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Diary of a Scale-up: Vegbred explores marketing and engagement

Michael Somerville

Kelly Barfoot, co-founder of Vegbred, a gluten/animal-free natural bread made with sweet potato, continues a series of exclusive videos for Growth Business.

Here, in the second video she explains what the company is doing to engage its audience online, how it plans to grow its subscription service and how it educates its audience through its direct to consumer website.

Watch the video from Vegbred’s founder below

Praise for Vegbred

Elizabeth McKenna, owner of florist Lizzies Bundles, says Kelly and her team are clearly thinking about how to use the internet to extend their reach and have clearly thought through the platforms they are using to reach the audience.

‘Image is everything and understanding that Vegbred speaks to the senses is key, we eat with our eyes, so lots of visuals are needed to keep the user engaged,’ she says.

McKenna says the strategy of working with community is a good one.

‘This is a shrewd way to generate engagement with the brand. Successful online brands work to create positive user-generated content hence which in turn works to consolidate the brand and from there generate sales.

‘The idea of ways to eat and enjoy, recipe ideas all work to reinforce the community.  Kelly should not be afraid to ask questions of the audience, a comment is better than a like and if you can start a conversation then one post can run and run.’

Jason Gibb, founder of food festival Bread & Jam, says Vegbred have their social media strategy ‘nailed’ as ‘engaging with her audience and offering access to an authentic voice the brand is what the millennial customer is after.’

However, McKenna said Vegbred’s flexibility message is not completely clear across because while it comes across strongly in the video, it needs to be communicated clearly and simply on the website.

Gibb says that it was ‘a struggle to find them searching for ‘vegbread’ on Instagram and twitter.’ One possible way of addressing this is to redirect www.vegbread.com – which is vacant – to vegbred.com.

Subscription model divides our experts

The two commentators were divided on Vegbred’s subscription model with McKenna calling subscription ‘a dirty word.’  She explains, ‘Subscription means being inflexible, a commitment and is a hassle to cancel. However, Gibb says the subscription model is the ‘holy grail of online businesses.’ He adds, ‘Get it right and you can have a guaranteed cash-generating monthly or weekly business.’

McKenna suggests using a term like ‘Hassle free repeat order’ rather than ‘the dreaded S word’ while Gibb says the key is subscriptions is keeping the churn rate down (if they are leaving, why and how much would it cost to win them back). ‘Working out your customer life-time value and make sure your customer acquisition cost is viable should be a priority, he says.

McKenna also suggests changing the website button, ‘ORDER VEGBRED to a green button – the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy – instead of white and changing this to “GET SOME” or a similar, less formal phrase which can be more enticing.

To get a third off tickets to the upcoming Bread and Jam festival enter the promotional code GB33

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