Slow is Smooth: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Food Brand

Slow is Smooth: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Food Brand

It's so easy to feel pressured to get things done as quickly as possible, especially in food marketing. That feeling often leads to business owners to rush, and push out their marketing needs as quickly as possible. This might compromise your business’ output and even hurt your brand. 

The same goes for many aspects of running a business - there’s that constant pressure that comes from the need to think, act, produce and earn.

When you’re in this situation, remember that things aren’t as bad as you imagine and whenever you feel like you’re being overwhelmed by the day-to-day of operating your business, stop and take a breath. 

I just love how Phil Dunphy, beloved dad figure from the hit sitcom Modern Family, says it: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!”  It rings so true when you’re in the good food economy. Taking it slow and assessing your situation, making a list of the things you need, and most importantly, creating a plan on how to move forward are essential to keeping your business on track.

Virginia Foodie Essentials:

  • Whenever you feel overwhelmed, never hesitate to give yourself a breather, assess your circumstances, and come up with a list of things that need to be done that can help you move forward.

  • Having a plan calms the overwhelm.

  • Take a moment. Make a list –  a legitimate, written list. That simple act of list-making turns all those thoughts in your head vying for attention into actions that you may or may not need to take immediately.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A mission statement is different from a brand strategy, and both are different from a marketing strategy.

  • Your mission statement is the WHY of your brand: why you exist and what you're doing to earn your money.

  • Your brand strategy is how you are communicating that mission to the market and may include direction for the types of words and imagery that you'll use to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

  • Your business plan should describe where should you focus your energy to grow sales.

  • Your marketing strategy uses your brand strategy and your business plan to create a strategic plan for communication to the right audience, at the right times, to support your sales goals.

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Full Transcript:

Note: We use AI transcription so there may be some inaccuracies

[00:00:00] Georgiana Dearing: Stopping, assessing and then creating a plan is at the heart of the phrase, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. It's a reminder that the best way to move fast is actually to take your time, slow down and do the job right.

[00:00:18] Georgiana Dearing: Welcome to the Virginia Foodie Podcast where we lift the lid on the craft food industry and tell the stories behind the good food, good people, and good brands that you know and love. If you've ever come across a yummy food brand and wondered how did they do that? How did they turn that recipe into a successful business?

[00:00:37] Georgiana Dearing: Then we've got some stories for you.

[00:00:44] Georgiana Dearing: Hello, foodie fam. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad you're here. I'm George Steering, founder of va, and I help sustainable food brands grow their. In today's Marketing Monday episode, I'm sharing one of the foundational concepts of my content marketing strategy and coaching practice.

[00:01:05] Georgiana Dearing: For the past several months, I've had a quote from Phil dfi in my email Signature, slow is smooth and smooth as fast people. If you don't recognize the name, Phil dfi is a dad character in the TV sitcom modern. Phil starts saying that phrase in season two and continues to use it throughout the series during moments of frantic action trying to calm down the family as they rush to get something done.

[00:01:31] Georgiana Dearing: The language in this phrase isn't original to the show. That quote is most often attributed to military actions, and in particular the US Navy Seals. There's no perfect origin story for the phrase though, because the concept applies to so many actions in. It's a reminder that the best way to move fast is actually to take your time, slow down and do the job right.

[00:01:57] Georgiana Dearing: My husband is an indie car and Moto GP racing fan. In motorsports, they say sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. Successful drivers always trained to be smooth before being fast. Knowing the best line through a corner and keeping control of your vehicle gets you to the finish line faster, wobbling around and making jerky moves actually scrub speed off your progress.

[00:02:22] Georgiana Dearing: Even Tiger Woods famously took a pause and rebuilt his swing. Actually more than one time in his career, tiger stopped and smoothed out his actions to create more. I added the phrase to my signature. It is a bit of a private joke for myself because it amuses me, and I'll admit that I had a particular person in mind when I started using it.

[00:02:45] Georgiana Dearing: However, I've kept it for months now because it's as helpful to me as it is to my clients. Seeing it over and over again is a reminder about the best way to reach your goals. It is very common as an entrepreneur to think that when you create a goal, you understand it well enough to just start moving.

[00:03:05] Georgiana Dearing: Brands often start and stop the planning process with their mission statement. A smaller percentage of you have dedicated real purposeful time to creating a brand strategy or messaging platform. I love these clients who show up with a brand strategy, by the way, it gives us such a great foundation to start your marketing strategy.

[00:03:27] Georgiana Dearing: A mission statement and a brand strategy are not the same as a marketing strategy. What's the difference you might ask? Your mission statement is the why of your brand, why you exist, and what you are doing to earn your money. Your brand strategy is how you are communicating that mission to the market. A brand strategy often includes direction for the types of words and imagery that you'll use to differentiate yourself from the competition, and that's where things may get a little confus.

[00:03:58] Georgiana Dearing: You may think I've got the content direction. Now let's start communicating The missing piece here is your business plan. Where should you focus your energy to earn that money that you say you'll be earning in your mission statement? You may not say money or earn in your mission statement, but if your mission statement uses words like, provide, deliver, or create, then that's the money code.

[00:04:22] Georgiana Dearing: What you're really saying is, I will be making my living by doing these things. Your business plan should outline steps you will take to achieve the income that lets you earn your living from your company. A marketing strategy uses your brand strategy and that business plan to apply all those words and images in a strategic application of the right tools, aimed at the right audience at the right times to support your sales goals.

[00:04:53] Georgiana Dearing: Without that marketing strategy in place, many brands take their brand strategy and start building a website, writing sell sheets, posting on all the social platforms, and maybe if there's time, start sending emails every month or every week arm. With a brand strategy, you just start making stuff. It's chaotic.

[00:05:12] Georgiana Dearing: It's wobbly, and before you know it, you are spending lots of money on lots of communication tools while you are scrubbing off speed toward your sales goals. There are so many ways to spend your money, resources, and your energy when it comes to food marketing. My goal is to help you focus that energy on the right targets at the right time for your.

[00:05:36] Georgiana Dearing: This is why Phil Dunphy's Phil's philosophy appeals to me so much. He says it several times throughout the series, and it's always in a moment of chaos. The family is rushing towards some goal, usually with a bit of panic, and he starts shouting above the fray. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Dunphy's, he's trying to calm the chaos.

[00:05:57] Georgiana Dearing: I totally get it. I recognize myself in that statement. I'm an entrepreneur and I have the added blind spot of actually working in marketing. I know this stuff. Surely I can cut corners for my own business, so sometimes I will take off down a path without finishing all the steps in my plan, because I'm human.

[00:06:18] Georgiana Dearing: I can tell you for a fact that it's not just small brands like you and me that can be overwhelmed when it comes to product market. Early in my career, I walked out of a lengthy meeting with a corporate marketing manager with 19 yes, 19 product launches. All due was something like a 30 day deadline. All I could think about was how in the world would my team of eight people pull this off?

[00:06:42] Georgiana Dearing: I could have easily started rushing toward that goal in an effort to please this multi-billion dollar company. I have a bank of reliable contractors. I could have doubled my staff with just a few phone calls. Before making any of those calls, though, I sat down first to analyze each project and create an action plan.

[00:07:02] Georgiana Dearing: At the end of my work session, only seven of the projects had the information necessary to start a product launch. The other 12 had so many holes to fill that even writing a quote would've been a guess on my part. I could have spent a lot of time and energy taking all 19 of those product launches right up to the stall point.

[00:07:22] Georgiana Dearing: Instead, I went back to my client and we worked together to create a reasonable plan, moving slowly and smoothly toward their launch calls. I learned two things from that experience that I've never forgotten. First, when you're feeling overwhelmed, stop. Take a moment. Make a list, a legitimate written list.

[00:07:44] Georgiana Dearing: That simple act of list making turns all those thoughts in your head, buying for attention into actions that you may or may not need to take immediately. A list can be edited and waited. A written list clears your mind. The second thing I learned is that whatever is so overwhelming in the moment never turns out to be as bad as I imagined.

[00:08:07] Georgiana Dearing: There really are only 24 hours in a day, and a human being can only spend so many of them working. Beyond that, you just have to let some things go reassign their importance, or better yet, delegate them. Having a plan calms the o. There's actually one more thing I took away from my work with corporations, and that's the reason that I am talking to you, a small food brand today.

[00:08:32] Georgiana Dearing: This feeling of pressure to get things done now in a hurry happens to everyone, whether you own the business or are a brand manager, whether your company is a large corporation or a small, locally owned business, you all have the same marketing needs and you are a human being, and that feeling of overwhelm won, raise its head from time to time, stopping, assessing, and then creating a plan is at the heart of the phrase, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

[00:09:01] Georgiana Dearing: It's also at the heart of my practice. I'm a designer by training. My world is words and imagery, knowing what to say and when and where to say it is the core of a marketing strategy. Your website, packaging, sell sheets, social media, and email are all pulling at you for attention and for your money. My job is to help clients sort through all that chaotic pile and put a plan in place Together we calm it down and create a process that allows you to start marketing in steady ways that contribute to steady sales.

[00:09:35] Georgiana Dearing: And when things pile up again, and they will, you'll have tools in place to help you calm that chaos, slow it down, smooth it out, and get back on track. Are you feeling overwhelmed then? Let's. DM me or send an email to george va for a free half hour consultation. I'm happy to help. And now that's it for this Marketing Monday.

[00:10:01] Georgiana Dearing: Okay, everybody get outta the car. We got slow, smooth, and smooth, fast, slow and smoothest bears done. Thanks for listening, and if you wanna learn more about how to grow your own food brand, then click on Grow My If you're a lover of local food, then be sure to follow us. We are at VA Foodie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

[00:10:29] Georgiana Dearing: Join the conversation and tell us about your adventures with good food, good people, and good brands.