By Kawania H. Wooten CMP

It’s National Cereal Day!  Today we get to celebrate brightly colored, sugar-coated carbs that enjoyed so much as children!  Truth be told, I was obsessed with “Cap’n Crunch.” But, that was then — Now, I (along with so many others) enjoy eggs, Greek yogurt, and avocado toast for breakfast.  As a result, breakfast cereal sales have experience a declined over the years.  So, what can we entrepreneurs take away from the ups and downs of breakfast cereal? Check out these four (4) marketing tips entrepreneurs can use to sustain the life cycle of their business —

1. Be Prepared for a Declining Audience. The US birth rate currently sits at an all-time low, so the target audience for some cereal brands is shrinking.  In the wedding industry, marriages are also declining — So,  wedding entrepreneurs are also finding themselves competing for a fewer number of couples.  What Can You Do? There are a few options — Specialize and focus your marketing on a very specific niche within the industry. There are “riches” in the “niches.” Or, diversify your services to include additional types of events or creative services.  But, be careful because a “Jack of All Trades” is a challenging business to sell.

2. Promote Your Competitive Advantage. When I was a child (5,000 years ago), all of the cereal brands promoted the sweet taste of colorful and sugary cereal. Ah memories! This was fine until parents began looking for ways to cut sugar out of their children’s diets. But, here is crux of the challenge — Since EVERYONE was marketing the sweet taste of cereal, parents didn’t just cut out specific cereals, they cut out MOST of the cereals.  What Can You Do to Avoid This Challenge? Differentiate your business — Avoid creating a web site that looks like everyone else’s.  Don’t market the same old packages.  And, most of all, determine your competitive advantage.  Then, promote that to potential customers.

3. Promote the Different Ways to Use Your Services. Cereal brands like “Rice Krispies” have benefitted from the easy-to-make snack, Rice Krispy Treats. What Can You Do? Develop a marketing plan that offers numerous needs for your creative services to the same client — For example, photographers may offer their services to weddings, special events, corporate functions, family portraits, and even lifestyle photography.

4. Use Your Brand to Create a Trend. Years ago, the cereal brand “Special K” started the “Special K Challenge” for consumers watching their weight.  They complemented the challenge with diet plans, “Special K” shakes, and protein bars. So, what can you do? Develop a campaign to showcase the benefits of a service you offer.  Secure the services of an influencer to showcase your work — People love being trendsetters or “bringing back” products or services for nostalgia.  Use that to your advantage.

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