If you are new to the candy business, it may seem challenging to get the word out about your products or store. According to online business resource Career Amplified, in 2008, candy (including gum and chocolate) generated $28 billion in retail sales. That year over $2 billion was spent on Halloween candy alone. In order to be successful in the candy industry, it's important to employ marketing strategies that will attract new customers and grow your business.
Create memorable business cards that customers won't be tempted to throw away. For example, a colorful magnet business card in the shape of a piece of candy can be used on a refrigerator or other appliance, and may continually remind customers of your business when they see it. Print your candy business' name, address, telephone number, email and website on your business card, and pass them out in your store, during food events or at community meet-and-greets.
Design an interactive Web page for your candy business. If you do not know how to design a website, hire a professional Web designer. Depending on the type of candy business you are promoting, you may want to utilize bright candy colors like green, blue and red, spinning lollipop graphics and interactive games that can reward winners with coupons and other deals they can print and use in your store.
Register to take part in local food events, festivals, tastings and parades. Food events and local festivals bring a community together, and can be an opportunity for you to get the word out and engage with the public as the face of your candy business. For example, if you are taking part in a food fair, set up a vending booth. Offer free samples of some of your best candies, and hand out coupons or special deals to passersby. Keep a stack of business cards on your booth counter and encourage those who stop by to visit your store for special sales and events you may be planning to hold.
Utilize your front windows as marketing space if you are running your business out of a storefront. Hire a professional artist to paint colorful, relevant images on your front windows that clearly include your store's website address. If you are holding special deals, ask your artist to incorporate this information into his window paintings. If you're running your business out of your home, use your candy wrappers as a marketing tool. Order special candy wrappers with your business' Web address printed on them, along with fun informational tidbits about your company, such as when it was started, or what sets it apart from the competition. Printing special deals on the wrappers to be used on later purchases may also prompt further business.
Promote your business through special events that may be tied to a certain holiday. For example, hold a Halloween party in your candy store and encourage children and adults to come dressed in costume. Hold a costume contest with candy prizes for winners, play Halloween-themed music that customers can dance to and serve free "blood," or red punch. The longer customers are invited to stay in your store, the more likely they may be to purchase your products.
Use social media as a way to get the word out about your business. Start a Facebook page and post daily or weekly deals on your Facebook wall. When people comment on your wall, always comment back to show that you engage with the public. Create incentives for people to "Like" your Facebook page, such as offering a free package of candy to each person who "Likes" your business. Start a Twitter account and "tweet" about new candies you are offering, special events you are holding and any daily deals. Encourage Twitter followers to "retweet" certain tweets by offering online coupons.
Crystal Vogt has been an editor and freelance writer since 2005 and has had her work mentioned on MediaBistro, Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money, among other outlets. She received her M.S. in journalism from Boston University and holds a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara.