Top 5 success factors for food brands in the German market
The German market is one of the most competitive economies in Europe and the world, yet also a very promising one - both for new and also existing food & beverage brands. In our list of the “top 5 success factors”, we tried to shed some light on how to be long-term successful in the German market, and how to win consumers with targeted communications and more.
1. Make those German taste buds happy!
New trends are great, extraordinary experiences give consumers something to talk about and retail often requests a changing portfolio every once in a while to stay “interesting” for shoppers. But the fact is: 67% of all German consumers constantly buy the same brands and products, because they know they will like the taste and it is worth to spend their money here (Appinio, July 2018). Therefore, it is highly important to meet expectations and create food products that the German consumer will like - not only for a funny test, but in the long run. Find out what the favorite flavours are, which competitor products people buy and what their eating habits are. This way, it is much more likely to create and list a product that will actually leave a good impression and therefore create a high shelf rotation - not only for a month or two.
2. Create appetite appeal along the whole customer journey
When we buy food or beverages, we do so because we have the assumption, that great flavours wait on the other side of that funky packaging. Make sure that everything a consumer connects with your brand is incredibly yummy, so that it is almost hard to not grab the bottle from the shelf, or putting this nice, sweet chocolate bar into Amazon´s shopping basket. This means, focus on great pictures and use them on every touchpoint, as our appetite always starts with our visual perception. Food photography is an art on its own, but once you get this important step right, you will be able to convince consumers already before they have taken the first bite - and that is exactly what you want.
3. Get listings!
Food & beverage products are still mainly bought in supermarkets, with maybe a couple of “special interest exemptions” like sports nutrition, pet food, allergene-free alternatives etc. It is therefore crucial for most food & beverage brands to be available in offline shopping occasions, such as supermarket shelves, in delicatessen stores, on farmer´s markets, in restaurants or cafés and so forth. Do not get fooled by the increasing online traffic and digital information search. Yes, people are online a lot of hours per day, their interest in online services is rising and it is very important to be relevant in the digital world - but the final purchase is much more often made offline, so never trust a webshop only, unless you have proof that it will work.
4. Speak to people´s hearts
Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” This is especially true for brand communications that need to create a lot of trust and want to win people over by appearing like a good friend. Germany is a big country and therefore has a certain expectation level with regard to brands that want to be successful in the long run. English communication or marketing messages can therefore work, if they are quite simple, the target group allows it or the product is very hip and urban. In almost all other cases, German is the language to choose in order to make consumers follow, get really interested and connected to a brand in the long run.
5. Know what´s en vogue and stay up to date
Good marketing is always a matter of really understanding your target group, your target market and communicating the right message. This also includes knowing the channels that currently work in the German market, being up to date when it comes to trending influencers, having a good relation to the media landscape and so forth. Everything that helps you shape and promote your message should be a key interest for your marketing team. This can also include being very persistent, as Germany gets bombarded with new products and innovation from inside and outside of the country like not many other economies in Europe. In order to win your audiences over, be persistent and tell them why you are great over and over again - until they can finally remember.
As German food marketeers by heart, our team at SPOONFUL is always there to help with the above mentioned, as well as many other disciplines, to grow your brand in the competitive German market and give you an advantage in a noisy world. For any questions, simply reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.