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The Business of Food

by Jennifer Barney


Why not Mom?
1-min read

When you are first starting out, two things are happening: you’re testing your product in a small market and you’re putting out branding and messaging to a specific consumer – one that you’ve personified as your primary target. 
Your primary target is who the brand speaks to in all communication
  • you’ve developed a persona through deep empathy and understanding of the problem your product solves
  • you’ve identified this target as who is most likely to spread the word about your brand
  • you’ve figured out how to reach them with your budget
This is your primary target – call it your media target – and it should be pretty niche. (See last week’s examples nutpods, Popchips and Stacy’s.)
Just because early evidence shows most of your sales are coming from moms, don’t lose focus. This is happening because despite a quickly changing world, mom is still the primary grocery shopper – overall food dollars are coming from her basket. This is the noise in the data.
Your primary target could be a mom, but not all moms are your primary target.
Mom has a lot coming at her and brands that get impatient will get drowned out trying to speak to moms in general. Instead, focus on your KPIs:
  • are you getting repeat sales?
  • do you have good (unpaid) engagement (comments, emails, saves, tags) 
What you want is to establish a deep, trusted connection with a tribe who is listening– you can’t rush it. These are your most important consumers.
Founders have got to be bought in to this strategy or it won’t work. Founders that give off conflicting signals to their team, like let’s market to two groups, will lose. Remember – focus, focus, focus. 
But investors will say I’m too niche
Using this as an excuse for going wide early on is bs. If you’ve actually heard this from investors it is probably because you don’t have a product that they feel enough people will ever want. You’ve failed to prove a large enough addressable market.
What are addressable markets and how do you get one? That, next week. 

All my best,
Dilemma over negative reviews on Amazon? Sellers are permitted to communicate with buyers through Amazon’s built-in messaging platform but prohibited from requesting that a customer remove a negative review - Wall Street Journal
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