How to Develop a Food Brand: Behind-the-Scenes | Diane Sanfilippo

How to Develop a Food Brand: Behind-the-Scenes

Developing a food brand isn’t easy.

In fact, I know a lot of folks who have seen me take on this challenge who’ve assumed I’m simply fearless and never doubt myself. 

That couldn’t be further from the truth!

While working hard to grow Balanced Bites as a food brand, or consumer packaged good brand (CPG), I’m certainly faced with many challenges. Not the least of which has been branding. While I find myself doing this now, I sure didn’t know how to develop a food brand when I dove into it.

When I started Balanced Bites more than a decade ago, it was a local meal delivery business based in San Francisco. Over the last decade, the brand transitioned to a blog, recipe website, an award-winning, 8-year / 400-episode running podcast, and, most recently a food brand.

So, the evolution of this brand from meal deliver that was local into many other things, and now into a nationwide frozen meal delivery, an organic spice line, and a blog, well, it presents its challenges!

A frozen meal delivery business: my full-circle moment.

When I launched Balanced Bites Spices in the fall of 2016, I didn’t anticipate the full-circle moment that I’d experience when I launched a healthy frozen meal delivery service in January of this year.

The spices were intended to make life easier for my readers, those who owned a copy of Practical Paleo, any of The 21-Day Sugar Detox books, or Keto Quick Start.

It wasn’t until late 2018 that I even said the words out loud to my friend Tony Kasandrinos, “maybe one day I’ll dip back into the meal delivery business and create frozen meals, that would be cool.” No sooner did those words release from my mouth than the wheels were put in motion.

The Universe is always listening! I’d estimate it was just about three months later that I received a contact asking if I’d like to develop my recipes into frozen meals.

Excuse me?! Were you listening to my conversation? Or literally reading my mind?

No, Tony hadn’t told anyone what I had told him. But, man, my words were powerful, don’t you think?

So, here we are, coming up on the 3-year anniversary of launching Balanced Bites Spices and nearing a year of offering frozen, Balanced Bites Meals that are delivered nationwide.

Looking behind-the-scenes at developing a food brand.

Last week on the Driven podcast I shared a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a rebranding exercise that we’re currently going through on the Team Balanced Bites.

Inspired by one of my favorite business resources, Story Brand, the team and I have been working through some of the common mistakes that brands make when creating their voice and engaging with customers.

We’ve worked hard to clarify our own message and whittle down what we want to help folks understand about what Balanced Bites truly is today, and what we will continue to be in their (your!) lives.

Our takeaway reminder: The customer must be the hero and we (the brand) are the guide. 

Admittedly, branding through visuals and graphic design, creating a mood, and connecting with customers is something that I feel comes pretty naturally to me.

But, translating that into the hero’s journey is what we’re working on – bigtime!  

The two words that we landed on to capture this essence for Balanced Bites: Simplifying Dinnertime.

How Balanced Bites simplifies dinnertime.

We “simplify dinnertime,” allowing you, the customer, to experience “dinnertime, simplified,” through three distinct avenues.

One avenue (or channel) requires the least effort (or time cost), but most financial cost – Balanced Bites Meals. You can buy meals, and dinner is done. You don’t have to do anything else. What you save in time you will need to pay a bit more for in the service provided since the meals are fully cooked, portioned and packed, and delivered straight to your door. You can order them each week as you like, as a pre-set box or a customized build-a-box. Or, you can even simplify dinnertime (or weekday lunches, or meals anytime you want to eat them) by subscribing to a box of meals every week, two weeks, and so on.

The second channel is Balanced Bites Spices. These are available at a much lower dollar cost “per meal” than Balanced Bites Meals, but will of course require your time to shop for ingredients for the rest of your meal as well as your time to prep and cook the food.

And the third channel is our recipes and resources that we offer — the blog, the books, and educational programs. These are the least expensive options (many are even free), but involve the most time on the customer’s part.

There are exciting changes ahead for the Balanced Bites brand, so stay tuned for more to come in the coming months as we explore the concept of simplifying dinnertime further.

In the meantime if you’re an entrepreneur or just a curious customer, check out episode 11 of the Driven podcast (Converting Followers Into Customers) for more insight on the topic. 

If you’re a business owner, how have you applied this to your business? As a customer, how has this resonated with you when you have connected with a brand? I’d love to hear from you.

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