comes to your food truck brand.
- Let your customers know what you are about. Are you family owned? Do you make your own sauces? Let them know why you are different than the truck parked right in front of you.
- Remember why you decided to open your food truck and your unique qualities. Now run with it. Use the initial passion you had for opening your truck as a guide.
Avoid social media
Social media is a proven way to be with your customers at all times. Many food truck owners we’ve spoken with find it too time consuming and don’t think it produces profitability.
Unfortunately, they are wrong. Social media allows food truck vendors to engage with your customers even when you aren’t on the road. This lets customers know that you are there for them and how much they mean to your business.
Social media also gives you the opportunity to advertise your food truck brand, parking stops, events, and menu information in creative ways.
Here are some tips to better use social media:
- Post on Facebook and Twitter when most of your fans and followers are online. Both services provide account owners to see when pages are most read and interacted with.
- Post photos whenever you can. The public loves “food porn”, why not get them excited with some sharp images of your latest creation?
- Pay attention to what your customers are saying on social media. Answer questions and respond to comments as quickly as you can.
Not having a customer loyalty program
Food truck owners need to have a tool that tracks customer demographics and purchasing behavior. Loyalty programs are a great way to track both while showing appreciation to loyal customers.
Gathering names and basic demographics help you figure out your target market and knowing their birthdays and anniversaries is a great way to make your customers feel special.
Substituting social media for your website
A website should be part of your food truck empire, even if the use of review sites and social media platforms are growing. Food truck consumers like to look up menus, prices, and like to get a feel of what the truck is like before tracking them down.
Here are some tips to improve your website:
- Add your Facebook and Twitter badges
- Post your daily/weekly specials
- Post your daily parking locations
- Give customers a way to sign up for a customer loyalty program
- Provide a form to allow customers to inquire about hiring your food truck for catering events
Giving discounts that are too high or too low
Discounting is a great way to increase short-term sales and attract new customers. Coupons can bring great results but can hurt a food truck if done improperly.
If you run discounts too often, while you may attract some new customers at the same time, you can turn the old ones away. They can also devalue your food truck’s brand by giving customers the idea that the business could be in trouble.
Here are some tips for the proper use of discounting:
- Send coupons out during slow parts of the year
- Use a loyalty rewards program
- Use a punch card
- Create discounts that offer free side dishes, drinks, or desserts with the purchase of a meal rather than discounting entire meals.
The Bottom Line
Marketing your food truck brand correctly is important for continued success in the mobile food industry. By using the right tools and methods, you bring attention to your food truck and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Do you think our list of marketing mistakes is incomplete? We’d love to hear your thoughts on marketing mistakes you have made or other food trucks have made. Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook