squeezy ketchup and some fries

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Rubies looks to help its pub customers solve their problems

One of the biggest challenges often faced by startups is becoming recognised – with the ultimate goal of becoming a consumer’s go-to brand. It’s particularly difficult when you don’t have a large budget.

This challenge couldn’t feel more real at Rubies in the Rubble. With our hero product being ketchup, we are playing in a category monopolised by one, very well known, brand.

So over the past 10 years, we have tried many of the known tactics to break consumer habits – or get them out of ‘zombie mode’, as we like to say. Those include billboards, editorials, influencer sendouts, street sampling and more – most of which are expensive or haven’t had the impact we’d hoped.

I’m well aware there’s no one-size-fits-all way to generate recognition, but for Rubies in the Rubble, one of the most rewarding tactics has always been going the extra mile for our customers. Therefore, this summer, our marketing plans again focus on coming up with impactful solutions to customers’ problems.

For example, pubs are an important customer group for Rubies, through sales of our refillable glass bottles and squeezy condiments on tables. One of the challenges for pubs is, often, trying to keep customers for longer. Therefore, Rubies is sponsoring interactive music sessions and creating fun condiments stations (with ketchup guns!) to both create a bit of a buzz in summer beer gardens and entice people to stay longer.

Independent school groups are another key customer for us. We are creating fun education packs ranging from five to 15 minutes long, educating students on food sustainability and helping teachers educate children in end-of-day or downtime moments.

We have many other fun initiatives, too – including our mornings at Wimbledon, where we offer free bacon butties and brighten up the day of those waiting in line.

These kind of initiatives take a little more thought and time than traditional ways of standing out, but I believe they pay dividends – not just in telling our story and raising awareness, but in growing strong relationships with key customers.

When you know you have a great product, make it stand out. Let’s keep challenging and be the brands that go above and beyond.