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Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast Profile

Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast

English, Finance, 2 seasons, 104 episodes, 2 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes
About
Looking for ways grow your natural food or beverage business? Find actionable tips and insights from industry experts regarding why building a strong brand strategy matters not only to connect with your ideal audience but also when building relationships with external stakeholders like buyers, suppliers and investors. Continue the conversation by joining the Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table group on Facebook! Brought to you by Real Food Brands (www.RealFoodBrands.com) and hosted by Katie Mleziva.
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115. Your Big Shift: From Selling a Great Product to Building a Strong Brand

Are you selling a product or building a brand? Everyone has to start somewhere, but in this episode, Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares what it means to go from making a great product to building a strong brand that stands out. Here's what's in this episode - you can find all the links on the episode web page. The event that sparked Katie’s interest in brand management. Why a great product is necessary, but not enough. Why the time for brand strategy is always now. How Katie's Brand Strategy process brings clarity and confidence. How a strong brand can help you build brand recognition and word-of-mouth marketing. How having a strong brand can help you with new product launches. Stay tuned for news coming soon on new ways to work with Katie to create the foundation for a strong brand that will help you reach your vision! In the meantime, you can get all the links and read the full show notes here. 
6/8/202417 minutes, 14 seconds
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111. What to Do When Something Is Out of Alignment With Your Vision...and the Shift I'm Making

Have you ever noticed something in your business isn’t working as you planned, or as it once did? Sometimes things that made sense just aren't a good fit anymore. We spend so much time and energy trying to keep pushing forward that it can be hard to step back and admit when things aren’t working the way we want them to—and decide what to do about it. Today on Episode 111 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks through what to do when something in your business is out of alignment, and what she’s doing about that in her own business to make an adjustment. In This Episode: Why it can be hard to identify when something is out of alignment with your vision. What questions to ask yourself about alignment. Why having your brand strategy documented can help you stay aligned. How to break down your ‘Knowns and Unknowns’ to make big decisions more manageable. Why it’s so important to create space to find joy in the journey. What Katie is doing to realign her time for the summer. Resources: The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
5/25/202221 minutes, 26 seconds
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110. 6 Copywriting Tips to Help Food Brands Stand Out with Celsea Jenkins of Grassfed Copy

Have you ever thought about the difference between content and copy? And how each works differently to connect with your reader depending on if you’re talking about a website, social media, ads, packaging, etc? Today on Episode 110 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Celsea Jenkins, the owner of Grassfed Copy about the art and science to writing great copy that converts people from readers to taking an action. Celsea shares Katie’s passion for health and wellness – and clear messaging – and the episode highlights their shared enthusiasm! Listen to hear Celsea’s six copywriting tips to help your food brand stand out. In This Episode: The difference between copywriting and content writing. How you can step into the shoes of your ideal audience to know what to write about. Why good copywriting that sparks action starts with good brand strategy. How copy and design can work together to communicate better than each alone. Why telling your brand story is about inviting the customer into a story. Where to look for “sticky copy” and why it’s so valuable. A key thing that web pages and emails that don’t convert are usually missing. How to strike a balance with SEO keywords and a conversational tone. How you can get notified when Katie and Celsea go LIVE in the Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table on Facebook. Resources: Grassfed Copy website Guju Kitchen copy example Ep #104: What Is a Brand Positioning Statement? The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup (and get notified about the LIVE Q&A session!) Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
5/11/202231 minutes, 50 seconds
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109. Thinking BIG and Making It Happen with Monique & Chevalo Wilsondebriano

Sometimes you need to let yourself dream and think big. Instead of letting other people tell you how things work and why you can’t do something, it can pay off to look at things from a new perspective. It helps, of course, to have a great story, which is something that brand strategy work can really help with. Today on Episode 109 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Monique and Chevalo Wilsondebriano, owners of Recipe for Retail and the Charleston Gourmet Burger Company. We’ll learn how thinking BIG took them from a backyard BBQ...to a food business idea...to a product...to a brand that’s on the shelves of Whole Foods, World Market, Costco, Wal-Mart, and more...to winning QVC’s Choice Food Award. In This Episode: How Monique and Chevalo started their business at a backyard barbeque. How they used the Charleston Farmer’s Market as a testing ground for their product. Why their personal story worked so well to get them on retail shelves quickly. Why working on their brand early and getting it right was so important to their success. What people are really buying when they’re buying your product. How they help other entrepreneurs with their Recipe for Retail course. Resources: Charleston Gourmet Burger Company Recipe for Retail The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
4/27/202237 minutes, 58 seconds
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108. 6 Brand Strategy Tips for Small But Mighty Food Businesses (Part 2)

As you’re working to build your food business or farm, brand strategy and brand development may seem like something that can wait for later. The thing is, brand strategy work goes far beyond your logo or fonts or colors. When you’ve done the work to create your brand’s North Star, it serves as the guide and the glue for everything you do on the front AND back end of your business. It helps you make decisions that will deliver a consistent, cohesive, and relevant experience to your consumers. More importantly, it can help them know how to talk about your brand to others and drive better word-of-mouth marketing. Today on Episode 108 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva builds on the last episode and offers three additional tips based on a presentation she recently shared with the cohort of the Food Finance Institute’s food business accelerator program. This is a two-part series because Katie wants you to be able to really consider the tips she’s sharing and think about how they apply to your natural food business or farm. In This Episode: Why brand strategy should come before your next big project, not after. Why it’s so important to be genuine when you’re talking about values. Examples of brands that have strong alignment with their values. Ways to think about personalizing your consumer’s experience. How to stand out when consumers are bombarded with messaging. Why it’s OK to be repetitive as long as you are relevant and consistent. Resources: Ep #68: Turn Your Marketing Plan into a Consumer Connection Plan The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
4/13/202223 minutes, 58 seconds
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107. 6 Brand Strategy Tips for Small But Mighty Food Businesses (Part 1)

Brand strategy work is something that is second nature for big brands, but not as common for small brands. There’s so much to do when you’re wearing all the hats that it can seem like something you’ll get to “next.” While big brands have access to brand managers and agencies, we can help even the score by providing streamlined versions of the concepts they use to focus on the key parts of the process to help you build a brand that stands out no matter who you’re lined up next to. Today on Episode 107 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares a presentation she recently shared with the cohort of a food business accelerator program. This is a two-part series because Katie wants you to be able to really consider the tips she’s sharing and think about how they apply to your food business or farm. In This Episode: Why Katie wants to share these Brand Strategy tips with food business owners and farmers. The first 3 tips Katie has related to brand positioning, brand story, and humanizing your brand. Multiple examples that support each of Katie’s brand strategy tips. Why Katie shares stories of small brands, not just big brands How you can tell that the seeds that you plant with brand strategy are coming to life. What to expect in part 2 of the episode Why to get started on your brand strategy BEFORE your next website project, packaging redesign, or sales pitch. Resources: Ep #104: What Is a Brand Positioning Statement? Ep #106: How Riemer Family Farm is Growing a Regenerative Brand Ep #91: The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Ep #83: Understanding the Difference Between Features & Benefits The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
3/30/202223 minutes, 28 seconds
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106. How Riemer Family Farm is Growing a Regenerative Brand

A common approach for food and farm businesses is to think about offering a great product rather than building a strong brand. The thinking is that if a product is good enough, taste will ultimately win and of course, people will buy. While this is understandable as you perfect your craft, great taste and quality are expected these days so we don’t want your products to be seen as an interchangeable commodity. There’s so much more to your food brand’s story, so let's uncover it! Today on Episode 106 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks to Jen and Bryce Riemer, and Anastasia Wolf-Flasch, all of Riemer Family Farm, about their journey to define a brand strategy that invites people into a story of caring for and renewing the land through a multi-generation farming business. In This Episode: What led Jen and Bryce Riemer from city life back to their multi-generation family farm. How they honor the farm’s rich history while also building their own legacy. Why the farm’s one full-time employee is focused on marketing and customer service. The most challenging and valuable parts of working through their brand strategy. How having brand pillars and a story defined has impacted their logo, packaging, and website. Before and after insights about how this work has impacted their business. Resources to learn more about the importance of regenerative farming. Resources: Riemer Family Farm The Stockman Grass Farmer Kiss the Ground Sacred Cow The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
3/16/202231 minutes, 8 seconds
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105. New Episode Index to Help Your Food Brand Stand Out

With over 100 episodes of the podcast now available, we thought it would be a good time to go back and highlight some of the great content you may have missed to help you find the right resources at the right time for your food business. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of our best episodes organized around the Brand Strategy Streamlined process: Define/Refine, Align, and Activate (and a few other categories to help you really navigate the topics...100+ episodes is a lot of content!). Today on Episode 105 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva highlights this new resource along with can’t-miss episodes from the podcast archives and a few tips at the end for your own content repurposing efforts. In This Episode: Why it’s easy to miss out on great content even if you’re a big fan of a podcast. Ways to make sure you’re listening to the right content for what you need right now. Why Katie made sure the Real Food Brands podcast player could work at 1.5x speed. Where to find our new curated index of Real Food Brands podcast episodes by topic. The “greatest hits” episodes you don’t want to miss or may want to revisit. A nudge and reminder to repurpose the best content you’ve already created. Resources: The Real Food Brands Podcast Index by Topic Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
3/2/202211 minutes, 31 seconds
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104. What Is a Brand Positioning Statement?

If you want to understand brand positioning, think of Kia, Volvo, and Tesla. Sure, all three are car companies but they’re each very different brands with their own unique, loyal audience, product benefits, and customer experience. All of these factors combined for each brand create a very different offer for each and attract different groups of people as loyal fans of their brand. Today on Episode 104 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes into detail about how to write a brand positioning statement and how to know if yours is strong enough to make your brand stand out. In This Episode: How Kia, Volvo, and Tesla can help you understand brand positioning. Why brand positioning is a key component for everything that you do in your business. The formula for writing a brand positioning statement. Why you need to be clear about your ideal consumer and your category. How to identify your point of difference. What makes for a strong brand positioning statement. Resources: Ep #58: Getting to Know Your Consumers as Real People with Britta Schell Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Blog post: How to Identify Your Ideal Audience The Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
2/16/202227 minutes, 27 seconds
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103. How Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Food Are Shifting with Sarah Marion of Murphy Research

We’ve been through a lot of changes in the past few years, and as a result, consumer behaviors are shifting. But as a food business owner how do you know what changes are temporary and what changes are here to stay? And how can you meet the evolving needs of your consumers? In Episode 103 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Sarah Marion, the Director of Syndicated Research at Murphy Research. Sarah shares how consumers have shifted attitudes and behaviors related to food, fitness, and mindset over the past few years of pandemic-living as well as considerations for food business owners who want to meet these changing needs. In This Episode: What is syndicated market research? The behavior that’s been leading many “new-to-natural" shoppers into healthier eating. How an increase in mindfulness is playing a role in food choices. How each generation has adapted in terms of becoming more health-focused. Why younger buyers value convenience and what they are buying. How people are aligning what they eat with their values. Where you can learn more about The State of Our Health study. Resources: Information on The State of Our Health Study from Murphy Research Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn The Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
2/2/202231 minutes, 19 seconds
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102. Are you inviting people into a brand story or sharing brand history?

Have you thought about the difference between brand story and brand history? While your brand history can certainly be a part of your brand story, the history is about the past and the story is about the future, and what you’re inviting people to be a part of. Today on episode 102 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares her guidance on writing a brand story and sharing brand history for your food business, plus 3 tips to make your brand story more compelling to create a lasting connection with your audience. In This Episode: The difference between a brand history and a brand story. Why most brands start with a brand history. Why you need to communicate WIIFM. How to assess the current state of your brand story. Why you need to find the transformation your brand offers a consumer, whether big or small. A starting framework for telling your brand story. Why it’s so important to start putting things down on paper. How to get more help with your brand positioning and brand story. Resources: Ep #74: From a Good Product to a Great Brand Ep #83: Understanding the Difference Between Features & Benefits The Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
1/19/202218 minutes, 46 seconds
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101. Brand Strategy 101: Positioning Your Food Brand to Stand Out

After episode 100, Katie’s daughter suggested that she “start over,” and it only seemed fitting that episode 101 should be a brand strategy 101—an intro-level class, so to speak. Today on episode 101 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes over the five W’s of how Brand Strategy can help you go from making a great product to building a strong brand that is well-positioned to stand out: WHAT, WHERE, WHO, WHEN & WHY. In This Episode: The winners of the 100th episode giveaway! Why it’s always a good idea to go back to branding basics before starting a big project. What Brand Strategy is all about. Why you need to be the hub at the center of the wheel. Why consistency is not boring. Where you should document your brand strategy. Why it’s never too early or too late to look at your Brand Strategy. Why milestones are a great time to clarify your strategy to align your tactics to the big picture. Resources: Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy The Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
1/5/202227 minutes, 52 seconds
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100. Celebrating 100 Episodes With Gratitude, Gear & Giveaway!

When we launched the podcast in March 2018, we didn’t know exactly what the future would hold but we took a leap. It’s been a steady build over the past few years and we’re so thankful for all our listeners and guests who have made this show an enriching and rewarding experience as we work collectively to help more people get access to real food. Today on episode 100 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva reflects on one hundred episodes, shares her motivation behind working with food business owners 1:1 as well as by building a community, and announces a giveaway to celebrate the milestone. In This Episode: Why milestones are a good moment to reflect on how far you’ve come. The new Real Food Brands t-shirt collection that is here to celebrate and inspire all of your good work in the food industry, and how you can get one. Why you’re a big part of the Real Food Brands Podcast (thank you!). What we’re looking forward to on the Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table. How the song Crowded Table inspires Katie and puts words to what she wants to create in this community. The giveaway we’re doing on Instagram to celebrate 100 episodes. Resources: The Highwomen: Crowded Table The Real Food Brands Marketing Round Table Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
12/22/202116 minutes, 49 seconds
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99. Strategy Does Not Have to Come at the Expense of Action

For a food and beverage business, it can be a big benefit to choose to go slow to go fast. While that may sound counterintuitive, taking a little time to plan can increase efficiency and help you accelerate more rapidly because you’ve got the clarity and confidence to know what to do next. Today on episode 99 of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains why starting with strategy can help your tactics come together. In This Episode: The 3 main benefits of taking time to set your North Star (aka brand strategy) Past Real Food Brands episodes to help you shape your brand strategy. How brand strategy can help provide clarity on unanswered questions related to your consumers, competitors, and your company’s unique brand story. How to align the front and back end of your business to build a cohesive brand. Why having a strategy and a plan brings confidence to food business owners. Resources to help you develop your brand strategy. What we’re planning for our 100th episode (hint: there will be giveaways!) Resources: Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
12/8/202118 minutes, 55 seconds
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98. Insider Tips to Get on Podcasts and Boost Your Food Brand’s Visibility

Podcasts have exploded in popularity, and being a guest on one can be a big boost for both your brand and your credibility. But what kind of show are you looking for? How do you reach out? And how do you make it a success once you get a YES? Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares how to make the right pitch, and what to do once you’re booked for an appearance. In This Episode: Why being a podcast guest can be great for your brand if you approach it right. What Katie has seen from pitches in her 3.5 years of podcasting. How getting clear about your brand strategy and brand story is important before you pitch. How to decide who to pitch to. The types of podcasts to look for. How to craft a great pitch with the podcast’s goals in mind. Why research and authentic connections are so important. How to show what kind of guest you’ll be. How to prep for a podcast appearance. What to do after a show publishes. Resources: Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Ask a Question on VideoAsk Podcast Ep #61: Lessons From an Uphill Climb Podcast Ep #91. The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
11/24/202129 minutes, 28 seconds
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97. Unlock Your Best Ideas: My NEW Self-Paced Brand Strategy Course is Live!

While Katie loves her 1:1 work with clients, she’s become increasingly aware that her impact is limited by the number of hours in the day. At the same time, while the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast can help you piece together the process, there’s space for something in between the two—a self-guided but structured resource to help you create a strong brand strategy for your food business. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva introduces her solution – her new self-paced brand strategy course, Brand Strategy Streamlined™. In This Episode: Why Katie is offering a solution to bridge the gap between following along on podcast episodes and working with her 1:1 How a self-guided course can work better for some food brands and farms The three steps Brand Strategy Streamlined will guide you through Why the course is structured the way it is and how you’ll be able to use what you develop as your North Star Why you have access to the materials for 12 months when it won’t take that long to complete the course The feedback Katie has heard from beta testers who went through the course A fun new way to get in touch with Katie – she wants to hear your feedback! Resources: Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details Answer Podcast Survey Podcast Ep #91. The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
11/10/202119 minutes, 35 seconds
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96. 5 Steps to Accelerate Progress Towards Your Vision

Most of us are in the food and bev business because, in some way, we want to make a positive impact on how people eat. Most of us also have a Vision for the impact we want to make but might not know exactly how to accomplish this big dream. You may have heard the old phrase “a vision without a plan is just a dream.” Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares her simple (but not always easy) 5-step process for accelerating towards making your vision a reality. In This Episode: Why Katie developed the Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Why getting your brand strategy in place is crucial to serve as the North Star to inform every other part of your business Why you should let yourself dream big The importance of putting things down on paper How a visual reminder can help make your vision tangible and motivating Why it’s so important to speak to people about your vision How to be ready when things start to happen Resources: Brand Strategy Streamlined Course Details The Good Food CFO Podcast Episode Big Hairy Audacious Goals Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
10/27/202117 minutes, 43 seconds
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95. DTC Ecommerce Tips for Food Brands with Adam Pollack

Selling direct to consumer can create new sales opportunities for your food brand, but it can still be hard to stand out with the marketplace as crowded as it is. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Adam Pollack, Head of Content at Rodeo CPG, who has some practical tips for how to set up your DTC eCommerce website and what metrics you should be looking at along the way. In This Episode: How Adam’s experience founding two CPG businesses led him to his role at Rodeo CPG. Why DTC is the only place you truly own your relationship with your consumers. Why visuals are so important on your eCommerce website. How social proof gives you the credibility you need to remove friction for buyers. Why an email address is so important to capture on your eCommerce website. What works for eCommerce in terms of design, including some examples. The metrics you should really pay attention to instead of vanity metrics. Why Rodeo CPG launched their new program called Jumpstart for early-stage CPG brands. Resources: Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Jumpstart by Rodeo CPG: The Playbook for Launching CPG Brands The Components of a Strong DTC Site For Your CPG Brand The Rodeo CPG Glossary Connect with Adam on LinkedIn
10/13/202130 minutes, 52 seconds
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Brand Strategy FAQ: Setting Priorities and Building Your Team

After you invest time developing your brand strategy to position your brand to stand out then you’re ready to put your plan into action. You see all the opportunities to make changes but there are so many opportunities that it can be intimidating. So the big question at this phase is typically what “what should I do first and who can help me?!" Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva addresses one of the most frequently asked questions during the Activation phase of her one-on-one work with food business owners: what should I do first and who can help me? Katie walks through prioritizing actions, identifying capabilities needed, and finding the right people for the right roles as you build your team. In This Episode: Next steps after defining or refining your brand strategy. How to organize and prioritize your efforts to implement your new strategy. How to identify where you might need help based on capacity and capabilities. Examples of prioritizing marketing efforts and finding people to fill marketing roles. How your brand strategy helps guide copywriters and designers so you can delegate the details and focus on approvals. The hidden cost of doing things yourself instead of building a team. How Katie’s new on-demand Brand Strategy Streamlined™ course can help you get started defining, or refining, your North Star. Resources: Ep #91: The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
9/29/202122 minutes, 21 seconds
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REPRISE - 4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

This week, we’re revisiting episode 49 from last year that is still super relevant today. We’ve been talking through brand strategy our last few episodes, and this refresher on common brand strategy mistakes and how to fix them is worth a second look. Enjoy! Brand strategy is an essential part of building a business that will grow, but we see a lot of food businesses make the same mistakes when it comes time to actually put it into action. On this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes over the four most common brand strategy mistakes, and what to do if you think you might be making them. In This Episode: The resources Real Food Brands is offering to help you build your brand. How to differentiate your brand in the market. The question you need to ask yourself about how to make your brand stand out. Why consistency is so important in all of your brand’s materials. How to use the “one-room test” to see if your brand is showing up consistently in the marketplace. Why “I” and “we” are dangerous words to overuse in your marketing copy. Why many founders forget to communicate their brand strategy to their team, and what to do about it. Resources: Ep #2: How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy Ep # 18: 3 Ways to Rally Your Team Around Your Brand Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage Ep #91: The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Ep #92: Does Your Food Brand’s Personality Shine Through? Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram 3 Day Building a Brand That Stands Out course details
9/15/202120 minutes, 23 seconds
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Does Your Food Brand’s Personality Shine Through?

If your food brand were a person at a party, what sort of person would they be? The loud, bold life of the party? Or the more relaxed, reserved, and clever person? Just like with people, our brands can take on personalities based on our vision and positioning in order to connect with the right people. It’s important to let your brand’s “true colors” shine through to help set your brand apart. Having a clear idea of what personality you want for your brand and how your brand will show up consistently in the world is a key deliverable of our brand strategy work. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares three questions to help define your brand personality to help you build connections and stand out from the crowd. In This Episode: How her most recent trip to Sedona helped Katie get grounded and centered again. Katie wants to know...where do you go to recharge? Why your brand personality is a key outcome of creating a brand strategy and should support with your purpose and positioning. The importance of leaning into your brand personality to attract the right people. Why brand personality comes so late in Katie’s Brand Strategy Streamlined™ process. Why you should describe your brand as if it were a person at a party. Why it’s also important to define what your brand is not. How to contextualize your brand personality to see if it makes sense. Resources: Ep #91: The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram 3 Day Building a Brand That Stands Out course details
9/1/202119 minutes, 55 seconds
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The 3-Step Brand Strategy Streamlined Process

It can be hard to know where to start when you’re thinking about how to set your food brand apart. You believe in the potential for your product to turn into a strong brand but, as the saying goes, “a vision without a plan is just a dream.” That’s why we spend so much time on brand strategy: to give you the framework you need to put your vision into action. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva walks you through her three-step process to streamline your brand strategy. In This Episode: Why having a process to work through your brand strategy is so important. How Katie has taken proven techniques from big business and translated them into success for emerging natural food brands. A common misunderstanding about what a brand is. Why a strong brand strategy is the key to standing out in a crowded market. How to DEFINE and REFINE your brand strategy inputs and outputs. How to ALIGN around a brand strategy by getting your whole team on the same page. What it looks like to ACTIVATE your brand strategy with specific integrated actions versus a collection of tactics. New on-demand content coming soon! What Katie means when she invites you to “shake up shopping carts.” Resources: Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Ep #90: My 2 Favorite Market Research Questions Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram 3 Day Building a Brand That Stands Out course details
8/18/202127 minutes, 27 seconds
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My 2 Favorite Market Research Questions

One of the best things you can do for your brand is to talk to people. But how do you know if you’re asking the right questions to the right people? Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares a trick she normally reserves for her 1-on-1 clients: the two best questions you can ask when you’re talking to current or potential customers. In This Episode: Why talking to consumers is so valuable for brands. How to create space for consumers to develop an honest response. Why asking open-ended questions is so important. Katie’s 2 favorite informal marketing research questions What kind of follow-up questions to ask when speaking with current or potential fans of your brand. Why asking consumers what they would change about your product or brand is so valuable. How to work with Katie 1-on-1. The dates for her final small group program of 2021 through the Food Finance Institute. Resources: 3 Day Building a Brand That Stands Out course Download Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
8/4/202126 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to Get Past Feeling Stuck in Mid-Air

Every time we take a leap—whether we fly to the level we want—we are strengthening our wings. But we don’t have to just wait and see what happens when we leap because it’s never good to feel like we’re stuck in mid-air for too long. The resources, tools, and people we surround ourselves with make an enormous difference in terms of how likely we are to fly to a new level. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains why now is the time to get started on brand strategy, and how a successful plan can help you go further than you ever thought possible when you test, learn, optimize and refine. In This Episode: Why moving forward in your business can feel like jumping off the high dive. A poem that has always stuck with Katie to push past fear of doing something new. Why brand strategy can guide your decisions you as you test and optimize your assumptions. Why Katie wants to connect with you on Instagram. How you can get in touch with Katie to review your brand checkup assessment. Resources: Podcast Ep #75: The 3 Pillars of a Successful Food Business: A Roundtable Conversation with Industry Experts The Brand Strategy Checkup Book a 60-minute 1-on-1 Brand Strategy session with Katie Connect with Katie on Instagram
7/21/202112 minutes, 9 seconds
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When Is the Right Time for Brand Strategy?

Developing your brand strategy helps you get clear about how you can stand apart in your category and reach the people you need to speak to in order to grow. But when should you do this work? Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva illustrates why the best time to get started on your brand strategy is right now, and how this work has made a difference for her clients no matter where they are in their food business journey whether starting up, optimizing or scaling up. In This Episode: Why now is always a good time to work on your brand strategy. How some businesses are able to grow before they have a documented brand strategy. Why it’s so important to get started on your brand strategy. How brand strategy can guide decisions for a brand from starting up to scaling up. Why food and bev businesses looking to optimize and/or grow should look to their brand strategy. How brand strategy can help you when you’re working to reach your business goals. Resources: Podcast Ep #86: Developing Your Food Brand’s Growth Hypothesis with Elliot Begoun Podcast Ep #87: 3 Things That Brand Strategy Does NOT Cover Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
7/7/202119 minutes, 30 seconds
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3 Things That Brand Strategy Does NOT Cover

A potential client once asked a really good question as he was reviewing his proposal from Katie: what is not included in the scope of the brand strategy work we will be doing together? Not only is this is a great way to be clear with collaboration in an area of your business that you are less knowledgeable about, but it also helps you understand more precisely what something is by defining what it is not. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains 3 things that brand strategy does NOT cover. In This Episode: A question a prospective client asked Katie that she finds helpful for any collaboration. Why knowing what something is not helps you better understand what it is. Why brand strategy is not an in-depth business plan. The other business decisions you need to make outside of your brand strategy. Why brand strategy informs graphic design, copywriting, and marketing strategy. How brand strategy helps in these areas of your business. Why brand strategy is not a feasibility study. Why every brand needs to learn and change over time. How to work with Katie on your brand strategy. Resources: Podcast Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Podcast Ep #86: Developing Your Food Brand’s Growth Hypothesis with Elliot Begoun Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
6/23/202116 minutes, 35 seconds
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Developing Your Food Brand’s Growth Hypothesis with Elliot Begoun

When you start a business, there can be a lot of pressure to find instant success and rapid growth. The truth is, however, that you can build sustainable long-term success without needing to be the next unicorn brand. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva is talking to Elliot Begoun, founder of TIG, formerly known as The Intertwine Group. In this episode, we’ll talk about why some food businesses succeed and others fail, and why there is power in thinking about being a tardigrade, not a unicorn. In This Episode: How Elliot got started in the natural products industry. How to develop a growth hypothesis. How your consumers make purchasing decisions. What the “Valley of Death” is and how to avoid it. The difference between an evolutionary brand and a revolutionary brand. Why the most important thing for growth-stage businesses is efficiency. Why you don’t need to be a unicorn to find success. What Elliot means when he talks about Tardigrades. Resources: TIG Brands The TIG Talks Podcast Follow Elliot on Twitter The Hirschberg Entrepreneurship Institute Wondering what a tardigrade is? Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
6/9/202133 minutes, 27 seconds
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How Well Does Your Food Brand Use Appetite Appeal?

How can you get the right people excited to try your products, know what to expect, intrigue them to think about how else they can use it, AND be excited to part with their money to get their hands on what you’re selling? It’s a simple answer that applies to every food and beverage business in some way, yet many emerging brands don’t spend enough time on -- appetite appeal. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains why being intentional about appetite appeal is important and how to use it for your brand. In This Episode: What brand strategy is and how to use it to make your brand stand out. Why visuals are so important for your brand, even though your brand is more than your logo. What we mean when we talk about “appetite appeal.” How to get people excited to taste your products. What appetite appeal looks like when it’s done well. How to start thinking about what you want, specifically, from your visuals. How user-generated content can help. Words you can use to activate the senses. How to learn more about Katie’s future Mastermind groups. Resources: Podcast Ep #80: 4 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Drive Value Using Lean Principles with Alan Goodman Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
5/26/202118 minutes, 8 seconds
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Why Being Consistent Isn't Boring... It's Brand Building!

When you’re working on marketing and promoting your food business day in and day out, it’s normal to start to feel like you’re repeating yourself and to worry that you may sound boring. However, consistency is a vital part of building a strong brand. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains why consistency is such a crucial component of a successful brand strategy. In This Episode: What Katie has learned in 3 years of consistently recording this podcast. Why consistency is one of the best tools in your brand strategy toolbox. How to get started with brand strategy. Why it’s normal to worry about being boring when you’re really brand building. What you need to keep in mind about how often your audience sees your messaging. Examples of companies that bring their brands to life in a consistent way. How to do a One Room Test to see how cohesive your brand is today and how to address inconsistencies you find. Resources: NEW! 3 Day Live Small Group Program Podcast Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Podcast Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Podcast Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
5/12/202120 minutes, 10 seconds
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Understanding the Difference Between Features & Benefits

An old saying in Marketing is “don’t talk about features, talk about benefits.” And while many of us nod our heads in agreement, the truth is that you need to understand both, and many business owners and marketers don’t know how to get started and put that advice into action to build a strong brand. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains the difference between features and benefits and walks you through two exercises to use this concept to create a brand that will resonate with consumers. In This Episode: The difference between product features and consumer benefits. What questions to ask to help you differentiate between the two and why both are important to identify. Why emotional benefits are so important when trying to stand out and connect with consumers. How to make choosing your brand easy. The different types of benefits presented in the Bain Elements of Value Pyramid. How to use the Consumer Benefits Ladder to shape your brand messaging. Resources: NEW! 3 Day Live Small Group Program Podcast Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You Really Selling? Podcast Ep #74: From a Good Product to a Great Brand Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
4/28/202122 minutes, 38 seconds
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Amazon Tips for Food Businesses Part 2: Optimizing Your Amazon Advertising with Shannon Roddy

In Part 1 of this two-part series on Amazon you learned how SEO and search terms work on Amazon, and in Part 2 we’re continuing the conversation about using that information to create advertising campaigns on Amazon that convert and how to get the data that will help you optimize over time. For part two of our Amazon Series on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva is back with Shannon Roddy, Amazon Expert, founder of Marketplace Seller Courses, and creator of the Amazon Brand Success Academy. In this episode, we’ll go over how advertising on Amazon is different than it is on other platforms, and how to get the most out of your investment. In This Episode: How advertising on Amazon is different from advertising on other platforms. Why advertising on Amazon is an investment and how to make it pay off. Why it’s dangerous to lean on too many keywords. The ideal structure for an Amazon advertising campaign. Why you should think of advertising like real estate. How to treat branded terms versus generic terms. The pros and cons of an automatic campaign. How to separate your campaigns to get better data. Common Amazon advertising mistakes to avoid. Resources: Ep #47: Amazon Success Strategies for Food Businesses with Shannon Roddy Ep #81: How to Use SEO Keywords to Get Found with Shannon Roddy Amazon SEO Keyword Research Preparation (this is the download Shannon mentioned) Free Webinar: How to Successfully Launch, Grow & Protect Your Brand on Amazon Jungle Scout TeikaMetrics Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
4/14/202130 minutes, 9 seconds
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Amazon Tips for Food Businesses Part 1: How to Use SEO Keywords to Get Found with Shannon Roddy

Amazon is a growth channel for many food and beverage brands, but how do you stand out in the sea of options? And how do you improve the chances that your brand will show up in searches that will actually convert to sales? In this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Shannon Roddy, Amazon Expert, founder of Marketplace Seller Courses, and creator of the Amazon Brand Success Academy. Together they cover why keywords are such an important part of your SEO strategy on Amazon as a food business, and how to get started. In This Episode: The three-step Amazon Flywheel process for continually improving your Amazon listings. Why SEO keyword research is so important to understand. Why it’s so beneficial to get in the top three results on Amazon. How to get started with keyword research for your food business. Why it’s worth the time to find specific long-tail keywords for your brand. Why using general keywords can actually hurt your product’s listings. How Amazon SEO is different than Google SEO. What you can do today to get starting thinking about SEO for Amazon. Resources: Ep #47: Amazon Success Strategies for Food Businesses with Shannon Roddy Ep #80: 4 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Drive Value Using Lean Principles with Alan Goodman Amazon SEO Keyword Research Preparation (this is the download Shannon mentioned) Free Webinar: How to Successfully Launch, Grow & Protect Your Brand on Amazon Cerebro Amazon keyword research tool by Helium10 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
3/31/202130 minutes, 7 seconds
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4 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Drive Value Using Lean Principles with Alan Goodman

On the path to build your brand, there are always new developments that force you to consider whether you should stay the course or make an adjustment. But how do you know when it’s time to make a pivot? And what can you do to make sure you stay aligned with your core brand strategy principles? This week on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Alan Goodman, a Six Sigma Black belt, Instructional Chair for the Quality Engineering and Technology Department at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, as well as the founder of A Goodman’s Desserts. In other words, the perfect person to talk to about making a pivot and improving efficiency to deliver value using Lean principles. In This Episode: How Alan got started baking desserts. How you can use the Lean Framework for just about anything, from vaccine distribution to wedding planning. Why listening to your customers is so important. Where to look for customer feedback. How to map your processes so you can look at them. 4 Lean Principles that will help you today by examining and refining your business processes. Resources: A Goodman's Desserts A Goodman's Desserts on Facebook Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Program – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
3/17/202132 minutes, 22 seconds
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How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy That Drives Sales & Builds Loyalty with Chelsea Jones and Rachel Saul

Ecommerce is one of the hottest topics in the food business. However, if you try to jump straight to tactics without thinking through your goals, you’re likely to run into trouble. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks to Chelsea Jones and Rachel Saul, founders of Chelsea and Rachel Co., an Ecommerce agency and certified Shopify Plus partner. We’ll hear their top Ecommerce tips and dispel some myths along the way. In This Episode: How COVID-19 has changed the landscape for Ecommerce in food and beverage. Why brands that invest in direct-to-consumer brand sites have an edge. Why brands need to stand out even more in online shopping. What you need to know about your consumers. How to get clear about your brand. Why email marketing is so important. The essentials you need to get the most out of your web presence. Why subscription is king for food & bev. Stats you need to look at to grow your subscriptions. Resources: Chelsea and Rachel Co. Simple eComm-Nomics; Bridging Economics and eCommerce Beyond 2020 Chelsea and Rachel Co. on Instagram Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Program – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
3/3/202128 minutes, 18 seconds
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Using Social Media to Inform and Validate Your Brand Strategy with Hillary Houghton

Social media is a powerful tool to learn about and connect with your consumers. But what are you doing with those insights? Are you using them to really inform and shape your brand strategy and brand activation? If your food business isn’t currently leveraging insights from social media, you may be wondering how you even get started? For this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Hillary Houghton, Founder of Social HQ. We’ll cover what tools are out there, how to do research, and how to get going. In This Episode: The step-by-step process to define, align, and activate your brand strategy (and podcast episodes to help). How social media is a goldmine for insights about your consumers and your competitors. Why looking at the wrong things with your competitors’ social media can become a distraction and what to track instead. How to use Facebook Ads Library to do your own research. What an organic tracker is, what it can tell you, and why it’s a good first investment. The first thing to look at when you start doing research on social media. How to create engagement with consumers on social and what to look for. Why Facebook Audience Insights is such a powerful (and free) tool and how to use it. What to do if your social media campaigns don’t seem to be working. How to refine your social posts through testing and why you’re not creating content for you, you’re creating content for your audience. How to get clear about your social media goals. Resources: Social HQ website Social HQ on Instagram Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Ep #68: Turn Your Marketing Plan into a Consumer Connection Plan Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Program – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
2/17/202134 minutes
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Optimize Your Brand Story Using These Brand Strategy Principles

On February 5th, Katie is launching her new Brand Strategy Streamlined program, which provides content, coaching, and collaboration to define, align, and activate your brand strategy. It’s a combination of on-demand content you can move through at your own pace and live coaching and guidance to help you along the way. One of the key outcomes of a successful brand strategy is a clear brand story statement: a paragraph you can use as the springboard for how you weave your story through everything that you do. In this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva takes you through the Brand Strategy Streamlined process for developing a brand story that is clear, relevant, and differentiating. In This Episode: Why developing a brand story is so important. How your brand story emerges from your brand strategy. Why your story is not just about you or your brand, and what it needs to include. How the Brand Strategy Streamlined program can help you get started. Previous episodes of the Real Food Brands podcast about developing a brand strategy and brand story. Why it’s so important to go through the entire process to write the best version of your brand story. What’s in a Brand Story Statement and how you can use it. Examples of putting your brand story into action. Resources: Ep #55: How to Create a Brand Story that Converts with Anna Bradshaw Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Ep #68: Turn Your Marketing Plan into a Consumer Connection Plan Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Course – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
2/3/202119 minutes, 39 seconds
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What's the Big Idea?

Your consumer needs and company advantages are at the core and your brand strategy, but you need something to tie everything together into a unified front. You may hear it referred to as your Brand Essence, or Big Idea. It’s the singular idea or concept that you want to come to life and run throughout everything you do to bring your brand strategy to life. In this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains the importance of identifying the thread that runs through everything that you do and bridges the gap between your internal strategy and external activation. In This Episode: What to expect from the Real Food Brands podcast going forward. How identifying your Big Idea can impact brand growth. Why some brands soar and others falter, even with comparable products. Why your big idea is a thread that needs to run through everything that you do. The process you need to work through to get to your Big Idea. How you can get some help. Resources: Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Course – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
1/20/202118 minutes, 51 seconds
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The 3 Pillars of a Successful Food Business: A Roundtable Conversation with Industry Experts

In this special bonus episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down for a roundtable discussion with industry experts Alli Ball, of the Food Biz Wiz podcast, and Sarah Delevan, of the Good Food CFO podcast, to talk about the three pillars of a successful food business. You’ll hear them talk about how brand, financials, and sales strategy are all crucial for building a successful, stable, profitable food or beverage company. Make sure to listen to the end for a free giveaway opportunity! In This Episode: The three pillars of building a sustainable and profitable food business. Why you should start thinking about brand strategy from day one. The mistake many brands make when it comes to pricing their products. Why so many businesses underestimate the price of labor. Why you shouldn’t be afraid of being the most expensive product in your category. The hidden costs of distribution. The four main choices you have when it comes to distribution. Example of a brand that is thinking about all three pillars. Where to find details on our giveaway! Resources: Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You REALLY Selling? Ep #72: 3 Steps to a More Effective Food Marketing Plan Retail Ready® waitlist Retail Roadmap Financial Success Formula Program Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Connect with Alli on Instagram Connect with Sarah on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Course – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
1/14/202150 minutes, 37 seconds
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From a Good Product to a Great Brand

Brand Strategy can feel like a topic that is reserved for big food businesses more than emerging food businesses, but the concepts matter to brands of all sizes and make a big difference if you take the time to get clear about who your brand is at the core, who you serve and how you meet your consumers’ needs in a way your competitors can’t, or won’t, to set your brand apart. In this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains how to use Brand Strategy to evolve from making a good product to building a great brand. In This Episode: The event that sparked Katie’s interest in brand management. Why a good food product is necessary, but not enough. Why the time for brand strategy is always now. The danger of focusing only on product. How building a strong brand is like a bank account. Why clarity and confidence is so important for building a brand. How a strong brand can help you build brand recognition and word of mouth marketing. How having a strong brand can help you with new product launches. Where to sign up for a free 5 day training starting 2/1/21 Resources: Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You REALLY Selling? Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Ep #68: Turn Your Marketing Plan into a Consumer Connection Plan Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Katie on Instagram Brand Strategy StreamlinedTM Course – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
1/6/202119 minutes, 40 seconds
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3 Steps to Start the Year Strong by Rewriting Your Story

It’s safe to say that no matter who you are or what your goals were for 2020, things probably didn’t quite go as planned. The critical thing to remember is that with everything that’s changed in 2020, there are also new opportunities we’re not seeing if we focus only on what didn’t go as planned. For our end-of-the-year episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva takes us through an exercise to use the brand strategy concept of positioning (rather, repositioning) to look at things that happened in 2020 – what went well and how we can learn from the things that didn’t go as well so we can flip the script to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves. In This Episode: Why you need to take the time to rewrite your story for 2020. Why it’s important to start by listing out your wins. How to get out your negative emotions and feelings by putting them down on paper, and why Katie suggests not burning the list (at least not yet!). How to start reframing your challenges as opportunities. Why it can be so hard to see opportunities when things don’t go as planned without this exercise. Examples from Katie’s coaching of how reframing has helped her clients and herself. How you can continue the conversation in the Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable. Resources: Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Real Food Brands on Instagram The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW! Get Your Free Brand Strategy Checkup
12/23/202020 minutes, 6 seconds
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3 Steps to a More Effective Food Marketing Plan

When it comes to Marketing Planning, Katie likes to say that 1+1=3. In other words, when all of your tactics are working together based on your marketing strategy, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This week on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares a three step process for marketing planning to help you better create your plan to align with your business objectives, then allocate resources to make it happen! In This Episode: Three steps to create an integrated Marketing Plan for your food business, including the step most people miss. Why you need to start with your business objectives before you think about marketing tactics.  How to turn business objectives into marketing goals.  Why knowing your ideal core consumer is critical to your marketing plan. How the right marketing tactics and messages will be more clear when using this method of marketing planning.  Why you need to use KPIs to keep track of what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your marketing plans, if needed, to reach your business goals before it’s too late. Resources: Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Katie’s Brand Strategy Jumpstart program Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Connect with Real Food Brands on Instagram The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW!
12/9/202025 minutes, 15 seconds
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How Unwrapp'd Uses Brand Strategy to Set Their Brand Apart with Maria Capecelatro and Tom Miner

Brand Strategy is the “North Star” to guide everything you do in your food business, but how do you actually go about using it in the day-to-day decision making that comes with leading a business?  For this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Maria Capecelatro and Tom Miner, co-founders of Unwrapp’d, an energy bite company based in Denver, Colorado. Listen in as they talk about how Unwrapp’d used their brand strategy to set a course, how they knew when to stay on that course and how it helped them be bold when it was time to pivot. In This Episode:   The two problems Tom observed about energy bars that were on the market. Why 2020 was the perfect opportunity to for Unwrapp’d to rebrand. Why your brand team should include a designer AND a brand strategist. The Brand Strategy Jumpstart exercises that helped Unwrapp’d get the most clarity. How Unwrapp’d worked their way up to national distribution at Target. How writing down your core values can help you make the big decisions, and some examples of Unwrapp’d core values. How their brand strategy guides and aligns everything they do, and why they wish they had looked at defining their brand strategy earlier. Resources: Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You REALLY Selling? Unwrapp’d Follow Unwrapp’d on Facebook Follow Unwrapp'd on Instagram Katie’s Brand Strategy Jumpstart program Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW!
11/25/202030 minutes, 26 seconds
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Why You Should Write a Creative Brief Before Working with an Agency

Collaborating with a marketing agency can do a lot of good things for your brand, but you need to do some homework to make sure you find the right partner for your business, and then align them with your brand strategy. What you need is a creative brief, something that helps your potential partners know what you’re looking for and how they can knock it out of the park for you. On this episode of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva walks you through how to write a good creative brief. She also created a free creative brief template you can download to get started. In This Episode:  What every agency relationship needs for a successful collaboration How to write a great creative brief Where many brands go wrong when they work with a marketing agency How to write a brief that doesn’t handcuff an agency’s creativity An overview of what to include in a creative brief The difference between observation and insights The advice three marketers have for brands working with a new agency Resources:  The Real Food Brands Creative Brief Template Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website Brand Strategy FundamentalsTM – NEW on demand workshop! Ep #47: Amazon Success Strategies for Food Businesses Free Amazon Mini 15 Minute Food Brand Course from Shannon Roddy
11/11/202026 minutes, 54 seconds
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An Insider’s Tips on Food & Beverage Distribution in Grocery with Sandra Velasquez

Sales is an important channel to bring your Brand Strategy to life and set you apart in a crowded market. But how do you put on your sales hat and adapt your Brand Strategy specifically to a conversation with buyers? And what goes into a successful sales pitch? This week on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks to Sandra Velasquez, the New York City area Sales Manager for Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, National Sales Rep for HiBAR and founder of DistroTalk, where she offers a course on how to talk to chain stores and distributors. In this episode, we discuss how to talk to buyers, and when the time is right to approach distributors. In This Episode: Why Sandra started DistroTalk and what she has learned from her years of experience working in a variety of categories. How to talk to buyers in a language they care about (hint: it’s not the same thing consumers care about). How to get stats for your product to build a compelling story. How to find buyer names for stores you’ve identified as a good fit.  Exactly what Sandra puts in her emails to buyers. When it’s time to work with a distributor, and which chains work with which distributors. Resources: DistroTalk Follow Sandra on Instagram Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW!
10/28/202030 minutes, 29 seconds
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Turn Your Marketing Plan into a Consumer Connection Plan

  When most people think of marketing, they think about promotion—pushing out your message to people and hoping they’ll decide to buy. But who wants to be “marketed” to anymore? Instead, what if we thought of marketing as connecting? For this week’s Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva lays out a 6-step framework for the journey our end consumers go through – from when they first hear about your product to deciding to buy it, try it, buy it again, and (hopefully) recommend it to others. We look at all of this through the lens of connecting: creating a two-way conversation with consumers that gets them just as engaged as you are. In This Episode:  Why we need to shift our mindset about marketing to think broadly, and from simply promoting to actually connecting. How to think about marketing as a two-way conversation throughout the consumer lifecycle.  How to overcome the skepticism people might have when they first hear about a new brand. Creative ideas for driving trial and getting your product out into the hands of your ideal consumers. Why a purchase is only the first step in your long-term relationship with your consumer. How to turn a first-time purchaser into a repeat buyer and eventually one of the biggest fans of your brand who tells their friends.  How a clear brand strategy can your products find their way into more carts. Resources:  Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer The Talk Triggers Show with Jay Baer Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW!
10/14/202024 minutes, 57 seconds
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5 Brand Strategy Activation Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)

Now that we’ve reviewed how to create a brand strategy in the past 3 episodes, hopefully you are excited to put those ideas into action! As you work to bring your brand strategy to life and move into the brand strategy activation phase, however, there are a few common mistakes you can avoid by learning from other emerging food brands. This week for the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva explains the five most common brand strategy pitfalls she sees in her work with her clients, and how you can avoid them for yourself. There’s also some exciting news—the NEW Real Food Brands WorkshopTM is now live! Visit the Workshop to find the first on-demand workshop called Brand Strategy Fundamentals. Through the workshop you’ll get the step-by-step process to build a brand that stands out.  Note: Katie shares these examples with the utmost respect and love for the brands she works with. She adores her clients and, as business owners, we all do our best as we move quickly every day. The point of sharing pitfalls is to help highlight the benefit of a plan that aligns to your brand strategy and accelerate your progress based on how other brands had to learn the hard way...we’re in this together! In This Episode:  Why you should go back and review the Brand Strategy mini-series if you haven’t already. What to do with your brand strategy work once you complete it (hint: it’s not just going to sit on a shelf!)  Why many brands struggle to define their ideal consumer, and how to get started How to put yourself in the shoes of your audience (buyer, investor, etc) Why it’s so important to share your brand strategy with your suppliers, team members, marketers—everyone who works on your food brand. Where many brands go wrong with their marketing plans. How to activate your brand strategy work. Resources:  Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #66: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy Ep #49: 4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website The Real Food Brands WorkshopTM – NEW!
9/30/202026 minutes, 55 seconds
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[Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 3: Company Strategy

During this three-part Brand Strategy series, we’ve covered competitors and customers, so now it’s time to look at the final C: Company. This is where we put together all of our inputs and start to look at outputs. Get specific about these components of company strategy, and you’ll figure out how to really set your brand apart. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva finishes our series on Brand Strategy. In this episode, Katie breaks down how to synthesize your Competitor, Consumer, and Company info to determine what truly makes your brand stand out. In This Episode:  Why it’s important to work through your brand strategy following a step by step process. How to identify your competitive advantages and key points of value. Why you need to understand the actual benefits of what you’re selling. How your brand pillars, positioning and personality help bring your brand to life.  What to do when your strategic thinking changes over time.  How to use your brand strategy (hint: this strategy will not just sit on the shelf!) How the new Food Brand WorkshopTM will help you get started on your brand strategy. Resources:  Ep #64: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #65: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer Ep #49: 4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You REALLY Selling? Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website Food Brand WorkshopTM – NEW!
9/16/202018 minutes, 51 seconds
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[Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 2: Identifying Your Ideal Consumer

Figuring out your core consumers, aka the biggest fans of your brand, can be one of the hardest parts about building a food or beverage business, but it’s critical to your success. Luckily, there’s a tool to help you get specific about what you want to do: an ideal consumer profile. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva picks up with part two of our three-part series on the ins and outs of developing your Brand Strategy. In this episode, Katie walks you through the three steps you can to take to create an ideal consumer profile for your brand. In This Episode: The difference between consumers and customers in the food and bev industry. The most common misconception about consumers that Katie hears. Why you can’t be all things to all people. How an ideal consumer profile helps focus your decisions. The three steps to work through to write a profile of your own. Sources of information to help create and validate your ideal consumer profile. Resources: Ep 54: [Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot Ep #14: Why Marketing Research Is the First Step to Success Ep #58: Getting to Know Your Consumers as Real People with Britta Schell Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
9/2/202023 minutes, 33 seconds
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[Brand Strategy Series] Setting Your Food Business Apart Step 1: The Competitive Snapshot

We talk a lot about how Brand Strategy is the North Star for your food business that helps you align your team and guide them in the right direction towards your Purpose & Vision.  And while we already have some great episodes devoted to the topic (see below for links), we wanted to put everything together in one place to really walk you through each step and give you the solid foundation you need to succeed. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Beverage Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva kicks off a special three-part series on the actual nuts and bolts of developing your Brand Strategy. For this episode, we’ll look at why you need to know what your competitors are doing, and how to create a competitive snapshot to help you get the lay of the land. In This Episode:  What’s coming up in this three part Brand Strategy Series to help set your brand apart. 2 reasons every emerging food and beverage brand should know what their competitors are doing. The exact steps to create a competitive snapshot document to help you understand the landscape as you develop your Brand Strategy.  An important mindset tip to keep in mind when looking at the competition. How to walk through this process step by step with Katie’s new Brand Strategy Workshop. Resources:  Ep #27: How Brand Strategy Brings Consistency, Efficiency and Value to Your Company Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Ep #56: Meeting Consumer Needs – What Are You REALLY Selling? Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website
8/19/202020 minutes, 55 seconds
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Brand Checkup: Is Your Brand Strategy Working?

As Katie likes to say, “your Brand Strategy is how you’ll meet your consumer’s needs in a way your competitors can’t, or won’t, in order to set your brand apart.”  When the front and back end of your business is integrated and aligned around your “North Star,” every resource you put behind your brand is so much more efficient and effective.  When it comes to brand strategy though, it’s so all-encompassing (yes, it’s so much more than your logo, colors, or marketing plan!) that it can be hard to get a handle on what you’re doing well and where there’s room for improvement. Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes through the free Brand Checkup Scorecard tool she’s created to help you make sure you’ve got the foundation pieces in place to define, align and activate your Brand Strategy for your food or beverage company. Having these pieces in place help you optimize your brand and align your team around your vision and goals. In This Episode:  Four past episodes that can help you get started on your Brand strategy. Why Brand Strategy is not just for big brands, and why you may actually have an advantage.  How to recognize solid brand strategy work when you see it. How to download free Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard tool to see how your brand is doing. Examples of questions from the Brand Checkup Scorecard. The power of documenting your Brand Strategy to align your team. How to go deeper with the Brand Strategy Fundamentals Workshop. Resources:  Ep #2: How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy Ep #36: How to Define, Align and Activate Your Brand Strategy Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Ep #49: 4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website
8/5/202018 minutes, 28 seconds
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Strategic Storytelling: Using Media Relations to Build Your Food Brand with Nikki Nardick

People need to be aware of your food brand if it’s going to get from the shelf into their shopping carts. But how do you get people talking about your brand?  Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Nikki Nardick, Founder of Knack PR, to discuss how to connect with media outlets to get press coverage for your food brand – and what to do with that attention once you get it. In This Episode:  What media relations looks like for food companies. Why you don’t always need to be churning out press releases. How your food business goals should impact your PR efforts. How to know when you’re ready to reach out to press through PR. The difference between a press release and an email pitch. What strategic storytelling looks like.  How to leverage the press coverage you’ve earned. What to look for in a PR agency. Why you should Google yourself and/or your brand name every morning. The power of product samples in staying top of mind with your partners in the press. Resources:  Ep #7: Package Design that Pops Off the Shelf Ep #50: Creating a Beverage Brand That Stops People in Their Tracks Ep #53: Using Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Food Brand with Elexis Schroder Knack PR @knack_pr on Instagram Connect with Katie on LinkedIn  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website  
7/22/202043 minutes, 3 seconds
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Lessons from an Uphill Climb

In this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Natural Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva shares a story that highlights why sometimes you need to just put in the work and watch out for shortcuts, what might happen when you change directions, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. In This Episode: How races are won and lost on hills. Why working hard now can pay off in the future. The risk of taking shortcuts too soon.  How changing directions is important but needs to be done carefully. Why we need to be able to ask for help.  8 Strategic Priorities to help you prioritize how to spend your time. Resources: Podcast Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website Follow Katie on Instagram
7/8/202017 minutes, 8 seconds
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Taking a Data-Driven Social Media Approach to Build Your Food Brand with Michael Ray

Every food business should be thinking about an integrated marketing plan that pulls all of your marketing efforts together into one coordinated strategy working towards one set of goals. Implementation of tactics just won’t be as effective if you don’t know who want to reach or what you want to say. Plus, it will be harder to measure what success even looks like.  Today on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Michael Ray, Social Media Director at STIR, a digital marketing and advertising agency based in Milwaukee, WI. In this episode, we talk about how to use social media to build your brand based on your objectives. In This Episode:  Why an integrated marketing plan including your goals is always the best place to start.  How to work backward from your end goal to figure how what channels you need to engage to achieve that goal.  How to estimate digital marketing campaign costs based on your goals.  When to focus on Instagram Stories and when to focus on your feed. Trips and tricks for going live. What to do if your posts aren’t getting the engagement you’re looking for. Why every food business founder or leader should be on LinkedIn.  The #1 thing to keep in mind if you’re going to use TikTok. Resources:  How to Create a 6-Step Marketing Plan to Align Tactics with Business Objectives Ep #36: How to Define, Align and Activate Your Brand Strategy STIR Marketing Follow Michael Ray on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
6/24/202048 minutes, 2 seconds
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Lead with Your Values with Sadie Scheffer

Whether you lead a team of one or one hundred, it’s critical to think about your role as a leader and how you’re going to lead based on your values. For our guest today, that comes down to having the courage to acknowledge past mistakes and use them to learn and grow. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks to Sadie Scheffer, CEO and Founder of Bread SRSLY, a gluten-free vegan sourdough bread company based in Berkeley, CA. In this episode, we talk about how Sadie leads through shared values, and the big lesson she learned about how her team can grow faster by learning together. In This Episode:  How a crush led Sadie to drop out of MIT and get into gluten-free baking. Why leadership starts with who you are and what values you have – for yourself and your business. How Sadie thinks of company culture. The values statements Bread SRSLY uses to keep aligned and why they are all verbs. Why Sadie encourages her team to make mistakes. What Sadie realized about her own leadership style that was getting in the way of her team’s growth. How being a confident leader helped Sadie step onto multiple Pitch Slam stages in the past few years. Resources:  Bread SRSLY @BreadSRSLY on Instagram Dare to Lead by Brené Brown Connect with Katie on LinkedIn  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website
6/10/202046 minutes, 18 seconds
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Getting to Know Your Consumers as Real People with Britta Schell

We use a lot of different terms to describe the groups of people who buy our products and love our brands (tribes, consumer groups, personas, end users...) but at the end of the day they are each real people and we want to get to know them as much as possible so we can create products that truly solve their problems and bring them joy.  But how do you get the information you need to do this? Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Food & Bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Britta Schell, a research and insights consultant who helps brands unlock growth by gaining a deeper understanding of their users. In this episode, we talk about how to create a consumer-first mentality that keeps their needs at the heart of everything you do in your food business. In This Episode:  Why it’s important to be an advocate for your consumer. How documenting an ideal consumer profile(s) can help guide your business decisions. What to do if the people buying your products are not who you expected to buy. How research can reveal untapped potential for growth. Why it’s important to humanize your marketing research. The difference between primary and secondary research, and resources to find credible sources of research.  The common pitfalls for brands conducting their own research. Resources:  Britta Schell Consulting Connect with Britta on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
5/27/202041 minutes, 36 seconds
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Using Your Financials to Build a Profitable Food Business with Sarah Delevan

When your financials aren’t in order, you tend to spend more time thinking about money. How much money is in the bank right now? Can we pay the team? Can we make this investment? There’s a belief that when cash flow and profits aren’t where we need them to be, the solution is to just work harder and sell more. However, there’s a lot you can do outside of that to get a handle on your finances and increase profitability. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and food & bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Sarah Delevan, a financial consultant who helps food brands achieve profitability. In this episode, we talk about the common mistakes many brands make with their finances, and how you can create a profitability formula for your food business. In This Episode:  How her own food business challenges lead Sarah to become an expert in food financials and help others. Why selling more doesn’t necessarily mean increased profitability. What you need to see on your P&L. The problems with pricing based on competition or industry standards. Why you need to know your financials before scaling your food business. How to create a financial success formula for your food brand. Resources:  Sarah’s Profitability Blueprint Podcast Ep #36: How to Define, Align and Activate Your Brand Strategy Podcast Ep #45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Podcast Ep #49: 4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) Sarah Delevan Consulting @Sarah.Delevan.Consulting on Instagram Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
5/13/202050 minutes, 17 seconds
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Meeting Consumer Needs - What Are You REALLY Selling?

Consumers need us more than ever. As their needs are changing to adapt to the "new norm,” they are building new routines and discovering new pain points that in turn create new opportunities for us to serve, support and delight. In this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Natural Food Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks through the Elements of Value pyramid, and how it can help you get more clarity about what you’re really selling and why it matters to your ideal consumers. In This Episode: A reminder about the three C’s: Competitors, Consumers and Company – and how Katie suggests using this concept to set your brand apart.  Why most brands don’t need to revamp their entire brand strategy right now. How to use the Elements of Value pyramid from Bain & Company to identify your consumers’ motivations and desired benefits.  Why the Elements of Value are so important to identify what you’re really selling so you can serve your consumers and build brand loyalty. The two exercises Katie recommends to help you put the Elements of Value pyramid into action for your food company. Resources: The Harvard Business Review: “The Elements of Value” The Elements of Value interactive pyramid Podcast Ep #54: 6 Signs You Should Rebrand Your Food Business Podcast Ep #55: How to Create a Brand Story that Converts with Anna Bradshaw Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website Follow Katie on Instagram
4/29/202023 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to Create a Brand Story that Converts with Anna Bradshaw

People want to feel a sense of belonging.  They like to be a part of something. Brands who tell a story that invites people in and offer a solution to a problem (versus just talking about themselves and what they offer) are more memorable, referable and create a sense of loyalty for all involved.    Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and food & bev Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva chats with Anna Bradshaw, a conversion copywriter specializing in brand story and ecommerce marketing for independent CPG brands. In this episode, we talk about how to create a brand story that makes a connection with your consumers and other stakeholders.   We are going to help you figure out how to set up the problem, explain why you’re the solution, and play up the outcome of using your products. In This Episode:  What is conversion copywriting and how can it help you?  Why customer research is at the core.  How to be clear about your brand story.  When the StoryBrand framework is useful, and when it’s not.  How to get past common roadblocks.  Why it’s important to look past solutions and focus on outcomes.  Where to communicate your brand story.  How to strike a balance in your customer communications. Resources:  Anna Bradshaw  @Anna_K_Bradshaw on Instagram  Connect with Anna on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website
4/15/202039 minutes, 33 seconds
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6 Signs You Should Rebrand Your Food Business

Your brand strategy serves as a “North Star” to align the front and back end of your business as you scale. But how do you know if what you’re doing is working?  In this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes over the difference between a product and a brand, the difference between a brand refresh and a rebrand, a quick 3C’s review and six signs you should rebrand your food business. In This Episode: Why a great brand strategy starts with the three C’s: Competitors, Consumers, and Company. The difference between a product and a brand, and a rebrand versus a brand refresh. What to do if you just aren’t excited about your brand anymore. How to listen to feedback and when it’s time to consider a rebrand. What to do if you feel like the market is shifting around you. When you need to rebrand to align your portfolio. Why you shouldn’t jump right to a rebrand without careful consideration. Resources: Podcast Ep #27: How Brand Strategy Brings Consistency, Efficiency and Value to Your Company Podcast Ep # 45: The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website Nosh.com
4/1/202026 minutes, 22 seconds
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Using Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Food Brand with Elexis Schroder

Influencer marketing is a key strategy for growing food brands large and small, but how you go about finding influences and what you do once you’ve connected with them can vary widely based on your goals. For many of us, it can be hard to even know where to start. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva gets a chance to catch up with Elexis Schroder, Founder of SchroderHaus, a Marketing Communications firm based in Denver, Colorado. In this episode, we talk about how to create an influencer marketing strategy that works with your brand’s goals and budgets -- and the keys to making it work for you no matter what size of brand you are leading. In This Episode: How marketing has changed with the increase of social media. Why influencers should be a key component of your marketing strategy. Why influencer marketing is never one-size-fits-all. How to identify the right influencers for your brand. Why the best influencers are often right under your nose. Why it all comes back to your marketing goals. How to send samples in a way that is sure to get influencers talking.  The 5 tips to activating your influencer campaign with success. Resources: SchroderHaus Marketing Communications @SchroderHaus on Instagram Connect with Elexis on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
3/18/202044 minutes, 18 seconds
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Developing Your Brand's Point of Difference with Abe Kamarck

Creating your point of difference can be a big challenge, especially in a crowded category. Our guest today has been able to do that and more, growing a product in an incredibly popular category into a brand with national distribution. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Abe Kamarck, CEO and Founder of True Made Foods. In this episode, we talk about how he’s been able to get his all-natural ketchup product to a point where national brands are taking notice. In This Episode: How Abe’s Italian background helped inspire True Made Foods. Why he decided to create healthy ketchup, barbeque sauce, and sriracha. Why 5-year-olds can be the best taste testers. The mistakes he made along the way. Why emphasizing your point of difference is so important. The difference between ketchup and other categories. How Abe grew True Made Foods into a nationally distributed product. Resources: True Made Foods @TrueMadeFoods on Instagram Connect with Abe on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website    
3/4/202041 minutes, 34 seconds
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Forecasting and Demand Planning with Alex Duong

While your marketing and sales plans are important steps to building your brand, you need to back them up with solid forecasting and demand planning if you want to grow your food business in a profitable way. Everything from efficient ordering and production planning to making sure you can properly serve your customers hinges on the work you do in this area. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Alex Duong, Founder – Ancient Provisions. In this episode, we talk about how to balance your sales projections with the lead time you need to hit those goals, and how to plan for growth. In This Episode: The difference between forecasting and demand planning, and the pillars of each.  Why forecasting and demand planning are essential when you’re planning for growth in your food business. The different factors that come into play when you’re forecasting. How to avoid analysis paralysis. Striking the right balance between risk and potential for growth. Why communication with your co-packers about lead time is essential. How to identify what’s driving your lead times. Resources: Ancient Provisions Connect with Alex on LinkedIn Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
2/19/202043 minutes, 12 seconds
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Creating a Beverage Brand That Stops People in Their Tracks with Candice Crane

Stopping power is everything when you’re trying to compete in a crowded category -- in the grocery store or online. How do you create a brand that jumps off the shelves and stands out from the rest?  Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Candice Crane, Founder and CEO of Petal Sparkling Botanicals, a brand that stops you in your tracks when you see it. In this episode, we talk about how Petal has been able to stand out in a crowded category and grow so fast in just a year and a half. In This Episode: How Candice’s South African roots lead to her create Petal Sparkling Botanicals. The story behind Petal’s unique logo and package design. How Petal has grown to be in almost 700 locations nationwide in just a year and a half. Why there’s no substitute for talking in-person with people about your product to hear feedback first hand. How having a complex flavor profile serves a growing segment of people choosing to skip the alcohol.  The joys and challenges of balancing life as a mom and a food startup CEO. Resources: @DrinkPetal on Instagram Petal Sparkling Botanicals The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Edible-Alpha Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
2/5/202028 minutes, 44 seconds
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4 Common Brand Strategy Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Brand strategy is an essential part of building a business that will grow, but we see a lot of food businesses make the same mistakes when it comes time to actually put it into action. On this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva goes over the four most common brand strategy mistakes, and what to do if you think you might be making them. In This Episode: The resources Real Food Brands is offering to help you build your brand. How to differentiate your brand in the market. The question you need to ask yourself about how to make your brand stand out. Why consistency is so important in all of your brand’s materials. How to use the “one-room test” to see if your brand is showing up consistently in the marketplace.  Why “I” and “we” are dangerous words to overuse in your marketing copy. Why many founders forget to communicate their brand strategy to their team, and what to do about it. Resources: Podcast Ep #2: How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy Podcast Ep # 18: 3 Ways to Rally Your Team Around Your Brand Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula Edible-Alpha Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website
1/22/202021 minutes, 36 seconds
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Using Content Strategy to Streamline Food Business Marketing with Chelsea Rainey

Having one integrated marketing plan, versus a more ad hoc and piecemeal approach, helps make sure that all of your efforts are consistent, coordinated and focused on creating a purchase cycle that eventually turns your customers into brand advocates. Between the visuals and the brand story that you’re telling, your content is your chance to draw people in, build trust, and have a genuine conversation with your customers. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Chelsea Rainey, the Founder of Culinistics, which helps aspiring food and beverage entrepreneurs create a powerful brand story, focus their brand strategy, target their ideal customer, and showcase their signature offer through mindset coaching and research-based creative design. In this episode, we talk about how to develop your content strategy, maintain consistency across channels, and avoid burnout. In This Episode: The key pieces that should make up the backbone of your content strategy. How to maintain consistency across online and offline content. How using the three pillars approach can help keep your content consistent. The difference between creating content and strategizing content. How to develop content with a specific purpose in mind. The questions Chelsea walks her clients through to develop a content strategy. Resources: Culinistics Find Chelsea on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Brand Checkup Scorecard RFB Round Table Mastermind info Ways to work with Katie 1:1 Connect with Katie on LinkedIn
1/8/202036 minutes, 23 seconds
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Amazon Success Strategies for Food Businesses with Shannon Roddy

We talk a lot on the Real Food Brands podcast about having a Brand Strategy in place to align everything on both the front and back end of your food business to deliver on your brand’s vision.  The same concept holds true within every area of your business; your strategy needs to come to life through your operations, marketing, customer service...even Amazon. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva is joined by Shannon Roddy, an Amazon expert who helps brands develop their Amazon strategy and grow their businesses on Amazon. In this episode, we talk about how to build brand equity, control who’s selling your product and why Amazon is so important as a product research and branding platform. In This Episode: Why the value of selling on Amazon goes beyond just sales. The differences between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central. Why you shouldn’t rely on Amazon for too much of your sales mix. How to get more control over your Amazon listings. Strategies to protect your brand on Amazon. The keys to creating a good product listing. The special offer Shannon put together for Real Food Brands listeners. Resources: Special Offer: Free 10 Minute Food Brands Course (get your free 1:1 session with Shannon if you purchase the full Amazon Success Strategies by 1/31/20 using this link) Find Shannon on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Brand Checkup Scorecard RFB Round Table Mastermind info Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Real Food Brands Episode 24: Building Trust With Brand Consistency with Ainsley Moir Real Food Brands Episode 40: Reprise: Using Email Marketing to Build Your Food Brand with Anna Sonnenberg
12/23/201944 minutes, 15 seconds
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How Soñar! Foods Brings Their Brand’s Mission to Life with Maria Garcia Brennan and Pete Brennan

Having a well-defined brand strategy in place for your natural food company helps you clarify a message that resonates with your consumers, and makes stakeholders like buyers and investors to want to learn more. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks to Maria Garcia Brennan and Pete Brennan, co-founders of Soñar! Foods, an organic grain-free tortilla chip company that brings a focus to uplifting the Latino community as part of everything they do with their business. Katie highlights Soñar! as an example of a natural food brand that is well-aligned on both the front and back end of the business when it comes to supporting the brand strategy, or “north star.” In This Episode: Why a question from their daughter lead Maria and Pete to start Soñar. How Maria and Pete met and combined their experience to start Soñar!. What it looks like to align a company with your brand strategy from the top down. What it means to be certified as a B Corp. How pursuing more than profits helps keep Soñar! grounded. How their mission extends to their packaging. The trade shows they did that helped them grow their brand. Resources: BCorporation.net Soñar! Foods Find Pete on LinkedIn @SonarOrganic on Twitter Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website Brand Checkup Scorecard Connect with Katie on LinkedIn Expo West 2020 Pitch Slam Application
12/11/201943 minutes, 30 seconds
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The 5-Minute Food Business Brand Strategy Formula

There’s so much that goes into developing and documenting the brand strategy for your food business, but if you want to pare it all down to the basics to define or refine your strategy in just a few minutes, this formula will help you get you started.  Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva does just that, with her V+3 C formula. That stands for Vision, Competitor, Consumer, and Company - the four things that can guide your efforts to create a meaningful point of difference for your brand so you can meet your consumers’ needs in a way your competitors can’t, or won’t. In This Episode: What Katie would do if she only had five minutes with a brand. The V and 3 C’s of Brand Strategy  for food and beverage companies. Thought starters to articulate your vision for your business. Why a vision statement is so important for your team. Why every brand needs to know what’s going on with its competitors. How to define your primary and secondary consumer. What psychographics are and why they’re even more important than demographics. How to define your company’s unfair advantage. The three P’s that can help you further define what you do best and communicate it to  your team and other stakeholders.  Why it’s so important to put pen to paper. Resources: Simon Sinek’s TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action” Edible-Alpha Katie’s LinkedIn profile Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard and join the email list here)
11/27/201916 minutes, 26 seconds
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Building a Food Category One Relationship at a Time with Amy Zitelman

Figuring out how to compete in a new, or underdeveloped, food or beverage category is a challenge -- especially if you’re a disruptive natural foods business determined to shake things up!  Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva takes us back to revisit a great episode with Amy Zitelman, Co-Founder and CEO of Soom Foods, to talk about how they build relationships with influencers like food bloggers and top chefs to create excitement for a relatively underdeveloped category in the US.  When thinking about marketing it can be easy to put selling your product as the focus. However, as Soom Foods has shown, by going a step further and focusing on building strategic but genuine relationships, successful promotion comes as a natural byproduct! The original episode covers a lot of great topics about Soom Foods’ marketing tactics, but we also have an update from the team about how things have been going since we recorded the episode and what marketing tactic is really working well for them to build relationships today. In This Episode:  How Amy and her sisters started Soom Foods  How Soom built awareness for tahini, a relatively unknown product in the US market  Why it’s important to have a diverse team with complimentary skill sets  How to find and build genuine relationships with influencers, including bloggers and award winning chefs  How Soom utilizes user generated content (recipes) in social media  How to build associations with adjacent food categories to bring awareness to your own product  How demos can help build your brand even if store traffic is slow that day  Why Amazon can help small food businesses build an online presence  How the Soom team uses social media to build something meaningful beyond sales  What single # skyrocketed their visibility on social media Resources:  Soom Foods Website and Instagram  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here) Chef Michael Michael Solomonov — Zahav restaurant and cookbook
11/13/201944 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why Being Small Can Be a Competitive Advantage with Matt Parry

Do you ever feel like you’re starring in your very own David and Goliath story as you try to take on big brands for market share and shelf space?  Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Matt Parry, founder of the Good Crisp Company, the canister chip brand that has replaced Pringles on all Virgin Australia and Tiger flights, is stocked in more than ten thousand supermarkets across the US, and is in the top ten fastest-growing brands in Whole Foods stores. In This Episode: How Matt’s desire for a healthy snack for his daughters became a fast-growing brand. Why Matt was able to look at his brand as both a marketer and a customer. When your point of difference can become your competitive advantage. The appeal that smaller brands have with customers. Why they’re as comfortable in Walmart as they are in Whole Foods. How Matt navigated the broker system. The importance of peer networking. What the Good Crisp Company does on social media and how they work with influencers. Resources: @TheGoodCrispCompany on Instagram Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
10/30/201937 minutes, 2 seconds
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Driving Incremental Sales Through Alternative Usage Ideas

There are many different ways to grow your sales numbers. You can increase your market penetration, by going deeper within your existing market in order to reach new customers. You can focus on market expansion, moving into new geographical areas to find new people. Finally, you can increase buy rate, finding new ways for your existing customers to use your product so they buy it more frequently. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva breaks down how to think about alternative usage ideas for your brand. These are new and different ways for your customers to use your product they already buy and love, which hopefully leads them to buy it more frequently. We have a few ideas to get you started, but what we really want to happen is that we’re able to spark some ideas of your own based on what you know about your products and consumer. In This Episode: Three approaches for growing your sales. What an alternative usage is and how you can learn from Elmer’s glue. How alternative usages can result in incremental growth. Why your product might work for something that may surprise you. How to brainstorm new usages for your product. 10 ideas to get started. How to take advantage of alternative usages to market more effectively. Resources: Katie’s LinkedIn profile Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
10/16/201926 minutes, 21 seconds
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5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for a Food PR Crisis Before It Happens

While optimism can get us far in the natural food business, you also need to spend some time thinking about what could go wrong. Planning for the worst-case scenario means that you can more confidently move forward with a positive outlook, knowing that you won’t get blindsided if things don’t go as planned. No matter what phase of business you’re in, it’s worth it to invest time to think ahead to what could go wrong. This could be applied to any area of your business (e.g. new product launch, distribution issues, supplier shortages, etc) but our focus here is on PR crisis planning. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Jeff Hahn, Owner and Head of Strategy for Apron Food PR. His new book, Breaking Bad News, which launches soon, teaches you how to communicate with your audience and customers about any crisis. In This Episode: Why everyone needs a crisis communications plan. Jeff’s five-step framework for developing a food PR crisis communications strategy. Why getting the right people together in a food PR crisis is often the trickiest part. How to issue a holding statement to buy yourself time. A framework for figuring out the right message to say. The balance your spokesperson needs to strike. How to choose the right method of delivery for the job. Resources: Apron Food PR Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
10/2/201943 minutes, 12 seconds
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Using Email Marketing to Build Your Food Brand with Anna Sonnenberg

Recently many online gurus have been identifying email as the next big thing, but it has really never gone away. Social media still has its place, but ultimately, it’s something that you rent because they can completely change the game on you at any moment. Email is something you own—even with algorithms sorting you into different inboxes you can still get through to the right audience if you’re careful about your approach. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, we’re looking back at Ep #19: Using Email Marketing to Build Your Brand, where host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sat down with Anna Sonnenberg, Owner of Sonnenberg Media, to talk all things email marketing. If you’re newer to the Real Food Brands podcast we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this excellent episode, and even if you’ve heard it before, Katie adds some tips at the top of the podcast to build on what they covered the first time. In This Episode: Why quality is so important for an email list. Creative ways to offer value to your subscribers. Why email is an important part of your integrated marketing strategy  Why email is the perfect place to share your brand’s story  How email can be used to drive sales both online and in brick and mortar stores  How to use email to solicit customer feedback  How feedback helps your customers feel invested in your brand  Why email gives you more ownership over your audience than social media  How often you should email  How to balance the types of content in your emails  Why you should link ecommerce with your email marketing service  Ways to use automated emails Resources: Sonnenberg Media  How to Get Started With Email Marketing Ep #19: Using Email Marketing to Build Your Brand   RFB Round Table Mastermind Groups Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
9/18/201943 minutes, 57 seconds
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Using Strategic Mapping to Set Priorities for Your Food Business with Ainsley Moir

Whether you’re just starting out or scaling your food or beverage business, there are so many things to do that you can’t possibly do them all (well) at the same time.  The key is to figuring out how to prioritize so you can turn your laser-like focus into a competitive advantage. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Ainsley Moir, Founder and Lead Brand Strategist of the Healthy Food & Beverage Group, about how to set your priorities with a Strategic Mapping exercise, including the 8 Strategic Priorities Katie had adapted specifically for food and beverage companies.  You’ll also hear how Katie and Ainsley recommend finding the right people and resources at the right time for your business. In This Episode: The 8 Strategic Priorities you need to consider for your business. What the CUBES method of goal setting is and how to use it. Why small teams especially need to focus on focusing. What you can get from the two RFB Round Table Mastermind groups for early-stage and scaling brands. Why it’s important to align every member of your team around your brand strategy. More info about the Food and Beverage Growth Summit that Ainsley hosts. Resources: RFB Round Table Mastermind Groups The Food and Beverage Growth Summit  Ep #24: Building Trust With Brand Consistency Build Your Healthy Food and Bev Facebook Group  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
9/4/201928 minutes, 49 seconds
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Building a National Brand with Scott Demers of Scott & Jon's

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to scale a business into a national brand. The answer definitely requires more than one podcast episode, but today we have an opportunity to talk to a food company founder who has done it and hear the lessons he’s learned along the way. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva sits down with Scott Demers, co-founder of Scott & Jon’s premium frozen seafood meals. We learn how the brothers made the decision to leave their jobs to launch their business and start their journey to becoming a national brand. In This Episode: How Scott & Jon evolved their business and brand over time.  Why having no capital can be a gift when you’re starting out. Scott and Jon’s simple litmus test for deciding to rebrand. How the brothers identified a white space they could occupy in the frozen food category. Why outsourcing their salesforce worked for them. The connections that helped them pivot their product. How to find the right brokers who will grow with you. Why Scott obsesses over the in-store experience. Resources: Natural Products Expo East Natural Products Expo West Summer Fancy Food Show Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer The Shelby Report Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
8/21/201939 minutes, 9 seconds
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Building Your Brand Through Community

Being an entrepreneur and building your food brand is not easy. Having a trusted circle of other entrepreneurs in your life to share your opportunities and hurdles to help you determine the best path forward can make all the difference. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva tells us why building a peer community for yourself as an entrepreneur is so important when building your food brand. Katie is going to be offering a Food & Beverage Entrepreneur Mastermind group this Fall, and she wants you to be aware of that opportunity, however, the Mastermind won’t be right for everyone and there are many ways to connect with peers to build your trusted circle! In This Episode: How building your peer community can help you build your brand. Why Katie is starting a Mastermind group for food & bev entrepreneurs. How local food and beverage organizations near you can help you get to the next level. Why you only get out what you put into local groups. The benefit of connecting with entrepreneurs across industries. How Facebook groups can help you find a community on specific topics. How to prepare to network at live events. Why making your own meetup can sometimes be the best way to connect. Resources: Podcast Ep #1: Why Real Food Brands is Launching a Podcast About Food Marketing Katie’s LinkedIn profile Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
8/7/201926 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to Define, Align and Activate Your Brand Strategy

Brand strategy and marketing can be really confusing for a lot of people. There are a lot of options out there, and in order to make the right decisions, you need to lay a strategic foundation for your brand.  Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks through her 3-step framework for developing and implementing a brand strategy to make sure that everything you do helps you achieve your business vision and objectives. In This Episode: Why a brand strategy is essential for your business’ success. The 3-step framework Katie uses when she works with natural food and beverage businesses to develop a brand strategy. How to identify where you meet your ideal consumer’s needs in a way your competitors can’t or won’t. Why it’s so important to understand the competitive landscape in your category. How to think about your brand’s unique offer. The evolving ways that we think about ideal consumers. How to align your team around your brand strategy. Katie’s tips and tricks to activate your brand strategy. The “one room test” you can do to look at whether or not all of your marketing is working together. Resources: Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage Katie’s LinkedIn profile Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
7/24/201927 minutes, 5 seconds
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3 Design Tools to Challenge the Status Quo with Fred Hart

There’s an old saying that if Henry Ford would’ve asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said, “A faster horse.” Being a challenger brand in an established food category means you need to be willing to shake up the status quo and take the risks that bigger brands won’t. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Fred Hart, Creative Director and Partner at Interact Boulder, an entrepreneurial branding and packaging design agency obsessed with the food and beverage industry. We talk about what you can do to stand out as a small to mid-sized food brand, and the three design tips Fred has to differentiate yourself on shelves as well as examples of brands that have done it. In This Episode: Why brands need to think about more than just branding and packaging from the get-go. How to challenge the category, not the consumer. What BOOMCHICKAPOP did to stand out in a crowded category. The dangers of being different for difference’s sake. Why people don’t read, they recognize. How Boxed Water used packaging to differentiate themselves. How to take advantage of color to stand out. Why imagery is key to recognition. Resources: Interact Boulder Fred’s LinkedIn Profile “The restaurant owner who asked for 1-star Yelp reviews” BevNet Nosh The Edible-Alpha Podcast Katie’s LinkedIn profile Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
7/10/201937 minutes, 8 seconds
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3 Tips for Speed to Market with Emma Nelson

Sometimes you get a brilliant, game-changing idea and the best thing is to get it to market as quickly as possible. The problem is that it’s not as easy as coming up with a great recipe in your kitchen and then immediately scaling it. You need to source commercial ingredients, work around suppliers’ and co-packers’ limitations, and make sure you have the certifications your brand needs to reflect your values. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Emma Nelson, Principal at G’Day Foods. She uses her expertise in commercial development to help brands make their products work at scale. In This Episode: How Emma got into the food industry. Her three biggest tips for getting a product to market more quickly. What makes for commercially available ingredients. Why you need a “gold standard” formula. The importance of understanding your co-manufacturer’s and suppliers’ timelines. Why working with suppliers is a give-and-take relationship. Why it’s so important to know where you can make concessions with your formula. The factors you might not consider when you make a go-to-market timeline. Resources: G’Day Foods BevNet Nosh Taste Radio Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
6/26/201940 minutes, 39 seconds
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Win at Retail Using Category Management Strategies with Dan Lohman

Building a relationship with grocery retailers is about more than just making a great product they can put on their shelf. You need to have a real understanding of who your consumer is, what else they put in their shopping carts, and why your food or beverage brand provides value to a store beyond the profit margin on an individual sale. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host and Brand Strategist Katie Mleziva talks with Dan Lohman, a CPG and Natural and Organic Industries Strategic Adviser. His company, Brand Secrets and Strategies, helps provide brands with actionable insights and strategic solutions to get on more store shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. He’s also the host of the Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast. In This Episode: Why category management is so important for developing deeper relationships with retailers. What most people get wrong about category management. How to focus on market basket to help grow your retailer partners’ total sales. The questions you need to ask to develop your brand story. What retailers want to see to justify stocking your product. Why you don’t want to have to keep reacquiring the same customer. Why issues at the store ultimately reflect on your brand, not the retailer. How to get data and what to do with it. What Dan did when a competitor showed up with a big check to get his product off the shelves. Resources: Take a Course with Dan (If you enjoyed the podcast, please this unique affiliate link for Dan’s courses!) Brand Secrets and Strategies The Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast Secrets 115: SUCCESS = Brand Strategy + Execution With Michael J. O’Donnell From The Belmullet Food and Beverage Group Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
6/12/201941 minutes, 34 seconds
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Developing New Food & Beverage Products, with Lindsay Wisener

Research and Development (R&D) is one area many brands need help with in order to bring an idea to life with new product samples or to scale your recipe to production level. In this episode of the Real Food Brands Podcast, host Katie Mleziva sits down with Lindsay Wisener, an independent beverage development consultant working on everything from baby formula to plant-based protein drinks. She’s the Owner/Principal Consultant at WiseBev, and shares with us the ins and outs of product development. In This Episode: Hear Lindsay’s path to owning her own beverage development lab. How small businesses can get what they need from R&D experts. Why flexibility is key to a successful development process. What you need to know when you work with R&D. The role packaging plays in which shelf your product winds up on. How to effectively develop new product lines and extensions. The key to great product testing. Resources: WiseBev Lindsay Wisener LinkedIn Food Navigator Katie Mleziva LinkedIn Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
5/29/201930 minutes, 32 seconds
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6 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration for Your Food Business

Where do you find inspiration? Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host Katie Mleziva walks us through what she does when she or her food and beverage company clients need to find new insights and innovations. In This Episode: How to prepare for inspiration when it may strike at any moment. Why getting out of your office or production facility is so important. Why traveling is a great time to find new ideas to bring back home. The best way to find inspiration in other aisles than your category. What to look for when you visit other stores your ideal audience loves. How a DIY food combination can represent an opportunity. Why kids are great people to ask for feedback. Finding alternative distribution opportunities, such as sporting goods stores. Resources: How Brooklyn Delhi Blends Cultures in Taste and Design podcast episode Key Insights From Natural Products Expo West podcast episode Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
5/15/201924 minutes, 31 seconds
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The 5 Mistakes Food Startups Make With Sari Kimbell

Getting started with your food startup, or scaling to the next level can be exciting. You get to share something you love with new people, and (at some point) make some money for your efforts. As you start making moves to make your passion into your career, however, you’ll run into some problems if you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to and how you want to grow. Today on the Real Food Brands Podcast, host Katie Mleziva has a conversation with Sari Kimbell, Founder of Sari Kimbell Consulting and creator of Food Business Success, a consulting agency that helps food startups plan for growth. She shares with us the 5 mistakes she sees food startups make, and how to avoid them. In This Episode: Sari’s path to becoming a food startup consultant. Why bootstrapping may be necessary, but can cause problems down the road. The reason belief in your product is so important when you’re starting out. Why pricing correctly from the beginning is so important. How to factor in the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). The hidden costs selling on Amazon. Why it’s so important to develop a clear plan for growth. Why you want to define your brand strategy from the start. Where to reach out for help. Resources: Sari Kimbell - Food Business Consulting Food Business Success Why a Clear Brand Strategy Matters When Seeking Financing With Tera Johnson The Food Business Success Facebook Group Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands website (download your Brand Checkup Scorecard here)
5/1/201946 minutes, 10 seconds
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Insider Tips for Working With Co-Packers From Sandro Gerbini

Working with co-packers, co-manufacturers, and everything else required to get your brand onto shelves that matter can be a daunting task for the sharpest entrepreneur. Making sure that you’re consistently delivering at the quality level you expect while staying within your budget is the secret to long-term growth. This week on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, host Katie Mleziva sits down with Sandro Gerbini, founder of Gatherer’s Granola and Empire Co-Packing, to get into the nitty-gritty of how you take a product that works at small scale and make the logistical decisions you need to see wider distribution. In This Episode: How Sandro started a granola company, and why quality concerns drove him to start his own co-manufacturing business. Why consistent quality means everything in contract manufacturing. How finding the right contract manufacturer frees you up to focus on marketing your brand. What the difference is between contract manufacturers, co-packers, and private brand manufacturers is, and where there is overlap. Why geographic proximity to a contract manufacturer matters. How integrated ingredient sourcing, production, and packaging makes a difference to your bottom line. How you can make sure your contract with a co-manufacturer is rock-solid. What fees most contract manufacturers add to invoices and what they mean. What mistakes most brand owners make when they’re trying to scale, and how to avoid them. Resources: Gatherer’s Granola Empire Co-Packing FMI Emerge How FMI Emerge Helps Brands Find More Shelf Space Podcast Episode Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands
4/17/201938 minutes, 57 seconds
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Key Insights From Natural Products Expo West

The Natural Products Expo West show is an exciting gathering of people dedicated to shaking up shopping carts, and the energy was infectious. The convention covers 555,000 square feet of booths and brings in over eighty-five thousand people over the course of a week. Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast host Katie Mleziva is back with insights on where the industry is headed and what trends you can tap into for your brand. In This Episode: The Color Blocking packaging trend. Is CBD an ingredient or a brand foundation? How to start thinking about functional foods. Why functional carbonated beverages that replace soda have big potential. New trends to pay attention to in the plant-based foods and snacks space. How protein and snacking go together. The tricks and traps of sugar replacement. Why bars and balls are worth looking into, and how to stand out in a crowded market. Resources: Natural Products Expo West RFB Ep #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group Real Food Brands
4/3/201930 minutes, 4 seconds
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How Brand Strategy Brings Consistency, Efficiency and Value to Your Company

In this episode of The Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast, Host Katie Mleziva talks about why your brand strategy should come first as you launch or scale your food or beverage business.  Katie shares four ways that documenting your brand strategy supports your business goals: clarifying your vision and setting your north star, streamlining decision making and aligning your team, preparing for buyer and investor meetings and saving you time and money.   In This Episode:  The Three C’s of brand strategy:  Competitors  Consumers  Company    Why a documented brand strategy is so important  Documentation clarifies your vision and helps with decision making  Decisions are streamlined and more consistent  Aligning your team with the vision becomes easier, saving time and money  Buyers and investors can better understand your strategy, giving them more confidence in your brand’s ability to win at shelf  Resources:  RFB Episode #2: How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy  RFB Episode #8: How to Define Your Ideal Audience Using Personas  RFB Episode #23: How to Find Your Unfair Advantage  RFB Episode #15: How to Activate Your Brand Strategy  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands   
3/20/201921 minutes, 57 seconds
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7 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Plan -- with Kara Hanninen

Kara Hanninen, Founder and CEO of Craveity Marketing, joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss all things social media marketing, from choosing the right platform, to ads, to influencers...and more! In This Episode:  Why Kara moved from digital marketing ad agencies to her own mission focused food related marketing firm.  Seven important things to consider when creating your integrated social media marketing plan:  Planning and strategy  Choosing the right platforms  How to approach influencer marketing  What kind of social media content you should be posting  Scheduling your social media posts  How to use social media ads effectively  Using social media as part of a larger integrated marketing plan Resources:  Check out Kara’s list of social media tools and resources here  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  Real Food Brands Instagram  Good Food Expo       
3/6/201940 minutes, 41 seconds
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Food Industry Trade Show Tips to Maximize Success - with Alli Ball

Alli Ball, Creator of Retail ReadyTM and Founder of Allison Ball Consulting, returns to the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss selecting the right food & bev industry trade show events and maximizing your trade show success, as well as tips to avoid common pitfalls.  In This Episode:  Why Alli decided to start Retail Ready  Why industry trade shows are not about making direct sales  How to determine if your business is ready to be at a trade show  Why it is generally better to start with smaller regional shows  Four common traps that businesses fall into:  Being unprepared for questions  Not having a sample strategy  Not trying hard enough to collect buyer information  Failing to follow up with buyers after the show  How to prepare and strategize for a trade show  Resources:  Allison Ball Consulting  Retail Ready  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands   
2/20/201946 minutes, 12 seconds
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Building Trust With Brand Consistency

Ainsley Moir, Founder and Chief Brand Engineer of Engineer Your Brand, joins Katie Mleziva on the Real Food Marketing Brands Podcast to discuss the value of consistency in everything you do in both the front end and backend operations of your business in order to build your food or beverage brand.     In This Episode:  Why Ainsley was inspired to start her own company while working in CPG at a large food company.   How taking a brand management mindset will help you and your team build your brand.  Why your brand is more than a logo, and your marketing is so much more than advertising and promotions!  “The Four P’s of Marketing”  Pricing  Product  Placement  Promotion      Why you must have consistency in your branding across ALL areas of your business.  How packaging consistency helps customers trust your brand more  How small things matter, and simple tweaks can often lead to better brand consistency and building trust.  A special deal for listeners to access Ainsley’s Build Your Healthy Food & Beverage Business Virtual Summit. Resources:  Engineer Your Brand  Access the Build Your Healthy Food & Beverage Business Virtual Summit   Branding Beyond Logos (book)  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands (scroll down to access the Brand Checkup Scorecard)   
2/6/201944 minutes, 25 seconds
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How to Find Your Unfair Advantage

Join host Katie Mleziva as she outlines ways to identify theunique “unfair advantage” that sets your food or beverage brand apart from the rest of the market.    In This Episode:  Three ways of looking at your main strengths  Your product:  What is it that makes your food product stand out?  Is it a completely new kind of product, or if it is a commodity product, what about the ingredients or the story makes it uniquely beneficial to your customers?    Your people:  Starting with yourself, what about your personal and professionalstory sets your brand apart from the rest of the market?  Is there someone in your team who brings a unique benefit to your business, and if so, how can you translate that into a story for your consumers without focusing too much on that one person?    Your process:  What about your process, whether on the front end or behind the scenes, allows you to have an “unfair advantage” over your competition?  Does your location provide a unique advantage or story?    Examples of unique advantages from various businesses  A sneak peek at Real Food Brands new Food & Beverage Mastermind coming later this year  Resources:  Katie’s interview with Joe Henry of J. Henry Bourbon  Katie’s interview with Chitra and Ben of Brooklyn Delhi  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  
1/23/201919 minutes, 50 seconds
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Living the Brand with J. Henry Bourbon

Joe Henry of J. Henry Bourbon joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss the importance of setting a brand strategy and then delivering on your promises through consistent operational and marketing excellence in order to help your company stand out in a crowded marketplace.     In This Episode:  The story behind the J. Henry & Sons Wisconsin Straight Bourbon brand strategy  How J. Henry revived of a dormant heirloom corn to help create a unique mash bill  Why J. Henry put quality over profit to age their bourbon for five years before their initial release   How the wildly inconsistent weather in Wisconsin actually benefits the bourbon aging process  Why sampling is so important for smaller food and beverage companies  Why saturating your core market(s) is important before expanding too quickly  How to turn onsite events and demos into memorable experiences that create brand advocates Resources:  J. Henry Bourbon  J. Henry Instagram (@jhenrybourbon)  J. Henry Facebook  Wisconsin Foodie Episode at J. Henry Farm  Outstanding in the Field  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  
1/9/201927 minutes, 24 seconds
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How to Fuel Growth With Your Brand Strategy

Join host Katie Mleziva as she discusses the ways a clearly defined brand strategy can keep you on track to meeting your goals and help you bring more value to your customers.  In This Episode:  A quick overview of what should be included in a brand strategy  How a brand strategy guides you towards your goals  Why action does not necessarily equal progress  How to refine and update your brand strategy  Why your brand strategy needs to be clear to your entire team Resources:  How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands
12/26/201816 minutes, 11 seconds
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How Brooklyn Delhi Blends Cultures in Taste and Design

Chitra Agrawal and Ben Garthus, founders of Brooklyn Delhi, join the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss taking inspiration from their personal backgrounds and leveraging their professional expertise in food blogging and packaging design firm to start their own food company.     In This Episode:  The story behind how and why Ben and Chitra started Brooklyn Delhi  How Ben and Chitra educated consumers about their new product  How choosing a product name can affect your target audience  How Brooklyn Delhi got their product placed in Blue Apron meals  Why Brooklyn Delhi takes a fusion style approach to their products rather than a more traditional Indian approach  How Ben captured the cultures of both India and New York in their packaging design  Tips for great packaging design  Why a creative brief is an important part of creating package design  Resources:  Brooklyn Delhi  ABDCs of Cooking  Garden Haus  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands    
12/12/201839 minutes, 56 seconds
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Using Email Marketing to Build Your Brand

Anna Sonnenberg, Owner of Sonnenberg Media, joins Katie Mleziva on the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss email marketing strategy as part of your integrated marketing plan, and why email is certainly not dead. In This Episode:  Why email is an important part of your integrated marketing strategy  Why email is the perfect place to share your brand’s story  How email can be used to drive sales both online and in brick and mortar stores  How to use email to solicit customer feedback  How feedback helps your customers feel invested in your brand  Why email gives you more ownership over your audience than social media  How often you should email  How to balance the types of content in your emails  Why you should link ecommerce with your email marketing service  Ways to use automated emails Resources:  Sonnenberg Media  How to Get Started With Email Marketing  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  Connect with Katie on LinkedIn    
11/28/201834 minutes, 20 seconds
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3 Ways to Rally Your Team Around Your Brand

Katie Mleziva, Host of the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast offers three simple ways you can engage your team to help you build a strong brand.   In This Episode:  How your team plays a critical role in building your brand  The origin of the word “brand” and how it’s still relevant today  Three steps to help your team “ride for the brand”  Define, document, and share your brand strategy  Ask for input from your team  Let your team know how important they are   Why you should include your team in both celebration and problem solving  Resources:  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands     
11/14/201815 minutes, 36 seconds
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How Soom Foods Is Building a Category One Relationship at a Time

Amy Zitelman, Co-Founder of Soom Foods, joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss building awareness and trial of the tahini category in the US market.     In This Episode:  How Amy and her sisters started Soom Foods  How Soom built awareness for tahini, a relatively unknown product in the US market  Why it’s important to have a diverse team with complimentary skill sets  How to find and build genuine relationships with influencers, including bloggers and award winning chefs  How Soom utilizes user generated content (recipes) in social media  How to build associations with adjacent food categories to bring awareness to your own product  How demos can help build your brand even if store traffic is slow that day  Why Amazon can help small food businesses build an online presence  How the Soom team uses social media to build something meaningful beyond sales  What single # skyrocketed their visibility on social media  Resources:  Soom Foods Website and Instagram  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  Chef Michael Michael Solomonov -- Zahav restaurant and cookbook   
10/31/201839 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to Build a Framework for Innovation

Ryan Pintado-Vertner, Founder of Smoketown LLC, joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss how solving problems for your customers fuels innovation.  In This Episode:  Why building an innovation pipeline is so crucial for food brands  How food businesses can build their own innovation pipelines  How to create empathy for your customers  How to balance short-term wins with longer term disruptive innovation  Why you should focus on solving problems for your customers Resources:  HBR: What Your Innovation Process Should Look Like  Smoketown Website  Ryan Pintado-Vertner Linkedin  Foodscape Group (the producer of Meta Trends report referenced by Katie)  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands
10/17/201828 minutes, 32 seconds
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How to Activate Your Brand Strategy

Join host Katie Mleziva as she discusses the importance of taking a Brand Management approach to integrate your brand strategy into every aspect of your food business.    In This Episode:  Why it is important to be present and engage with your customers face to face  Defining the term “brand management”  How every aspect of your brand is tied together  Ways to align your business around your brand and activate your strategy for a better customer experience  This includes:  Marketing  Product Formulation/Ingredients  Operations  Packaging  R&D  And more!   Resources to get started creating an integrated brand strategy  Resources:  Podcast Episode #2: How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands  Real Food Brands on Instagram    
10/3/201818 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why Marketing Research Is the First Step to Success

Carrie Arndt, Senior Research Executive at MMR Research Worldwide, joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss ways good marketing research can help you stand out from the competition and connect with your ideal customers.  In This Episode:  Ways MMR Research Worldwide helps brands with qualitative and quantitative research  Types of research businesses can conduct when developing food packaging   Why chasing design trends can be detrimental to your marketing strategy  How to balance standing out with fitting in with your category  Why packaging design can have a significant emotional impact on consumers   Quotes:  “Format and structure have a huge influence on success.” — Carrie Arndt   “It is important to visually represent the experience of the product while staying aligned with the promise of the brand.” — Carrie Arndt   “Emerging brands need to ground themselves in their own identity.” — Carrie Arndt   Resources:  MMR Research Worldwide website  Carrie Arndt LinkedIn Profile (look for her posts about food packaging!)  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands website  
9/19/201830 minutes, 30 seconds
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How FMI Emerge Helps Brands Find More Shelf Space

Julie Pryor, Director, Emerging Brands at Food Marketing Institute, joins the Real Food Brands Marketing Podcast to discuss FMI Emerge and helping emerging food and beverage brands gain more shelf space.    In This Episode:  Why FMI Emerge was developed and how it can help emerging food and beverage brands  Common struggles and opportunities facing emerging brands  How FMI Emerge brings the industry together to ultimately benefit consumers  Resources available through FMI Emerge  Ideal subscribers for FMI Emerge  Resources:  FMI Emerge (including the 5-minute FMI Emerge Company Sales Assessment)  Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group  Real Food Brands Brand Checkup Scorecard   
9/5/201824 minutes, 56 seconds
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10 Steps to Creating an Effective Creative Brief

Learn how to write a creative brief that helps align your creative team with your strategy in order to achieve your business goals.      In This Episode:  Why a creative brief is a crucial extension of your brand strategy when it’s time to implement your marketing plan  10 sections to include in your creative brief  Company background  Project purpose  Advertising objective  Ideal audience and insights  Brand personality and voice  Message priorities  Deliverables and format  Executional mandatories  Schedule  Budget  Resources:  How to Start Building and Documenting Your Brand Strategy (they will need to request access to get into the group, so I’m thinking maybe delete this and keep what I added below?)   Real Food Brands Marketing Roundtable Facebook Group (click here to join the group and get access to the creative brief sample).  Real Food Brands       
8/22/201820 minutes, 16 seconds