This article is Part 1 of a two-part series. It addresses the strategy behind creating a unique smoothie in a crowded space. Part 2 reviews beverage trends as a background for creating unique smoothie recipes.
You don’t have to be a multi-store smoothie chain to find success selling smoothies. But you do have to do your homework.
National smoothie chains already offer a wide variety of made-to-order smoothies that run the gamut from classic flavor combinations to veggie-based varieties and decadent treats. What is your business able to offer that they don’t already? The answer lies in your unique M.O. or brand.
What Is Your M.O. or Brand?
Your business is successful because you already offer something that your customers cannot get somewhere else. The trick is to define that thing. Then, tailor your smoothie offering to align with it.
Your advertising or PR agency can help you define your brand, but here are a few notes to get you started. A brand or M.O. can be defined as the sum of all experiences that your audiences have with your business and its products and services. It can be expressed in a sentence or two. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should meet three basic criteria, which is sometimes called TRU:
- True: Is it objectively true? Is it believable? Can we prove it?
- Relevant: Is it important to your audiences? Does it motivate them to act in some way?
- Unique: Does it differentiate you from the competition? Is it memorable and attention-getting?
How to Test Your Brand
Once you define your brand, you need to test it to see if your audience would define your business in the same way. This step usually requires some interviews or surveys with your customers. While that may seem like a lot of trouble, it’s a necessary step. When defining your brand, it’s easy to make assumptions about your audience and their perceptions of your business that aren’t true or credible.
You’re looking for the nexus between what you would like to believe about your business and what your audience actually believes. In other words, your brand is not just what you define it to be. Instead, it’s how your audience would define it, too.
Match Your Brand to Certain Smoothie Types
Once you have defined your M.O. or brand, it should be clearer what type of smoothies you can credibly offer your customers, and what type they will find unique and valuable. At this point in the process, you are forming a hypothesis that you will later test with your customers.
To give you a brief example, suppose a small chain of gyms defines its brand as the place for hardcore bodybuilding, where the extreme workout is possible, and a little attitude is welcome.
You can imagine how a bodybuilding gym for extreme workouts might credibly offer post-workout smoothies with your choice of protein powders (perhaps bodybuilding brand names) or related generic additives (e.g., creatine) and daring, rich flavors heavy on calories (chocolate, peanut butter).
Consult the Trends
In choosing smoothie types to offer, also consult the trends concerning what consumers want from beverage providers today. Trends form an important context when developing your own smoothie offering. For more on trends, see Part 2 of this article.
Test Your Smoothies
Once you have identified the types of smoothies you’d like to offer, you will want to test them by providing samples to your audience. Be sure to record responses and then alter your recipes based on those responses. A few rounds of this process may be necessary.
Conclusion – Proceed Deliberately and Enjoy Success
A deliberate approach to discovering your smoothie menu is well worth the extra effort. You don’t want to just guess what your audience wants. It’s too easy to miss your target. Take your time to work through the steps necessary to define your brand; align your brand to a certain type of smoothie; and then test your smoothies with your customers.
Your reward for proceeding deliberately through these steps will be a smoothie offering that aligns with your customers’ desires – in other words, happy customers and an additional revenue stream for you.