Smoothie Franchisee Becomes King of Strategic Marketing

December 29, 2016

How does that old saying go? Anything is possible if you just believe? Apparently, this is Tonya Brigham’s life motto because she has been doing the unexpected for a year now. Brigham owns a Smoothie King in Bowie Town Center in Maryland, but was told upon opening by the corporate parent that she would be lucky to even make $360,000 within the first year. Well, as luck would have it, she’s finishing the year off just $19 shy of $700,000.

Or, maybe it wasn’t luck on her side after all. Over the past year, Brigham has shown a deep understanding of marketing strategies that has served her well. The first marketing technique she’s used to her advantage is the concept of knowing one’s audience.

Brigham is a mother and wife who opened Smoothie King after getting tired of working 80-hour weeks as a meeting planner. Balancing work and family can often be difficult, and it’s a problem that many parents deal with on a daily basis. That’s why her target audience became obvious after opening: soccer moms.

“This is soccer mom heaven,” Brigham said of her Bowie store. “The number one guest of Smoothie King is a soccer mom, the mother who has 100 balls up in the air at the same time. She is tired, stretched, but cares what she puts in her kids’ bodies and cares about what she puts in her body.”

Mothers who are busy bringing their kids from one event to the other often struggle to provide healthy snacks along the way. Fast food places are easy to come by, but healthy alternatives are much harder to find. That’s where Smoothie King comes in. Located across from an L.A. Fitness gym, it’s the perfect quick stop for parents looking for a healthy option for themselves and their kids while on the go.

“These folks are my 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. crowd,” Brigham said. “We really see them in the evening after their workout when they are not interested in going home to cook but grabbing a meal-replacement smoothie for dinner.”

                      Image via Bigstock

After realizing how perfect Smoothie King was for these kinds of situations, Brigham began to target her marketing at this particular audience. Her efforts have obviously paid off, and then some, since 300 guest per day is a common occurrence during the summer months.

Brigham’s success can also be attributed to another form of marketing: influencer marketing. We all know that influencers are one of the best ways to get a company or product noticed. Well, Brigham found this out for herself when her pastor mentioned her name and business during a church service. As a result, 300 people showed up to her Smoothie King location. After the sermon was played on the radio, even more people sought out her shop.

In this case, Brigham didn’t have to ask the pastor for a recommendation. He gave one because she felt she deserved it due to her community involvement. Brigham is constantly giving back by blending smoothies for church parking lot attendants, giving out gift certificates to schools and honor roll students, and more. Community involvement, although not a direct marketing tactic, can prove to be just as useful to building a company’s reputation.

Therefore, marketers, take note. Even if the odds are stacked against you, using strategic marketing tactics can help you get the most out of your business. In this case, Brigham’s ability to market to her target audience and her generosity helped her largely surpass expectations. She even got some free promotion out of it, and that’s always a welcomed surprise.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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