China Competition Entrepreneurs Marketing Strategy

Strike a chord with your clientele, & educate them.

Pizza, the recurring topic, recurs again today – though it does have some company.

Why would anyone put this on their pizza store website?

Sorry. We’re not everyone’s pizza.

Our dough is made from scratch. We hand mill and season each and every batch of sauce. We shred the best rennet-free cheese available. Then we hand-toss an artisan style thin-crust to perfection. Why? It’s our passion.

Whether it’s our salads, foccacia sandwiches, hand-formed half-pound burgers, or our entrees, we choose the best ingredients available to provide our friends, neighbors, and families with the quality they deserve. Why? It’s about relationships and community.

Simple. To stand out from the me-too franchises that don’t cater to anyone. It’s not that they don’t care (or maybe it is). More likely, it’s that they can’t afford to care like the locally owned shop can. It isn’t a prime directive in their business plan. Domino’s never set out to make the world’s best pizza, they simply wanted to make sure they could deliver some sort of pizza in 30 minutes or less.

Dough made from scratch? How can Pizza Hut trust a franchisee to do that? What franchisee would want to?

Hand-mill and season every batch of sauce? Hand toss crust in 2007??? Franchise owners buy a franchise for one very good reason: A proven system for marketing and operations. Not because they want to make a better pizza.

Shred your own rennet-free cheese? More equipment for the franchisee to buy, more to train people on, more to clean and maintain. That isn’t why a franchisee buys a pizza store. Much less the “Why rennet-free?” thing. Why? Because strict vegetarians want cheese without the meat-based protein used in the production process of most cheese. Catering to the clientèle when no one else will.

Hand-formed burgers, best ingredients. Why spend $20 on a franchise pizza made with the same mystery ingredients as the frozen pies at the grocery store when you can get a gourmet quality pizza with quality, hand-selected ingredients for $22-24? Why eat a frozen mystery meat burger when you can get one that was made from fresh, never-frozen hand-formed burger?

Cardboard mystery meat frozen pizza isn’t enough to make someone feel good about blowing off their diet one evening a week. Delicious gourmet ingredients made with loving care? That’s another story.

It doesn’t matter if you sell pizza, motor oil, religious items, shotguns or coffee.

Striking a chord with his clients is likely one of the reasons (probably a lesser one, I’m guessing) why Ian doesn’t buy Chinese (-made goods, not food). Dan would call Ian’s behavior congruent, because it is consistent with other aspects of the business, much less his life. While I suspect that Aquinas might be happy to sell to anyone who wants their goods, I’d bet they really truly hope to sell to someone who appreciates the extra steps they take to keep their operations consistent with their beliefs – including how they choose wholesale sources of their stock. Ian’s blog goes to the extra step to educate his clients about these things, among other reasons, because it differentiates his business from the competition. The better informed his clients are about issues important to his clients, the more likely they are to shop exclusively at his store.

How do you strike a chord with your clients?

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