Marketing to Retailers in the Food Industry [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 1]

Want retailers to stock and sell more of your food products? From seductive packaging to captivating storytelling, discover the secrets of marketing to retailers in the food industry with expert food and beverage marketer Jean-Marc Demers.

Uncover the art of out-of-store engagement, localized advertising, and the power of public relations in this enlightening episode to charm retailers while driving brand success.

Watch (below) or listen (above) for insider tips to get space on retail shelves, captivate consumers, and sell more of your consumable products.

Want more niche marketing insights on Food and Beverage Marketing?

This episode is Part 1 in a multi-part series on how to market food product marketing and sales. To continue learning on this niche, visit:
Expert Food Packaging Design with DePersico Creative [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 2]
Retail Promotion for Food and Beverage Products with Angela Rakis [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 3]
Leveraging Influencer Marketing and PR with Bill Southard [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 4]
• Part 5: Coming soon!
• Part 6: Coming soon!
• Part 7: Coming soon!
• Part 8: Coming soon!
• Part 9: Coming soon!

Watch the Podcast Interview on Marketing to Retailers in the Food Industry:

This episode on Marketing to Retailers in the Food Industry covers all of the following and more:

Note: These timestamps correspond to the video version of the episode

00:00 – Introducing Braque, a food and beverage marketing agency based in Montreal, Canada

  • Jean-Marc shares how small businesses and start-ups are managing to stand out in a super crowded market.
  • Packaging intersects with point of purchase and how to convince retailers to put up new brands.
  • Braque started 31 years ago, has a team of 15 people in Montreal, and supports small and medium sized companies.

07:17 – How can new food products stand out?

  • Create intrigue around the products to attract an audience.
  • Deliver what the audience wants via great packaging and product unique offerings.
  • Consider brand identity, packaging, colors, and textures to stand out from the shelves.
  • Microbreweries and beers examples: often times trying new beverages might come down to picking a label that appeals to customers.

10:12 – Branding Process

  • Find the characteristics of the product. What is the product’s DNA?
  • Identify target audience and competitors
  • Branding expert, Marty Neumeier, in the book Zag, believes that packaging holds an important role in branding.
  • The importance of placement of packaging during point of purchase.

12:30 – Two steps in food marketing and packaging a “challenger brand”

  • Two areas in food marketing, selling to consumers and selling to retailers and distributors.
  • Focus on retailers and convincing the need of the products will allow products to get to the shelves — penetration.
  • Convince consumers to purchase the products via packaging, tastings, recipes, coupons, and samples.
  • Products need to be able to engage consumers. The vegan, non-dairy dessert as an example, if there is a product that has great taste, the vegan community will rally behind the product.

15:54 – This Episode is Brought to You by The Agency Guide (TAG)

  • TAG helps matchmake brands with proven, vetted marketing professionals.
  • Consulting is pro bono!
  • Visit to learn more.

17:42 – Out-of-Store Engagement

  • Methods for engaging consumers beyond the retail space, such as content marketing and social media.
  • Storytelling is important in connecting with consumers and building brand loyalty.
  • The role of authenticity and genuine relationships in modern consumer engagement.

19:47 – Seducing Retailers to Stock Your Food Products

  • Break into retail markets by crafting a strong brand identity and appealing message for retailers.
  • Importance of packaging and visual appeal in capturing retailers’ attention.
  • Promotions and cross-brand partnerships to make retailers’ lives easier and encourage product listing.

22:09 – Localized Advertising

  • Nuances of targeted marketing in specific geographic markets, such as soft rollouts in downtown areas.
  • Digital tools for precise demographic targeting and geographical ad placement.
  • Localized advertising can drive brand awareness and customer traffic to specific retail locations.

24:23 – Public Relations for Marketing to Retailers and Consumers

  • The value of public relations in crafting compelling brand narratives and securing media coverage.
  • Examples of newsworthy stories that resonate with journalists and consumers.
  • Authentic storytelling can elevate brands and attract media attention, even on a limited budget.

27:14 One Juicy Key to Success for Food Packaging and Marketing

  • Focus on the “Trade Side of Marketing”
  • Often-overlooked trade side of food product marketing, focusing on retailer relationships and product listings.
  • The marketer’s role in bridging the gap between consumer-facing marketing and trade-focused strategies.
  • Package brand stories to appeal to retailers and drive product velocity on store shelves.

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Season 1: Mortgage Industry Marketing Series
Season 2: Marketing Mavericks Series
Season 3: Industrial Product Marketing Series

jean-marc demers and John bertino talking about marketing to food retailers on the niche marketing podcast


• The secret sauce behind launching a Challenger brand? It’s all about seducing retailers first.
• Discover how small businesses transform market challenges into opportunities with strategic repositioning.
• Storytelling isn’t just about the food product, but the people behind it.
• Curiosity isn’t just for cats—it’s the key ingredient for marketers to master both consumer and trade sides of the business.
• From waste to wonder: Learn how Loop in Canada turns discarded fruits and veggies into delicious, sustainable products.

About Host John Bertino and TAG:

A decade spent working for marketing agencies was more than enough to know that there are too many bad agencies and not enough objective marketers within them. John launched TAG in 2014 with the mission to provide brands unbiased guidance from seasoned marketing professionals at little or no cost.

TAG advises brands on marketing channel selection, resource allocation, and agency selection to ensure brands invest in the right marketing strategies, with the right expectations, and (ultimately) with the right partners.

TAG represents 200+ well-vetted agencies and consultants across the United States and Europe.

John’s professional background and areas of expertise include: Marketing Planning, Earned Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Link Acquisition, Digital PR, Thought Leadership, and B2B Lead Generation.

TAG Testimonials

About Jean-Marc Demers

Jean-Marc Demers, the CEO and founder of Braque Agency, leads a team of experts focused on supporting Canadian food production and processing across the country. He serves as an advisor and strategist throughout the process in helping clients achieve their goals from brand inception to effective promotion across various consumer channels in Canada.

With his unique entrepreneurial insight and deep understanding of the agri-food sector, Braque is sought after for its ability to drive growth for clients.

About Braque Agency

“Braque is a full-service advertising agency headquartered in Montréal since 1992. Our national clients like us for our skills in branding, strategy, creative and digital marketing. Our culture is grounded by values of respect, attentiveness, open-mindedness and wit as well as personal and professional development. No divas here.”

Connect Socially with Us:

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Connect Socially with Our Guest Expert:

Jean-Marc Demers


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Transcripts of Marketing to Retailers in the Food Industry [Food and Beverage Marketing – Part 1]

Note: This transcript (of the video version of this episode) has been provided to assist you in finding extra information specific to your needs and goals. We have used AI to help us condense parts of the dialogue to make it most succinct but have not edited it line by line for grammar, spelling, punctuation, or spacing. Please forgive errors. Feedback welcomed at

0:00:00 Introduction to Niche Food and Beverage Marketing
0:02:15 Interview with Jean-Marc Demers from Braque Agency
0:05:40 Working with Small and Emerging Businesses
0:06:48 Strategies to Break Through the Competition
0:09:29 Importance of Packaging in Marketing
0:10:05 Branding Process for New Brands
0:12:22 Enhancing Packaging for Point of Purchase
0:12:55 Selling to Retailers for Market Penetration
0:14:30 Continuing Brand Experience After Purchase
0:17:04 Engaging Consumers Out of Store
0:19:09 Breaking Through Retailers and Distributors
0:21:48 Generating Awareness through Localized Advertising
0:23:49 Incorporating PR into Early Stage Marketing
0:26:09 Success Stories and Case Studies
0:27:11 Key to Success for Small Challenger Brands

key talking points
food, beverage, marketing strategies, startups, packaging, storytelling, branding, shelf positioning, consumer engagement, challenger brands

[0:00] Introduction to Niche Food and Beverage Marketing
Look, I’m not going to lie. I am just so excited to kick off our next niche marketing season, 100%
focused on food and beverage product marketing.
If you missed our first two seasons on how to market a mortgage company or how to market an
industrial product, click on the links we posted on the video and you’ll be all set.
But for now, it’s all about food and beverage marketing.
And to start things off, I flew to Canada to interview a lifer in the space.
Monsieur Jean-Marc Demers is the owner, founder, and CEO of Braque Agency in Montreal, Canada.
Jean-Marc launched Braque 31 years ago.
He’s a true, legit legend in the food and beverage marketing space, and he’s especially savvy with how to
help small or fledgling startups.
Is that you? We’re going to talk about how startup food and beverage brands are managing to stand out
in a super crowded market. it.
We’re going to talk packaging, of course, which comes up over and over again in this series. No surprise
Jean-Marc has some interesting insights on how packaging intersects with point of purchase and how to
convince retailers to put a new challenger brand on the shelf.
And speaking of retailers, which of course are another critical key to success, we’ll discuss selling the
retailers on your brand by making a buyer’s life a little easier.
Couple other things, how to keep that brand experience going after a consumer leaves the the store.

[1:21] Storytelling, of course, because that’s critical in all things branding.
Localized test marketing, how to seduce retailers with geo-fenced advertising.
And just as a bonus, Jean-Marc’s going to tell you where to get the best poutine in all of Montreal.
If you haven’t been to Montreal, you got to go. It’s absolutely beautiful in the spring.
But before you go jumping on any plane, first hit that like button, smash the subscribe button, and make
sure you check out this and all the other episodes on how to market a food and beverage product on this
amazing series brought to you by the Niche Marketing Podcast.
Get ready. Here we go. Shout out Ponce’s, San Diego, best Mexican food in all of SD.

Interview with Jean-Marc Demers from Braque Agency

Today, I am so delighted to be here with Jean-Marc Demers from Braque Agency in Montreal.
Jean-Marc, thank you for coming. Thank you for having me. Terrific.
So we originally found you in our search for some of the best food marketing or food-focused digital marketing and brand agencies in the world.
And you pretty quickly rose to the top, certainly in the Canadian market.
And so we’re intrigued to get your perspective and insights on how to do food product marketing effectively, and all that comes with it.
But before we get into it, we always like to get a little bit of background on both yourself and your
So if you could, let’s start with yourself.
Tell us a little bit about you, Jean-Marc. I’d be happy to. I started 31 years ago. I started the agency in 1992.
So I was pretty an early adopter, I’d say, yeah, or pioneering, but other things in life came a little bit later on.
So I actually dropped out of a university when I started the agency, I needed to focus on work. So I finished my bachelor’s degree 15 years later.

That’s actually great to put into perspective the learnings you have in school and you can apply it in your work environment.
And I I found it very, very interesting. I thought it was more engaging and more thrilling to study the things you’re actually doing.
So that’s one good thing. And then I started to build a family much later in life. I have two young kids, one eight-year-old and one four-year-old. Wow.
Fantastic. So I flipped the process around a little bit, which also means I’ll be retiring very late. But that’s another topic altogether.

Okay, very good. Good. And then Braque, the agency, you mentioned 31 years ago you started it.
Tell us a little bit more about what the agency specializes in, the team, things like this. We’re a small 15-people shop based in Old Montreal. It’s a gorgeous place.
I don’t know when you’re watching this interview, but right now it’s like springtime. Springtime in Old Montreal is absolutely phenomenal.
It’s gorgeous. It’s a great place to work. It’s vibrant. The old stones give you a great cultural feel. Plus the multicultural aspects of the people roaming around.
I love the area. So it’s a great place to work.
Our team loves it and our clients do. They kind of dig coming to our place and have meetings at the office, which is not something you see a lot these days.
Yes. Yeah, teams meeting take a lot of place. So having a great place to work is fun. We started as a generalist, small agency, but gradually became much more dedicated to one area of expertise. I must admit that we have followed the doctrine of famous thinkers in the industry like Tim Williams that you probably know about or Blair Anz or Doug Austin.

So gradually it came, it dawned upon us that, yeah, we were more efficient in focusing on one specific industry and learning all the ropes and interacting with more people in that industry, which brought us along the way to food marketing.
Consumer packaged goods, beverage, food, food processing, food production as well. I think that’s about it. We started, I mean, we have a small agency.
We like to work with small and medium-sized companies because we get to sit down with the owners.

Working with Small and Emerging Businesses

With the entrepreneurs, with people that are doing day-to-day work that know everything that there is to know about the products, about the industry, passionate people that need tons of help, that have high hopes and great objectives and limited means to achieve them.
This is where we have, I think, good value for them. We bring a lot of great supporting cast. We have good experience in marketing, so we can help them achieve those objectives. Fantastic. And before Before we dive into some of the marketing, you’re probably the perfect person to ask, who’s got the best poutine in Montreal?
Oh, that’s a great question. I mean, not too far from here. I’m allowed to do advertising here? Yeah,
I think Claudette is pretty good on Laurier, very close to Saint-Denis.
So Claudette, and I think it’s like open day and night.
And La Banquise on Rachel, of course, you can’t miss. So send me some yay or nay on the comment box.
I’d like to have your insight. Perfect. Thanks. I couldn’t help but ask.
Okay, very good. So you’d mentioned that you do a lot of work with small to emerging size businesses.

Strategies to Break Through the Competition

And so, you know, for your typical producer, manufacturer of a good, they don’t have a huge bankroll or budget behind them.
They’re looking to get into what’s typically a competitive space, right? There’s probably very few areas of food product marketing that are relatively untouched.
And so, you know, what are one of the things or several things you often recommend to companies like this to break through the noise, to stand out, to carve out their own space?

Well, like with most clients in most industries, it starts with the product itself.

And our clients usually devote a lot of time developing great products that stand out by themselves, whether it’s the taste, the ingredients, the inspiration, meeting a different need, like adaptogenics, for example.
Mushrooms, right? Exactly. One of the key sources of adaptogenics.
That’s one way. There’s turmeric as well. Ginger can be adaptogenic.
So there are always to bring healthy component to a food that’s already very enjoyable, like chocolate or tea, for example.
They are very creative. They do a lot of research.
Now, it’s our job to identify which audience might be more attracted to that product, that proposition, and try to find how to deliver that promise to the audience.
Whether it’s the packaging of the product that’s the first item that comes to mind of course the brand identity the the name it as it has or the visuals it proposes so that that packaging how we translate the product to the consumer and then how we position it on the shelves how does it stand out in the actual point of purchase compared to its competition because it’s very easy to be completely inundated by products.
There’s a lot of colors, a lot of textures, a lot of names and brands that come out. I don’t know if you’ve.

Shop, a microbrewery, a shelf. I spend my time at microbreweries, for sure.

I got my usuals, but then if I start to look around, I’m completely lost. There’s so many colors, brands, all super appealing.
But you have to devote a great deal of research to know your audience. What are they clicking on? What’s attractive?

How does it pertain to your promise? And how do you package that to stand out from your competition? Yeah, it’s a fantastic example of the beer.
I think wine would probably be the same, right?
And I think we’ve all had this experience, anyone that’s shopped for wine before where, you know, certain bottles will jump off the shelf.

Importance of Packaging in Marketing

And when you’re trying wanting to try something new, you don’t know the difference.

And so you really just end up buying by the label, right? But in order to cut through the clutter as the brand, as the marketer, you need a label that, well, it does just that, it cuts through the clutter, but how? And I think you’ve already answered that to some extent. It comes back to understanding your customer, their psychographic mindset, what appeals to them, and then flushing out those elements in the brand that ultimately make that, again, jump off the shelf.
And so there’s a lot there you said in just those couple minutes.

Branding Process for New Brands

Can you tell me a little bit more about the typical branding process you run a new or aspiring brand through when they onboard with your agency and what that process looks like? Yeah, I guess we alluded to it just a few minutes ago. It starts by getting to know better what space we’re in.
Who are we talking to? What are the characteristics of that product that’s making up its DNA? If going back to the wine example you don’t brand me like you’d brand a Cabernet or like a strong bodied Oregon Pinot right it’s.

Quite different, more sophisticated. It depends on who are we selling this and what need are we filling?
Are we meeting? So once you’ve defined the characteristics of your product, who are we talking to? Then you’re able to research, okay, where are my competitors?
What space can we occupy that is not currently occupied by other brands so that we have some room to move and gain some market share?
Because trying to nudge a competitor out of the way is spending a lot of of money where you might not win.
So it’s best to start where there’s no one around. That’s your own territory.

Yeah, that makes me think of Marty Neumeier. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him, but he’s a fantastic branding expert who wrote a book called Zag, which basically- When people zig. Yeah, yes. You zag.

When they zig, you zag. That’s right. And it comes back to that ownable space for sure.

And then once you’ve flushed all that out, that again leads to the packaging.
I know from my initial research around this space, gearing up for this series we’ll be doing, that packaging just comes up over and over and over again.
Are there any other aspects to packaging beyond just making sure the brand is tight and getting that brand into the packaging?
What are some of the other considerations that come up? The placement of that packaging in the point of purchase is absolutely critical because you’re going to be sitting next to other products that are competing against you.
So the way that you package it, let’s say a stand-up pouch, will allow you to get a little bit more real estate standing up facing the consumer and delivering more impact than, let’s say, a bottle or a can, which is more curved and will provide less information.

Enhancing Packaging for Point of Purchase

Allow me to interject if I could, because I think this is really good stuff.

We talk about the nuances of marketing within a specific niche.
You’re saying that for a challenger brand who’s looking to carve out some market share, you’re actually thinking ahead to how it’s going to be positioned on the shelf. Definitely.
What device to put it in in the first place? Go ahead, if you could. Yeah, correct.

Food marketing comes down to two main areas. Most of my clients start off by focusing on the sales. And what I mean by sales is not selling to consumers.

Selling to Retailers for Market Penetration

It’s actually selling to retailers and distributors. Their main job, and most of my client sales team, is focused on convincing retailers to put their products on the shelves.
So that’s called penetration. You want your brand to occupy as much space possible in as many shelves possible with as many retailers possible in one given market.
And if you have, let’s say, 25% of that product listing in one area, then you got 25% ACV, all commodity volume that we call.
So you got your share of the presence. So that’s the first step.

Having a product that is sexy enough that retailers think that it will meet a need with their consumers, that they will find space for that product on their shelves so the buyers will give you a chance.
Now, the second step is actually convincing consumers to purchase that product. This is where you still need to have great packaging, but you need to deploy point of purchase material, activate that brand within the retail space.
I have maybe people taste it, interact with recipes, bring back a coupon, bring back a sample, and then trying to loop the consumer back in with off-market, off-retail space brand experience. I figure you’re going to touch on that. It’s very important to keep that experience going after you leave the store so that the consumer gets connected to the brand, gets involved and engaged with that brand.

Continuing Brand Experience After Purchase

Since you went there, let’s follow that thread. So how do you do that?
Is it as simple as taking out digital ads or what more comes to it?
It depends on what objectives you have.
If you already have a large, let’s say, following, lots of people very enthusiastic about your brand, we see that with some of our clients in, let’s say, vegan yogurts. I’m not allowed to say yogurts, but vegan. Is that a Canadian thing?
Probably. Oh, okay. It’s not a yogurt. We say yogurt left and right in the States, so you’re in a safe space. Yeah, I think it’s a vegan, non-dairy dessert style product.
Gotcha. Okay. Sorry for misleading anyone here.

But they have a very engaged community because the vegan people, they don’t have as many products available to them.
They get very enthusiastic when there’s a great new product out there and they can taste it and they find it awesome, then they will say it is awesome.
Some. And then you get a great base.
So your objective is to make sure that you’re engaging with that base and answering all their needs and making sure that they have content to publish and that you reply to their own posts. And when they talk about you, you need to be there and say, thank you for the support. I see. So ultimately that way to stay engaged, or what’s the terminology you used after they’re in the store, the out of store experience?
Is that what you said?

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We could say that. Yeah. So sorry, I’m not sure about the way to say it in English. Okay. But that was the term you used, right? Yeah. Okay. I like that.

Engaging Consumers Out of Store

So the key to engaging out of store would be the content, content marketing, right?
And social media, content, newsletters are great as well.
So that you have a story to tell on your product. You started your business a few years ago with an inspiration, with a desire to deliver a great product to an audience.
There is a story to tell. Find your inner mission, your inner story.
Tell it to the consumers. It’s not always about my product, my product.
It’s also about you, about your company. The inspiration could be your grandfather. Dig deep in the authenticity.
Consumers love it and they want to know more about the story behind the product. And when they scratch, they discover tidbits and nuggets of story that makes your brand even more human, even more real, which is nowadays…

A very important trend with consumers, especially the younger one.

They want to feel that genuine, authentic relationship. Yeah.
Now, if you don’t have that connection, if you’re a brand that’s out there, you don’t already have an engaged base, then you need to get new followers, new people to discover about you. Now, it’s another kind of campaign you would need to run.
You need to know, using research, again, you need to know who might be interested in becoming passionate about your product. What’s the profile of people?
Potential brand advocates. Correct.
So you use that research to fuel media ideas, content ideas, stunts, could be PR, could be traditional marketing, could be digital as well.
So that we know, let’s say baby boomers might be easier to reach with magazine or with radio advertising, even TV.
Whereas the new generations might follow more on TikTok, for example.
You could use advertising, paid advertising to reach those generations.
Okay. Okay. So the marketing mix, so to speak, is going to vary dramatically based on the target audience. Definitely. Of course, makes sense.

So many things that you’re going through, just all roads point ultimately back to brand,

storytelling being a big part of that.

Breaking Through Retailers and Distributors

I want to go back to something we were discussing just briefly in the conversation about selling first to retailers in addition to consumers. consumers.

So what I pulled out of what you said was that when it comes to breaking through the retailers, and this is, correct me if I’m wrong, the big question for a new challenger brand, how do I get into retail, right?
So again, I heard you basically say have a really strong brand of visual identity and a message that they will think is likely to connect.
You mentioned the packaging and having some thought about how I guess it can jump off the shelves. Is there, what else might retail want to see or how else can you strengthen the case other than relationships, which I’m sure are huge, and perhaps you’re a good resource for those, that’s Braque agency in Montreal, Jean-Marc Demers.
Other than that, how else might one get into retail?
Usually food processors will try to identify how to make buyer’s life easier.
Now, Now, buyers are not necessarily just in charge of, let’s say, a piece in a can.
They might be in charge of the whole alley with other types of products. Yes.
Like in the frozen foods, for example. So if you come in with a proposal that makes his or her life easier, maybe connecting with other products in that aisle.
Could you expand on that a little bit?
It could be, let’s say, I can come up with a promotion, for example.
I could come up with products that…

Also very well in other areas of that ale is the proper word so that you make his or her life easier

when you connect with other brands that are already in that space because they’re already already there and they’re already in a relationship you kind of nudge your way in that relationship there are many creative ways you can achieve that promotion point of purchase displays could be The danglers could, I mean, you got it.
Is that something that hangs off the aisles in the dangler? Yeah, and if your products are in, let’s say, in a freezer, for example, you could have decals that you put on the windows.
You could make these decals very powerful.
So they want to see or they like to see that you’re arming them and their store with the tools to help it move off the shelf.
And bring people to that part of the store. store, not just for your product, but for all the products in that area of the store. That’s important.

Okay. I can see how that would work. So maybe there’s a focus on adaptogenics.

You mentioned it earlier.
We want to increase our sales of health food and health related products. We’ve been looking for something like your mushroom coffee, right?

Generating Awareness through Localized Advertising

But if you’re doing a lot of brand awareness campaigns in that area, that’s going to help drive more traffic just to to that area of the store in general, which brings up perhaps an important subtopic, localized advertising.

I know this can get a bit nuanced and you’re probably not the one managing the media for the agency personally, right?
But could you tell us a little bit about generating awareness in a specific market? Let’s say we want to do a soft rollout in downtown Montreal before before we expand to the rest of the area, what might that look like?
Testing a geographic market is nothing new.
It’s been done a long time in the past.
It allows you to try out new strategies and ways of communicating with this specific market to see if it works and then replicate at a larger scale.
I mean, in Quebec, we used to do campaigns in Lac-Saint-Jean, for example, or Saguenay, which was sort of prototypical. and if it worked over there, then you could replicate the campaign all across Quebec.
That’s one great way to do it. It’s easier to do it as a test market more so than ever. Digital media being so easy to focus on specific demographic profiles, types of people, behaviors, types of, or you can do lookalike, you can remarket people visiting your website, you could do geographical targeting.
Oh, you could geofence people around a specific store.
If you want to seduce, let’s say one particular retailer, it could be a Costco, it could be a Walmart or a Esposito, whatever you’re targeting, you just pinpoint that area and do a radius around it and target everybody within that area.

That radius. You could offer specific promotions.
It used to be done in the past with posters. You could put posters in the area.

It’s more difficult to do it, let’s say, in the suburbs, but it works well in more dense markets such as here. Yes.

Incorporating PR into Early Stage Marketing

That discussion makes me curious just to ask you about PR.

Again, think about a small challenger brand, not a huge budget.
How often do you look to bring PR into the early stage marketing mix?
If not at all, let me know that. Or are you much more likely to weight the majority of their short-term go-to-market spend towards digital ads versus anything else?
That’s a great question. We are not PR specialists, but we highly value public relations and press press relations, whenever there’s a great story to tell.
When it’s a product that actually- You got to have the story.
Yeah, it needs to be newsworthy. But when it is, there is so much, it has legs. We’ve had, for example, Loop in Canada, having products made out of waste food products. Let’s say vegetables and fruits. Packaging, I would imagine.

Sorry? No, no, the actual juices, the actual beers, gins were made out of waste fruit and vegetables. Whoa. Oh, that’s the loop.
I’d never heard of that. Okay. That is actually amazing.
So they would collect all the perished or somewhat ugly kind of products that came out of some markets and produce something out of that and creating value out of something that had none. So this is, as you can tell, something that is highly newsworthy.
And it does help that the guy behind that is highly visual. David is a well-respected person, outspoken, and has a great story to tell. He has a story to tell and he tells it well.
So he’s a great PR icon. But sometimes you can do great PR with people that are not so outspoken. Sure. Because the story is great. There is something behind that.
And I mean, Joe knows the trade industry and the consumers want to know about it. Yeah, PR is tricky like that. Sometimes an exciting founder can compensate for a slight lack in story, but nothing beats a good story.
Yeah, everybody wants free exposure, but you do need to have a story behind it. Yeah, so does an NFT count as a good story for a…

Just kidding. Okay, very good. So one thing I wanted to go through before we wrap the episode is, could you walk us through maybe one great success story or kind of use case for your agency that you’re at liberty to share?

Success Stories and Case Studies

Just maybe a product that you’re really proud of the launch or from which you had great success?

Without naming any names, because we’ve worked with so many clients in Canada, whether it’s companies like Johnsonville in the US, we’ve adapted all their products for the Canadian market. We’ve helped them grow their market share in Canada. We’re very proud to have worked with them. But the things that will stand out most is probably working with the smaller shops that have great ideas, great products, but have names or packaging that seem not so well fit with the market and that we reposition.
So we’re very happy to help them overcome those challenges at start.
They’re very passionate and they know how to create a great product.
And we bring them just a step further away to that market and to success.
So this is close to my heart, those success stories that.

Come with the smaller businesses, the smaller products. Gray, I’ll be keeping you in mind when we come across them at TAG.

Key to Success for Small Challenger Brands

And so one last question we ask all of our guests to try to please give us one juicy tip, one juicy secret, or one key to success.
Again, let’s think of small challenger brand. What would you say?
I think I’ve mentioned it. There are two sides to food product marketing and sales. And as marketers, we’ve been learning in school and we’ve been mastering the ropes of marketing, branding, packaging. When we meet with consumer packaged goods companies or food processors.

That’s not the priority to them.

The priority would be to seduce retailers.
That side of the business is unknown to most marketers that come into that business. Working the trade working relationship with retailers going to trade show trying to develop new products what’s that what are the ingredients what what makes you develop that product what’s the the story behind it this is the part of the business that we we’re not familiar with as marketers and that i’ve had the privilege of discovering as i i worked in that that expert field so i think you need to be curious about not just the consumer side of marketing of food marketing, but also the trade side. Think about the retailers. How do you get them to buy in?
So you package your story so that the retailer would be interested in listing your products. And then our job as marketers goes a step beyond and make sure that the products go out of the shelves. That’s velocity.
Okay. Fantastic advice. So the retail is the key. Yes. First step.

Jean-Marc, thanks so much for your insights. We appreciate it and hope to have you back when we we cover the restaurant marketing niche.
I think that’s in the not too distant future.

Yeah. Thanks for being here. I’ll be a pleasure. Great.

[29:03] Music.