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Bakeries, pastry shops and cafés: Is marketing really necessary?

Marketing, a term that is omnipresent. But what does marketing look like for bakeries, patisseries and coffee houses?
Imagebild Bäcker

Useful marketing methods for bakeries & co.

We know one thing for sure: No trade business can survive without regular customers. It is important to bind them to the company in the long term and reward their loyalty accordingly. Marketing and advertising, including customer loyalty, is an indispensable success factor in the baking industry! Because let's take a look at the market: What are consumers' needs? What is their purchasing behavior? What is the relevant competition?

For centuries, bakeries and patisseries were the undisputed basic suppliers of bread and sweet cakes. Things are different today. The range on the market is constantly increasing. That is why the right marketing measures are becoming increasingly important in order to defend and expand market share.

Increasing competition: Changing buyer behavior

Food retailers, discounters, petrol stations and even fast food chains are already selling baked goods, Danish pastries and cakes. They are thus attacking the core business of bakeries, confectioners and coffee houses. McDonald's has also already established its own coffee house chain "McCafé" on the market and is competing with coffee houses and bakeries.

This situation is exacerbated by the change in purchasing behavior. Today's consumers often buy cheaply from discounters and prefer one-stop shopping and to-go offers.

Bakeries and patisseries, on the other hand, impress with first-class quality goods and unusual creations in baked goods. Ubiquitous trends such as vegan or gluten-free products are often taken up in order to stand out from the competition.

Customers expect a clear differentiation from the cheap products on offer in stores. They expect product concepts that precisely match their preferences. They want to be surprised. Your baker or confectioner should offer them a real experience!

Bäckermarketing - McDonalds Restaurant

Important: Inspire customers, don't just sell!

So how can you inspire your customers? Above all, through direct communication! Because we're assuming that your baked goods are a real treat anyway! Every marketing activity thrives on communication. If you've created a new bread, your customers need to know about it before they can buy it.

The big retail chains often draw from a larger pot of advertising. They send out flyers and brochures every week and have a large marketing budget for TV commercials or posters to keep in touch with their customers.

What marketing opportunities does your industry have? How can you best communicate with your customers and increase your sales? Many rely on traditional advertising and use promotional materials such as counter displays or posters in front of the door with a beautiful design. Some also use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok to communicate with customers.

However, this type of communication is very one-sided. It would be better to interact with customers. Find out what your customers really want, what they prefer to buy, understand their buying behavior and send them personalized offers based on that. Your sales will grow on their own. How do you do that? On the one hand, you can consult studies on psychological buying behavior or, even better, you can find out for yourself what your customers love - through your own customer loyalty program. Like Starbucks does, for example.

The next level: Understanding purchasing behavior

So how can you influence purchasing behavior? It's a good thing that many researchers are working on this, because you can apply the lessons learned from their projects to your own marketing. I have summarized two exciting theories for you here:

1. Our brain likes to complete incomplete tasks.

This means that when people are brought closer to their goal through artificially created progress, this increases their motivation to achieve what they set out to do. What does this mean for you?

Pro Tip: If you use stamp cards as a marketing tool, hand out 12-stamp cards with two existing stamps rather than a regular 10-stamp card - your customers will fill the stamp card faster and visit you more often!

2. The closer the goal, the greater the effort put in.

This shows the impact of the goal gradient effect in terms of rewards. Consumers who took part in a "buy 10 coffees, get the 11th free" promotion consumed coffee more often the closer they got to the free coffee. The right communication at the right time reinforces this effect.

Pro Tip: Keep giving your customers a motivating status update: "You've already reached 7 coffee points, you're still 3 away from free coffee!" And your customer frequency will increase!

Success Story

brotsüchtig App by hello again

Community building through a digital loyalty club and direct communication.
Erfolgsgeschichte Brotsüchtig Teaser Headerpic

Oliver Raferzeder


Expectations exceeded by hello again

I knew it would work, but I never thought it would work so well. We are really impressed with the app!

Marketing for Bakeries: Analog stamp pass vs. loyalty club app

With traditional stamp passes, it is not possible for companies to reach customers at all times. The digital form of customer loyalty offers you great advantages here: After identifying your customers, you can contact them at any time. You benefit from direct communication with your customers in real time.

Digital solutions also offer your customers more: they can view their points balance anytime and anywhere and have an overview of their current rewards.

How do other bakeries, patisseries and coffee shops use digital customer loyalty? Primarily through intensive communication with customers. But don't worry, customers are not bombarded with messages. On the contrary, companies are tailoring content to the interests and preferred channels (push, SMS, email) of individual customers. Advertising is personalized. Thanks to good segmentation, customers are only sent content that is of interest to them. The relevance of the messages therefore increases and customers welcome this targeted communication.

Here are a few examples:

Customer reviews

Clear advantages for digital customer loyalty measures

Bakeries & pastry shops

  • Customers are informed about new opening hours, promotions, delivery services and much more via push notifications or email newsletters. During the Covid-19 pandemic, bakeries have managed to change their operations in record time in order to maintain customer satisfaction.

  • Products and recipes to bake yourself are posted online. The bakeries' "fan base" is continuously activated. This creates an emotional bond.

  • Some businesses have even been able to increase their customer frequency by up to 40% through this relevant communication.

The number of regular customers is also steadily increasing. As existing customers become enthusiastic customers, they recommend the business to others.

Restaurants & cafes

  • Restaurants use push notifications or newsletters to inform their guests about the latest coronavirus measures and the daily delivery menu.

  • Customers are sent the weekly lunch menu based on their preferences - vegetarian dishes for vegetarians, etc.

  • Customer frequency increased within a very short time: 12.7% more customer frequency in 4 months.

As you can see, by understanding your customers' purchasing behavior, you can offer them a much better experience and influence their purchasing decisions in your favor.

Using incentives for higher customer frequency

On the one hand, this incentive not only increases the customer frequency and sales of the respective bakery, but also strengthens the overall customer relationship and improves customer satisfaction. As a result, happy customers attract more customers and become brand ambassadors.

This is one of the reasons why numerous bakeries and patisseries such as Resch&Frisch, Fürst Brot, Brotsüchtig, Oliver's Teigwerkstatt, Bäckerei Simhofer, Bäckerei Steinparzer, Bio Vollwert Bäckerei Gradwohl, Bäckerei Rass, Bäckerei Waltner, Dinkelbäcker Dümig (from Germany) and many more offer their customers their own loyalty app.


Your own loyalty app by hello again

The hello again solution helps companies to increase customer value. Despite the bakery industry's great willingness to change and high customer frequency, setting up your own loyalty club opens up many new opportunities.

Individual communication and special incentive systems, such as the awarding of bonuses and rewards, convert customers into regular customers. For example, customers who have certain loyalty club apps from the bakery can collect points with every purchase and redeem them for a reward (e.g. a free coffee).

Loyalty program

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