8 Popcorn Shop Marketing Ideas that Work
Practical Marketing Strategies to Sell More Popcorn
Coupons, specials, contests, social media… when you feel like you’ve tried it all, where can you turn for marketing ideas that are both practical and worthwhile? Whether your popcorn business is just starting out or looking to grow, it is vital to find new marketing strategies that will help you attract and retain customers. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to come up with ideas on your own. That’s why we’ve compiled these eight recommendations designed to help spark your next winning marketing promotion.
1 – Have a Popcorn Pricing Strategy.
There’s a psychology to pricing and you can use it to your advantage. One example is called the “decoy effect.” If you are selling just a large and small size of popcorn, consider introducing a medium size. With only two choices, studies have shown customers most often default to the less expensive option. But when a medium size is priced just under the large, it actually makes the large size appear more attractive because it is a greater value. (Read a full explanation in this article from entrepreneur.com.)
Another technique is called anchoring. Take a lesson from retail stores that show one price, like $19.99 crossed out and a new lower price boldly proclaimed as $16.99. It is more than just a sale, it gives the impression that the customer is receiving more value for a lower price. (For more insight on popcorn pricing, visit our blog.)
2 – Samples Will Help Sell.
It can take just a taste to win over a customer. You may not be able to hand out open samples, as in the pre-COVID-19 days. However, with just a little clever packaging, you can make sealed packages in a small taste-test size. This is great to do if you are introducing a new flavor or if you have excess inventory you would like to move. Keep them near the display counter or at the checkout for easy access. (Read more about why sampling works for grocery stores and other venues.)
3 – Profitable Package Deals that Customers Love.
Ever watch as a customer ponders over what flavors of popcorn to choose? Give them an option where they can try multiple flavors in one conveniently priced package. Sampler packages allow you to sell multiple flavors together. The size of the sampler bags is typically smaller. It keeps costs down for you, plus provides an incentive for the customer to return to buy a larger size of their favorites. Create a sampler package of fruity flavors or one that’s hot and spicy. Or you can even give the option for customers to build their own. These are also great to give as a gift. (We also recommend: Drive Sales with Gourmet Popcorn Gift Baskets Year-Round.)
4 – Guaranteed Sales Every Month.
Recurring sales are essential in any business. For a popcorn shop, this can mean having a Popcorn Club where members subscribe for the year and are sent a special flavor of the month. You get to build customer loyalty and your customers receive a tasty treat. Much like a subscription service, you have the option to bill annually or monthly. Make the price attractive enough to encourage shoppers to purchase them as gifts as well. Plus, remember you will have the opportunity to market to these members throughout the year with other exclusive incentives.
5 – Celebrate Every Day!
There’s always a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s traditional holidays, food days, sporting events, or a celebration of your own invention, get your popcorn shop involved. We’ve got suggestions for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas! Try out new recipes, make a special in-store display, or run a sale. Whatever you do, get the word out that your popcorn shop is the place to be for not just delicious treats, but fun too! One recommendation is to add a calendar to your website where visitors can see what special celebrations you have planned.
6 – Make a Reservation.
Events may have to be reworked, but they don’t have to be canceled entirely. Schedule private demonstrations or tastings that require reservations. This assures you can keep a safe number of attendees plus plan your supplies accordingly. Invite brides-to-be and showcase wedding popcorn bar options. Or invite businesses to explore different holiday gifts for their employees. Have order forms on-hand to encourage guests to place orders.
7 – Align with Local Businesses.
Find complementary businesses in your local area and partner together. For example, host a tasting with a local winery or brewery. Just pair up popcorn flavors with a selection of wines or beers. (Use Gold Medal’s wine or beer pairing guides for inspiration.) Picture your popcorn at the café, bakery, or ice cream shop. Other local businesses may be interested in purchasing your product and reselling it at their location. Think ahead and create a plan for what type of volume discounts you could offer. (Find more ideas how to build your business with local partners.)
8 – Give Back.
There are a number of ways to support charitable causes. Create a fundraiser program where groups like the scouts or PTO can sell bags of popcorn and keep a percentage for their organization. Or choose dedicated shopping days, where groups direct their supporters to your store during designated times, and a percentage of the sales during that period is then donated.
Remember, the key behind any great marketing is communication. Get the word out about your promotions via signage, website, email, social media, and direct mail. It’s worth the effort!