Vegan Marketing Strategy: The quick reference guide.

April 28, 2020
April 28, 2020 PenelopeFry

Vegan Marketing Strategy: The quick reference guide.

What is a vegan marketing strategy?

A vegan marketing strategy is all of a company’s marketing goals and objectives combined into a plan for their activities in the vegan market.

Vegan marketing strategies are essential for both small and large business operations now.

You’re already in the vegan market if you’re selling food, cosmetics, fashion, and even financial goods and services! 

Let’s say you’re not offering vegan or plant-based options. You’re still in competition with the people who are. And, you’re already losing.

The global vegan food market alone was valued at $14.2 billion in 2018. Don’t you want your slice?

You need a vegan or ‘plant-based’ marketing strategy within your overarching strategy. 

Just look at the Greggs turn-around in the UK. They went from issuing a profit warning to raising their profit guidance three times in the first five months of 2019. Why? Their sales were boosted by demand for their brand new vegan sausage rolls. It was their first vegan hotbox product… ever. Nice work! 

Further, we have seen the sales of plant-based products increase at a far faster rate than animal-based meats during COVID-19.

Want to tap into the vegan market and attract new customers like Greggs did? It’s easy to learn. Read on…

What is a vegan marketing strategy?

The core of your vegan marketing strategy should answer three key questions:

  • What does the demand for plant-based options look like in my sector?
  • How do I make sure that my plant-based products and services meet customer needs?
  • How can I develop long-term and profitable relationships with customers?

As you answer these questions, you will need to adopt a flexible approach that can respond to changes in customer perceptions and demand.

The purpose of your vegan or plant-based marketing strategy should be to identify and then communicate the benefits of your business offerings to your target market. It can also help you identify new products and services to offer.

Your strategy should also have a plant for how you will monitor and adjust your strategy after you’ve created and implemented it.

Your vegan marketing strategy could be one page or a hundred pages. It’s really up to you!

Key elements of a successful plant-based marketing strategy

One of the key elements of a successful strategy is the acknowledgement that your existing and potential customers will fall into particular groups or segments, characterised by their “needs”. Your efforts should focus on identifying these groups and their needs through market research and then addressing them more successfully than your competitors.

You can then create a vegan marketing strategy that matches your strengths to the needs of the customers you want to target. For example, if a particular customer group of plant-based product fans is looking for health value first and foremost, then any marketing activity aimed at them should draw attention to the high nutritional content you can provide.

Once you have completed this, decide on the best marketing activity that will make sure your target market know about the products or services you offer, and why they meet their needs.

You can achieve this through various vegan marketing campaign methods including advertising, public relations initiatives, and vegan digital marketing techniques.

Limit your activities to the methods that will work best, avoiding spreading your time and money too thinly.

Don’t forget your monitoring element. How will you keep an eye on how effective your strategy is being? This not only helps you see how the strategy is performing in practice, it can also help inform your future marketing strategy. Tracking the source of online sales is easy, and you can also simply ask each new customer how they heard about your business.

Once you’ve decided on your plant-based marketing strategy, save it into your wider marketing strategy. That’s a good time to double-check for any conflicts so you don’t step on any landmines (e.g. foie gras in another section of a menu). Don’t know the landmines? Contact us. We can help you.

Finally, save a recurring review date in your calendar. That’s your deadline for sitting down and reviewing the performance and elements of your vegan marketing strategy.

Don’t know the landmines? Call us. We can help you.
Penelope – jacoi.com

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

The market for vegan products is different. Your business will have existing strengths and weaknesses in this market. For example, if you fur then you have a point of  weakness in this market. Why? Because it’s famous for the animal cruelty associated with its production. Similarly, if a plant-based food fan sees foie gras in the menu while looking for your vegan burger they’re likely to walk straight out, not come back and tell their friends.

Your plant-based marketing must take account of how your business’ strengths and weaknesses will affect your marketing.

Begin your marketing strategy with simple SWOT analysis; look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a good idea to try to get insights from any existing vegan or vegetarian customers you have at this point, as it will help you to build a more specific picture of your positioning in the marketplace.

Strengths could include:

  • personal and flexible customer service (e.g. vegan cheese option)
  • special benefits or features that your products offer (e.g. high in B12)
  • specialist knowledge or skills

Weaknesses could include:

  • limited financial resources
  • lack of an established reputation (e.g. no vegan products or options yet)
  • inefficient sales systems (e.g. hard to customise orders)

Opportunities could include:

  • increased demand from a particular part of the plant-based market sector (e.g. people always asking if you have a plant-based cheese option)
  • using the internet and conversations with local grocery stores or specialised vegan product stores to identify new market demands and potential customers
  • new technologies, suppliers, or ingredients that allow you to improve your offering profitably

Threats could include:

  • the emergence of a new competitor
  • more sophisticated, attractive or cheaper versions of your goods or services
  • staff who make mistakes when taking orders
  • economic shocks like COVID-19 (e.g. a need to ensure products can be home delivered but retain quality)

Having done your analysis, you can then evaluate the potential effects each factor may have on your marketing strategy.

Try to identify the best ‘hero’ product or service that you could use to push aggressively into the plant-based market to help you attract new customers.

What next?

So, you’re ready to kick off your vegan marketing strategy. But, you want more information.

If you need vegan marketing ideas, have a look at a good vegan marketing example from your industry. Read up on vegan digital marketing if you’ve decided to focus on online channels.

If you’re in the food sector, make sure you know which types of food ingredients aren’t plant-based before you implement your strategy.

The key take-away you should have is that it’s becoming essential offer vegan options. You were already competing in the plant-based market, even if you didn’t know it. 

The plant-based market is different. You can be successful if you think outside the box and identify strategies to get your slice. 

Do you want to learn more about the vegan market?

Here’s how we can help:

  • Take our specialty training program!
  • Follow us on any of the socials to receive regular tips.
  • Contact us! We can help you take action.

What are vegan marketing jobs? 

Vegan marketing jobs are roles that promote vegan products or businesses.

What are vegan marketing jobs? 

Vegan marketing jobs are roles that promote vegan products or businesses.

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PenelopeFry

With over 17 years in international vegetarian and vegan communities on and off-line, I work hard to follow these niche markets and trends. I have provided menu advice for over 40 restaurants and cafes across 11 countries... and counting! Vegan food is my passion, but I also like sailing and cycling.

12 YEARS OF
MARKET KNOWLEDGE

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