How to build a food or drink brand online

The best food or drink brands are built around the customer, demonstrating an ability to understand – and sometimes anticipate – what they’re looking for. Technology allows food and drink producers to do that more effectively than ever before. To get an insight into how to build a food or drink brand online, we’ve got four examples of businesses that have used digital technology to give themselves a competitive advantage – in a competitive market.

Selling your products online is nothing new, in fact your customers probably expect it. But when it comes to considering how to build a food or drink brand online, there’s a big difference between a business that is ‘also available online’, and a business that has built their model – or reshaped their model – to exploit the opportunities that digital technology offers. Developing a digital business model could revolutionize your business.

Domino’s make pizzas – then they deliver them. It’s a fairly simple business model. But over 75% of their orders are made online in the UK, and the majority of those are made via their mobile app. Domino’s has evolved from a conventional fast food business model to embrace the benefits of digital technology – and the customer behaviour that comes with it. In 2015 their profit margin increased 18%.

They’re not alone. Riverford is an organic farm in Devon. They started out delivering organic veg boxes, with whatever seasonal veg was available, to 30 friends locally. Now they put organic vegetables, meat, milk and bread – customers can tailor their order – on over 45,000 doorsteps across the UK, every week.

Market Porter offers “Top products, from the best small producers, straight to your door”. Whether that’s Michelin-quality meat from Smithfield market or artisan chocolate from Peruvian cocoa beans – you can have it delivered the next day. Just place your order online before midday.

Beerbods mission is to help members of this online beer tasting club “Drink better beer”. They deliver 12 bottles of interesting, independent beer to subscribers every 12 weeks and share the story behind each bottle. They bring together a community of enthusiastic beer drinkers with passionate brewers.

But it’s not just about technology. It’s about behaviour and understanding your customers. What are your customers looking for? What’s the problem they have, that you can solve, by making better use of technology? All of these examples offer ‘convenience’ – but there’s more to it than that. Beerbods, for example, give you access to something you probably wouldn’t find without them.

So when you’re considering how to build a food or drink brand online it’s the marriage of these two elements – customer behaviour and technology – that will give you a competitive advantage, and help you to develop a digital business model that could revolutionise your business.

To find out how to build your food or drink brand online, drop Jonathan an email.


Photo: Flickr – Matt Ryall © Creative Commons