BUILDING A COMMUNITY
The “community first” approach to food and beverage is highly touted by many brand-building experts. However, in a year where physical congregation is severely limited, we have to ask— is community still at the center of the maker-verse?
Back in 2019, community first would have meant bringing your product to a local farmers market, or setting up an in-store tasting at a local grocery store. For Travis Piéd of Lume Granola, he launched his brand by visiting local cafes and handing out samples with the aim of becoming a known name in the San Diego area. Countless makers have done something similar, using neighborhood markets and hangouts to drum up attention.
But in 2021, the reality is consumers are still largely avoiding grocery stores and more and more frequently relying on delivery or curbside pickup. On top of that, the average household already has hundreds of products inside it and you simply can’t expect every buyer to become a product-oriented community member.
You know where this is going. For a maker seeking to build a following, your opportunity is in digital, and there are three clear ways to build community around your product.
But first, it is important to clearly understand what kind of community you want to build. There is nuance here, so figure out where your line is.
For us, community, is quite simply a group of people who form a fellowship around interests, niches, and ethos and help each other understand and solve problems, achieve goals, and learn.