As a consumer product, food has a special power. Food is what keeps us all going, whether we look at it from a nutritional perspective or from the viewpoint of enjoyment, emotion, habit and vice. Food is everywhere, and every single person on this planet needs it and wants it.
Photos for Food & Beverage Businesses
Businesses involved in producing, distributing and selling food products – the food & beverage industry – all face the same challenge: traditional marketing materials, such as printed advertisements, can’t tap into the human senses of smell, taste and touch. Food & beverage marketing teams, therefore, have come to rely on visual stimulations to excite people’s need and desire for food and encourage them to purchase.
This strong association that’s formed between images and things we can eat or drink, has made photos and video a keystone component of inspiring and encouraging buyer behavior.
Businesses find they need to generate more and more visual content and struggle to manage their growing collections of photos, videos and other digital branding assets. Some of the world’s longest-standing and most well-known businesses understand that the problems with storing, organizing and sharing digital assets is expanding so fast that they need to hire people dedicated to photo management. It’s no longer enough to have a great collection of marketing photos. Food organizations need a way to store, manage and distribute those photos. Digital asset management (DAM) is the solution of choice that provides clear ROI on these marketing assets. Yes, DAM is bringing home the bacon for food & beverage marketing.
How Digital Asset Management is Helping Enterprises in the Food & Beverage Industry
With a DAM solution carefully chosen to meet a company’s individual visual marketing needs, food & beverage businesses of all shapes and sizes will start to experience the benefits:
- A central digital library that acts as a single source of truth for all branding and marketing assets stored as digital files
- Permissions and controls determined and set by admin users
- Quick and easy access to a central collection of assets, which allow marketing teams to deliver a consistent brand experience to consumers who are just waiting to purchase food products
Example: How A&W Food Services Handles Digital Asset Management
A&W has been serving customers quality hamburgers since their first drive-in-style restaurant opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1956, and over the years, they have created an incredible selection of visual content.
Before A&W got a DAM, the archive became extensive. Its breadth and depth was becoming daunting to the people actually trying to access photos and videos for current branding and marketing purposes because many of the campaigns and corresponding images had been retired. They needed a solution with a systematic organization structure for finding and sharing current assets so that marketing teams could easily weed out inappropriate and expired images.
After selecting a DAM solution, A&W setup a metadata structure, built a taxonomy, and imported all their assets to one central media library.
Marketing collateral and brand assets are now in one place and accessible by various departments. Users simply login and experience individual levels of access based on pre-determined permissions created by admin users.
Today, with 863 franchise locations across Canada, A&W ensures that all franchisees consistently use the latest approved versions of marketing collateral and brand assets. This industry-leading approach creates a single source of truth for A&W’s media assets, and all users have quick and easy access to the latest approved assets at all times.
But, what about Food Trucks and Small Family Businesses?
The food & beverage industry is full of a wide variety of businesses, large and small. Cloud-based DAM solutions are likely best for enterprise-level organizations with 1TB or more of assets at mid-to-large-sized businesses.
So what do all of the small-to-mid-sized food & beverage businesses do with their growing collections of digital assets?
Smaller businesses face different challenges with managing photo and video collections. Many of these companies are still amassing more assets than they can realistically handle, but they likely have smaller teams managing the process and lower data limit requirements.
Online solutions like Dropbox can be a great start for these businesses. The tool lets you add names to folders and comments to files so your company can start creating a metadata structure. The limitations with this option will be with searching, sorting and filtering, which require add-ons. The free account gives you 2GB of storage, which can be perfect for family-owned restaurants, food trucks or pop-up restaurants. Once you’ve started, you can continually monitor your storage and user requirements and perhaps eventually upgrade to an enterprise-level DAM system when the time is right.
Grow Your Food & Beverage Brand with Visual Consistency
Whether you use a DAM system or Dropbox, getting your assets organized and searchable takes time and patience. As you work towards getting your system set up, if you’re interested in some tips and tricks on how to grow your restaurant business with visual images, try something like this:
Do: Try to find a unique way to share your photos - something that really resonates with your business and is unique to your brand.
- Stay true to your brand voice and curate all your photos and posts with that voice in mind.
- Always, always make sure that all your logos are used properly. They are called “brand assets” for a reason. As your brand grows, they accumulate real tangible value and are part of your restaurant’s identity.
Don’t: Allow inconsistencies in voice and images.
- One way to ensure consistency is to never allow your logo or photos that have poor resolution or quality on your website social channels or any publications.
Example: How Margaritaville Manages Their Online Presence
Margaritaville is a tourism and associated-lifestyle product company focused on providing their customers with a branded vacation experience centered on Jimmy Buffet’s laid-back tropical lifestyle, complete with never ending supplies of margaritas.
All of their content online highlight’s their “vacation-minded” style and brand identity. And their team takes great care to ensure that all images associated with the brand are not only stunning, but they bring the viewer out of wherever they are in the world, and even if for a brief moment, into the tropics where things move a little slower.
Check out this recent tweet:
— Margaritaville (@Margaritaville) January 8, 2017
The comment on the post is telling, as well. A Margaritaville follower from Blaine, Washington wrote:
@Margaritaville It's 5 o'clock in Blaine, Washington but it sure doesn't look like THAT! ?
And with that comment, checkmate! Margaritaville created a seemingly simple video that got the audience engaging with the company, and craving a sunny, tropical vacation. There were no people in the video. There was no drama or plot in the short piece of footage. But the clip was highly calculated to convey the tropical lifestyle of calm, by putting the viewer’s mind into the tropical environment and connecting the possibility of that experience to enjoyment, relaxation and comfort. The company further associates it’s brand with these pleasant experiences by branding “Margaritaville” into the bottom corner of the video.
This tweet is an example of an incredible level of control over image quality, video content and essentially, brand voice. Done consistently, this kind of brand protection based in a unique sense of consistency will empower your restaurant’s audience to engage with your brand and burn positive associations into the minds of your customers and audience.
So, how can DAM bring home the bacon for food businesses?
Whether you need a full-service enterprise DAM solution or a less-intensive cloud-based solution, managing the digital assets for your food business will allow you to make more strategic marketing choices.
For enterprise organizations in the food & beverage industry, DAM will help you know everything you have and where it’s at. Marketing will be able to act as admin users who set permissions and controls. General users, no matter their location on the planet, will be able to find the rich media they are looking for with easy, user-friendly searching, and then, they will be able to use to inspire customers.
Managing your digital assets is crucial whether we are serve and market to customers who buy hundreds of pounds of packaged food each week from you, the distributor, or if your customers walk in off the street once a month to share a meal with loved ones in your local restaurant.
You’ll find out amazing tips and tricks for growing food businesses with rich media originally written by Maria Osipova, our VP of Marketing, and published on the Restaurant’s Canada blog.
We invite you to read more of her actionable tips in 5 Do’s & Don’ts of Using Photos to Grow Your Restaurant Business