Stay Innovative, Stay Iterative

As a food and beverage business, oftentimes you’re in-the-thick of operations and production that is extremely difficult to think beyond the “now”. This is the peril of being in the food business – it’s easy to become reactionary instead of proactive. But what happens when you’re not the hot new thing anymore?

Our third and final stage of business development growth is ongoing. What’s your strategy for customer acquisition and increasing basket size 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by this part of the process, but you should allow yourself breathing room to be iterative and extremely creative.

You may be thinking, okay, so where do I begin and how do I get my creative juices flowing? We at Cure[ate] take inspiration from everywhere we go. Keep your mind open to tactics happening even outside of your field. There’s no one tried-and-true way for every product or even every product launch. But in this post, we’re taking a cue from old marketing tactics, and revamping them to be more indicative of our time. Read below for 3 marketing tactics that could work towards your business growth.


“Billboard advertisements are designed to catch a person's attention and create a memorable impression very quickly, leaving the reader thinking about the advertisement after they have driven past it. They have to be readable in a very short time because they are usually read while being passed at high speeds. Thus there are usually only a few words, in large print, and a humorous or arresting image in brilliant color.”

What could be considered the Billboard of our era? Yeah sure there are still Billboards in existence, and there will be as long as there are densely populated metros and cars on the road. But where are people’s eyes now? Are they really looking up, or are they looking down…

People’s eyes are on their phones. What’s your social strategy? What’s your mobile strategy? Think about the concept of a Billboard when you’re crafting your brand narrative, especially as it relates to photo-sharing platforms like Instagram. What iconic parts of your product are something people will take photos of, share, and tag your brand?

Take the famous Rose’s Luxury for example. That team does a lot of things right; but what is incredible, even beyond the food, is the memorable details in the brand that transcend online. Take a quick scroll through the #rosesluxury tag (which surely doesn’t even do most of the brand justice as most people tag @rosesluxury). What are the two most prominent photos besides the food? Their iconic AWESOME sign and FUCK PERFECT sign. That FUCK PERFECT sign is so popular that it has been stolen and returned to the establishment many times. They are the markings of a Billboard, “[they] catch a person’s attention and create a memorable impression  very quickly, leaving the [customer] thinking about the advertisement after they have [scrolled] past it.”

Another example is from the Blue Hill Farm #wastedny dinner. The amount of people in the bathroom, taking selfies, sharing the photos with the branding… incredible! The photo has now become your Billboard on a rippling effect of Instagram feeds.

Direct Mail

“The delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail.”

Photo by  Gather Journal.

Photo by Gather Journal.

Kin Khao in San Francisco has a whole wall dedicated to gorgeous polaroid-like photos turned into postcards. It shows fun pictures of the staff, of the food, and of the overall ambiance of the space. The best part about it? They are free to take. Think about takeaway items for your product or brand that can help spread offline word-of-mouth.

Sure, you could stop there, but why not up-the-ante? Add a well-designed mailbox to your front of house and offer free mailing of the postcards for your guests. This provides a unique way to surprise and delight your customer and a future customer. That is direct mail at its finest.

Let’s do some simple cost-benefit analysis: Stamps are 49 cents. Last time we checked, potential customer acquisition costs at 49 cents per person were pretty great. And let’s face it, people generally dine in groups so that’s a 49 cent acquisition per group. Think through your marketing tactics in both qualitative experience but also quantitative ROI.


“You’re the 100th Caller!” Radio

Remember in the early 2000s when TRL was in its hey-day, VMAs were so hot, and the radio was your main resource into winning tickets and exclusives to behind the scenes with your favorite artists? The radio was your ticket into a brand experience. With so many outlets and opportunities to engage with your VIP customers, how do you still deliver that brand experience that has that lasting impact?

Check out what Resy did at South by Southwest. At partnering restaurants, they chose guests to cover their check in full at the end of the meal. Imagine the lasting experience those customers had with their brand. Think of ways that you can add in branded experiences at every touch point of customer acquisition.


This is what we pride ourselves on at Cure[ate]; the ability to think high-level and visionary with your team to create a growth strategy, and then our know-how & bandwidth to execute down to the last detail. We want to work with you on how to increase your perceived value. The best part about this stage of growth is that it’s creativity at its finest. Don’t worry about failing because there’s no trick to brand growth and relevancy. You need to figure out what’s best for you, your product, and your mission. Stay innovative, stay iterative.

GrowthKim Bryden