LovelyCakes4Us Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 3:36pm
post #1 of

AI have spent the morning calling around to Clinics,Hair shops,Nail shops, everywhere offering free samples and every response is ( no, no no and umm no thanks) give me a brake people what's it take to hand out delicious free samples lol? Most have said because its not packaged well basically it is but I see were their coming from.

Any other ideas on how I can get my product out there? Should I just show up with beautiful cakes and cupcakes? What is your success on giving out free samples, or getting your name out there? Competition is crazy around here we have two cupcake wars winners and a ton of little fancy shops as for me well I rent a kitchen! But my product speaks for itself! I make my own vanilla, use all fresh ingredients I use SMBC with a twist use WASC with a twist the finest chocolates MMF and the list goes on.

I have done my re search on my competition and our product does taste better then some and others we have about the same product! My prices are 3.00-3.50 per serving theirs are 5-7.00 per serving.

I was thinking maybe saying something in the lines of.. " Gourmet cakes and cupcakes for unbeatable prices" advice please.

My target market is middle class America.

55 replies
LovelyCakes4Us Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:20pm
post #2 of

ABump??

BakingIrene Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 7:28pm
post #3 of

What are you doing when you call a hair shop to take free samples of cake?

 

You are asking them to do the hard work of advertising your business for free.

 

No wonder that they are saying no politely.

 

When you start offering free samples to the right places, people will say yes.

jason_kraft Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:07pm
post #4 of

A

Original message sent by LovelyCakes4Us

I have done my re search on my competition and our product does taste better then some and others we have about the same product! My prices are 3.00-3.50 per serving theirs are 5-7.00 per serving.

I was thinking maybe saying something in the lines of.. " Gourmet cakes and cupcakes for unbeatable prices" advice please.

If you know that your quality is as good or better than your competition (I assume based on independent blind testing) why are you priced so much lower?

You also need to tighten your target market. "Middle class" is way too broad, and most middle class customers are probably budgeting below $3/serving.

Where else are you currently advertising?

tdovewings Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:21pm
post #5 of

When I go to the hair salon/nail shop, I'm trying to relax and don't want to be sold to. Perhaps that's just me.

 

I'm not sure if your target market includes families, but here are some ideas:

 

1) The library runs a summer reading program. For kids that read the specified number of books, they get a coupon booklet. I put a coupon in the booklet.

 

2) Malls have these free concerts for kids, they advertise them months in advance. I haven't done it, but I know a local bakery gives out free samples at these.

 

3) We have a couple of family bloggers in the area, then often do promotions/giveaways on their websites.

 

4) We have an independent book store that often has book signings, if the author agrees you can do giveaways at the book signings. Often times, word of free cupcakes brings more folks out than the author. Win-win!

 

5) Although I don't do consignemt sales, I know a few bakers that have done that. 

 

6)Our community center has family days/events, you can do giveaways for family days at the community centers. 

 

7) Local schools are always looking for bakeries to do a bake sale and give a % of sales to the school. Many schools do this for sporting events as well. 

 

8) Radio giveaways, find a radio station you like and do a giveaway. I've spoke with some that will do an advertising  fee swap for goodies to giveaway. Wasn't a good fit for me, so I didn't choose it. 

 

9) Community festivals, art festivals, home and garden shows are typically looking for exhibitors. Can be pricey depending on the show.

 

10) Private schools fairs or summer camp fairs.

 

11) Visit your local chamber, they often are great at giving ideas and lists of upcoming events. They can introduce you to potential partners too. 

 

 

I should note for most giveaways you need to have insurance. 

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:29pm
post #6 of

I have to agree, unless it brings something to the table for them, it isn't worth it.

If I had a totally unrelated business, like an accountant, call me up and ask if they could do people's taxes for free in my shop, I would say no.

Would people like having their taxes done for free? Sure! But I'm trying to sell wedding cakes, they won't come in, file their quarterlies and take home a tiered cake :)

Same as a salon or clinic, people probably won't come in to try your cupcakes and stay for a hair cut. Those also aren't very food friendly places, and the business owners could possibly get in trouble for handing treats out.

I've owned a dog grooming shop, and I would have been shut down in an instant if I had been giving out cookies and bylaws found out, lol.

 

I would try coffee shops, cafes, diners, anywhere that needs foodsafe certification. Even then, chances are you won't get it for free. The old adage you have to pay money to make money is very true.

 

When I first opened I supplied a coffee shop with cupcakes, I sold them at cost to the shop, which sold them at a mark up, for 6 month contract, and they displayed my business cards.

It sucked working for nothing, but after 6 months, I had a pretty faithful following, and we wrote up a new contract that had me making a profit.

People went in specifically for a cupcake and would usually get a drink as well, owners were happy, I was happy.

 

Gosh, sorry for rambling so much!

tdovewings Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:32pm
post #7 of

I should also add, don't call around, visit, but be prepared to wait.  Introduce yourself, ask about special events. Try to find something in common about your businesses, if there are no commonalities, it's probably not a place for you to advertise. Think about how you can provide service to them as well, it helps determine if it will be a good fit. 

IAmPamCakes Posted 22 Feb 2013 , 8:59pm
post #8 of

I live in a smaller town, and the downtown businesses like to support each other. I have friends who own a clothing shop, and a photography studio in the same building. When they do their grand opening for their businesses, they would like me to supply refreshments. Yes, I will be supplying free food, but they want me to come with stuff to sell, a portfolio of work, and business cards. Hopefully, if you think about it, you know someone who may need you to supply refreshments?

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:16am
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by tdovewings

When I go to the hair salon/nail shop, I'm trying to relax and don't want to be sold to. Perhaps that's just me.

I'm not sure if your target market includes families, but here are some ideas:

1) The library runs a summer reading program. For kids that read the specified number of books, they get a coupon booklet. I put a coupon in the booklet.

2) Malls have these free concerts for kids, they advertise them months in advance. I haven't done it, but I know a local bakery gives out free samples at these.

3) We have a couple of family bloggers in the area, then often do promotions/giveaways on their websites.

4) We have an independent book store that often has book signings, if the author agrees you can do giveaways at the book signings. Often times, word of free cupcakes brings more folks out than the author. Win-win!

5) Although I don't do consignemt sales, I know a few bakers that have done that. 

6)Our community center has family days/events, you can do giveaways for family days at the community centers. 

7) Local schools are always looking for bakeries to do a bake sale and give a % of sales to the school. Many schools do this for sporting events as well. 

8) Radio giveaways, find a radio station you like and do a giveaway. I've spoke with some that will do an advertising  fee swap for goodies to giveaway. Wasn't a good fit for me, so I didn't choose it. 

9) Community festivals, art festivals, home and garden shows are typically looking for exhibitors. Can be pricey depending on the show.

10) Private schools fairs or summer camp fairs.

11) Visit your local chamber, they often are great at giving ideas and lists of upcoming events. They can introduce you to potential partners too. 

I should note for most giveaways you need to have insurance. 

Thanks for the tips, and the only reason I even approached this type of advertising is because its listed ALL over CC where people have given out free samples so, thought I give it a try. :) I surely have insurance would not advertise with out it!

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:23am

A

Original message sent by BakingIrene

What are you doing when you call a hair shop to take free samples of cake?

You are asking them to do the hard work of advertising your business for free.

No wonder that they are saying no politely.

When you start offering free samples to the right places, people will say yes.

Like I stated before I only have tried this form of advertising because I have read great success with people on CC doing business this way! Must you always say something rude on ALL of my post smh..

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:36am

A

Original message sent by IAmPamCakes

I live in a smaller town, and the downtown businesses like to support each other. I have friends who own a clothing shop, and a photography studio in the same building. When they do their grand opening for their businesses, they would like me to supply refreshments. Yes, I will be supplying free food, but they want me to come with stuff to sell, a portfolio of work, and business cards. Hopefully, if you think about it, you know someone who may need you to supply refreshments?

That's really cool! Love the idea i will give anything a try once when it comes to getting my name out there. :)

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:38am

AI didn't state this correct when I first posted, I would give the staff free samples that's it.. Lol not to give a bunch of cupcakes for their customers to try and business cards.. Not at all tho that would be nice but not my intentions.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:40am

A

Original message sent by scrumdiddlycakes

I have to agree, unless it brings something to the table for them, it isn't worth it. If I had a totally unrelated business, like an accountant, call me up and ask if they could do people's taxes for free in my shop, I would say no. Would people like having their taxes done for free? Sure! But I'm trying to sell wedding cakes, they won't come in, file their quarterlies and take home a tiered cake :) Same as a salon or clinic, people probably won't come in to try your cupcakes and stay for a hair cut. Those also aren't very food friendly places, and the business owners could possibly get in trouble for handing treats out. I've owned a dog grooming shop, and I would have been shut down in an instant if I had been giving out cookies and bylaws found out, lol.

I would try coffee shops, cafes, diners, anywhere that needs foodsafe certification. Even then, chances are you won't get it for free. The old adage you have to pay money to make money is very true.

When I first opened I supplied a coffee shop with cupcakes, I sold them at cost to the shop, which sold them at a mark up, for 6 month contract, and they displayed my business cards. It sucked working for nothing, but after 6 months, I had a pretty faithful following, and we wrote up a new contract that had me making a profit. People went in specifically for a cupcake and would usually get a drink as well, owners were happy, I was happy.

Gosh, sorry for rambling so much!

No hun I didn't state it clearly, I called to ask if I could leaves samples for the brake for staff only, not for customers to come and try!

jason_kraft Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:41am

A

Original message sent by LovelyCakes4Us

Like I stated before I only have tried this form of advertising because I have read great success with people on CC doing business this way!

I think that may be the problem...committing to a marketing tactic because you have heard a few strangers in other areas report success is probably not going to serve you well as a strategy in the long term. You really need to do your own research and figure out what will work for your target market (once you define one) in your area.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:43am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

If you know that your quality is as good or better than your competition (I assume based on independent blind testing) why are you priced so much lower?

You also need to tighten your target market. "Middle class" is way too broad, and most middle class customers are probably budgeting below $3/serving.

Where else are you currently advertising?

I'm comfortable at 3.00-3.50 a serving, middle class in my state are the ones that come to me after seeing the prices at the other shops, may not be ideal but hay it brings in orders and it works for me. :)

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:45am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

I think that may be the problem...committing to a marketing tactic because you have heard a few strangers in other areas report success is probably not going to serve you well as a strategy in the long term. You really need to do your own research and figure out what will work for your target market (once you define one) in your area.

I actually read up on this way of marketing for hours and decided to give it a small try, like I said Imyself will try almost anything once to ring in customers. :) it works for me! For now :)

tdovewings Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 12:53am

Keep trying! Don't give up. I would say 1 in every 15 tries maybe successful. Do you focus a particular type of cake? weddings? couture? birthdays and celebrations? 

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 1:21am

A

Original message sent by tdovewings

Keep trying! Don't give up. I would say 1 in every 15 tries maybe successful. Do you focus a particular type of cake? weddings? couture? birthdays and celebrations? 

Thanks I won't give up lol not after 3 years of self training lol! I focus mainly on children's cakes and wedding cakes :).

mariel9898 Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 1:57am

I'm not sure exactly what your marketing strategy is. You go into a nail salon (for example) with some treats (say cupcakes) for the staff. You ask the owner if you can put some in the break room. And they say no? Or are you asking them to taste your samples and agree to take orders for you? recommend you? or maybe you just want them to display your business card? Or do you give them samples hoping that the employees will order? What is your exact plan and why did you target salons and the like?

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 2:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelyCakes4Us 


No hun I didn't state it clearly, I called to ask if I could leaves samples for the brake for staff only, not for customers to come and try!


That makes much more sense! Disregard me :P

cakefat Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 8:25am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariel9898 

I'm not sure exactly what your marketing strategy is. You go into a nail salon (for example) with some treats (say cupcakes) for the staff. You ask the owner if you can put some in the break room. And they say no? Or are you asking them to taste your samples and agree to take orders for you? recommend you? or maybe you just want them to display your business card? Or do you give them samples hoping that the employees will order? What is your exact plan and why did you target salons and the like?

 

 

Yes, my thoughts exactly. I don't understand the OP's marketing plan either. I think it's a bit random that you're calling hair/nail salons and asking to leave samples for the employee's break time. I would say no to that as well. I just find it a bit odd. I don't think that is your potential client base either- besides really- who wants cake lying around (at your workplace/during your breaks) just tempting you to gain weight? Not me! Probably not them either. 

 

 Since you do mention that your prices are below your competition's prices and that you want to target the 'middle class', maybe you can put up flyers of your business at area supermarkets -if there is a business/flyer community notice board- or take your flyers/info to area children's arts/rec. centers- you know places that hold children theme parties? 

BakingIrene Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 6:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

What are you doing when you call a hair shop to take free samples of cake?

 

You are asking them to do the hard work of advertising your business for free.

 

No wonder that they are saying no politely.

 

When you start offering free samples to the right places, people will say yes.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelyCakes4Us 


Like I stated before I only have tried this form of advertising because I have read great success with people on CC doing business this way! Must you always say something rude on ALL of my post smh..

If you think that my post was rude, then you don't know the difference between honest feedback and rudeness.

 

When you go to the right places--the ones where your intended customers shop, then you will hear "yes, thanks" to your samples. 

 

You would have a lot less of the problems that you report here on Cake Central if you could learn to read advice and useful information carefully.  

 

Handing out free samples at a cake/wedding show or farmers market or on the storefront sidewalk is not the same thing as handing out free samples to hair and nail salon owners at their place of work. Nail and hair salons have sanitation practises that are are regulated by boards of health.  Sorry but that's a fact of life that has been put in place for the protection of customers. That information is clearly posted online for anybody who should ever want to know.

 

I don't post recipes online because I know that 99% of a good cake is how the baker follows the instructions.  That would appear to be true also for business and other advice.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 23 Feb 2013 , 7:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

 

 

If you think that my post was rude, then you don't know the difference between honest feedback and rudeness.

 

 

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 1:38am

A

Original message sent by mariel9898

I'm not sure exactly what your marketing strategy is. You go into a nail salon (for example) with some treats (say cupcakes) for the staff. You ask the owner if you can put some in the break room. And they say no? Or are you asking them to taste your samples and agree to take orders for you? recommend you? or maybe you just want them to display your business card? Or do you give them samples hoping that the employees will order? What is your exact plan and why did you target salons and the like?

I didn't think I had to explain down to detail, I have them sample my product for free everyone loves free stuff, then ask if i can leave a small amount of business card for staff only if they are interested in placing a order.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 1:45am

A

Original message sent by BakingIrene

If you think that my post was rude, then you don't know the difference between honest feedback and rudeness.

When you go to the right places--the ones where your intended customers shop, then you will hear "yes, thanks" to your samples. 

You would have a lot less of the problems that you report here on Cake Central if you could learn to read advice and useful information carefully.  

Handing out free samples at a cake/wedding show or farmers market or on the storefront sidewalk is not the same thing as handing out free samples to hair and nail salon owners at their place of work. Nail and hair salons have sanitation practises that are are regulated by boards of health.  Sorry but that's a fact of life that has been put in place for the protection of customers. That information is clearly posted online for anybody who should ever want to know.

I don't post recipes online because I know that 99% of a good cake is how the baker follows the instructions.  That would appear to be true also for business and other advice.

You know why I said what I said no need for internet arguing or snarkyness lol, I don't ever put any recipes online what are you talking about lol?

Got some free samples sent over to a florist she loved them and wants me to have them there weekly along with my cards! :) also a met with a photographer who loved my samples and we agreed that I would make free smash cakes for his clients in return he will refer me to them for partys, let them know who made the cake, and hand out my business cards. :) overall the hard work paid off greatly :)

jason_kraft Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 1:49am

A

Original message sent by LovelyCakes4Us

also a met with a photographer who loved my samples and we agreed that I would make free smash cakes for his clients in return he will refer me to them for partys, let them know who made the cake and nd out my business cards.

That sounds like a great deal for the photographer.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 1:57am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

That sounds like a great deal for the photographer.

It works for me as well, there is a limit to how many I make a month.

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 2:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

What are you doing when you call a hair shop to take free samples of cake?

 

You are asking them to do the hard work of advertising your business for free.

 

No wonder that they are saying no politely.

 

When you start offering free samples to the right places, people will say yes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovelyCakes4Us 


Like I stated before I only have tried this form of advertising because I have read great success with people on CC doing business this way! Must you always say something rude on ALL of my post smh..

Well, there went my little helpful tidbit I WAS willing to share...

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 2:09am

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

Well, there went my little helpful tidbit I [I]WAS[/I] willing to share...

Lol okay.. "rolls eyes and smiles"

jason_kraft Posted 24 Feb 2013 , 2:51am

AGenerally, reputable vendors are happy to refer customers to other quality vendors of complementary goods and services without being bribed with free stuff (beyond an initial free sample anyway). It's not really clear what you are getting in exchange for providing any amount of free smash cakes to the photographer.

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