Having a delicious hot sauce recipe that pairs well with many different varieties of food is important. The ability and knowledge to market and sell the sauce are equally important. Focusing on the components of a good marketing strategy for your hot sauce brand will pinpoint what can make it successful.
The six components of a good marketing strategy will include identifying customers, recognizing a competitive advantage, building a brand image, selecting the right packaging, and using social media. Each of the processes within your brand of hot sauce should be reviewed and broken down to layout an effective marketing plan and lead to successful sales.
The hot sauce market is huge and continues to grow at a rate faster than any other condiment. This may lead someone to believe that their hot sauce will sell itself and there isn’t any need to market it. The industry is saturated with both large and small hot sauce brands, but it is not over saturated with too much competition. The number of brands available is a strong indication of the demand for the product. This demand needs an effective marketing campaign to get your sauce in front of the right customer…and that equals success.
Know who the competition is
The first thing you need to know about your hot sauce as it applies to marketing is who your direct competition is. Pinpointing the niche you are in within the hot sauce industry will indicate your sauce is probably not in direct competition with every brand available.
Identifying the competition is done by recognizing what type of sauce you have. Even categories like gourmet, traditional, or artisan are too broad. A Louisiana-style hot sauce may have little competition within the hot sauce market against a Thai-style hot sauce.
Online communities, forums, and social networks are all avenues that are probably used by your current or future competitors. This gives valuable information on who the competition is, how they act on social media, and the path they are taking to market their sauce.
Identify your customers
If you are unsure of the demographics of hot sauce consumers read Who Eats Got Sauce and Why? Identifying customers and designing a marketing campaign will drive all sales. Pinpoint and recognize who purchases your brand of hot sauce and what it is used for. This will by default also identify who not to market to but don’t spend too much time studying who doesn’t buy hot sauce.
Study web analytics
If you don’t have a website featuring your hot sauce product for sale stop reading this article now and go set one up. This is extremely important. Also, of high importance is studying the analytics of how potential customers or paying customers interact on the website, what they are purchasing and how much they are spending.
Many website hosts will have analytics built into them but there are also many sites on the internet that are specific to giving you the information on how many visitors your site has, how long they spend on the site, and what their interests may be. Check out Google Analytics for some of the most accurate information on the web.
Blogging is a great way to identify and understand customers. This will take efforts to write informative articles that create organic traffic that gets directed back to a purchase page. Once created this type of marketing makes a passive approach that has the customer recognized. Once this is achieved a funnel can be created to continually capture each potential customer and make a sale.
If you have not read A Guide To Demographic click here for the full article. The demographics of consumers of hot sauce have been consistent for the last five years. They will remain consistent but may change as new generations grow up and become consumers. Knowing their spending habits, how they purchase and what they purchase contributes to a solid marketing strategy.
What is your competitive advantage?
Ask the question of why your sauce is better tasting, better for you, has better ingredients, or is less expensive (much less) than a competitor’s brand. Many marketing campaigns or slogans will indicate a sauce as being fat-free, sugar-free, or low sodium (if it is). These tactics have been used to sell food products for many years. Recently vegan and gluten-free have become marketing tactics for many food products as well, including hot sauce.
Using SWOT analysis
Using a SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) can give a lot of information about your company and the “good” that it can provide. It also identifies the areas that may need to be worked on to gain some benefits. This same analysis can be done to the sauce itself and provide information on what areas need improvement and also what areas stand out. Use the simple SWOT analysis below to list all the competitive advantages of your hot sauce or areas that need work.
Create a branding image
The brand image that your hot sauce displays have a lot to do with how it visually appears in the bottle as well as outside. The bottle itself, the label, and other packaging all contribute to the brand image. Hot sauces that have a skull, skeleton, or skull and crossbones (and there are many) as their logo or on their label are displaying a distinct brand image. These sauces indicate that consumption may cause near death but in the hot sauce world it means they have a very high level of heat…and yes there is a demand for these types of sauces. Using tactics as extreme as this example creates a strong branding image that contributes to a robust marketing campaign.
Design an eye catching Logo
The logo is associated with the sauce itself, the brand image, and the marketing campaign but also operates separately in marketing. The logo is designed to “visually” catch the attention of the consumer, let it stand out among the competition, and give the customer a memorable impression. However, the logo can also be designed towards the demographics by demonstrating the heat level, showing an ethnic sauce variety, or revealing a traditional style sauce. This all ties in with labeling.
Pair your hot sauce with food
Other areas of study that pertain to the brand image are the foods that your sauce pairs with and who will be eating it. Some manufacturers claim their hot sauce goes well with all foods. Well this may be true, few people put hot sauce on everything. Know what foods go great with your hot sauce to help illustrate how you want your brand to appear to consumers.
Choose the proper container
The bottle that holds the hot sauce also has a significant impact on the brand image. For years, and maybe even centuries, hot sauce has been packaged in a type of bottle known as a woozy. While this makes the sauce instantly recognizable as hot sauce it doesn’t allow it to stand out among other brands or stand out as being a unique product. It is possible you don’t want your packaging to stand out but offer your particular hot sauce as being similar to a competitor’s brand but better for a variety of reasons.
Glass / Plastic
Associated with how the bottle looks is the material that it is made with. Recently hot sauce brands have become available in plastic bottles as opposed to traditional glass. Some plastic can be less expensive than glass especially if you have a custom package. Research the best bottle types for your hot sauce here. Plastic is also great for a thicker “squeezable” sauce and this also lends itself to brand image, how the sauce is used and what it is used on.
Use social media
There are over a hundred social media channels to market a hot sauce brand. Creating an account, username and profile is easy but creating a social media presence takes time. This will include creating regular content and analyzing how it is being perceived. Here are some of the more popular social media sites to market your hot sauce.
Creating these profiles can be done as an individual but should incorporate your hot sauce brand image. Even using the same brand image for each profile will give the viewer instant recognition of your hot sauce.
Using social media avenues will also need the identification of customers. Some of which you have already done. Spending time on social media sites that don’t have the demographics of a hot sauce consumer will prove to be a waste of time.