Did you know it was National Vegetarian Week 16th-24th May? For a fun Friday blog, I thought it would be interesting use vegetarian cooking as the basis for some marketing analogies.
As a vegetarian myself, I have often thought about the challenge of putting together a good vegetarian dish compared to a meat-based one – especially as I only turned vegetarian a few years ago. Here is how preparing vegetarian meals is like planning digital marketing strategies:
Dencentralising and thinking outside the box
Carnivores will often shop for their meat before thinking about what meal they are going to make. The meal then gets built around it. “Do you feel like chicken tonight? Shall we do chicken fajitas? Or maybe chicken curry? Perhaps, chicken stir-fry?”
As a vegetarian, instead of choosing a central focus for the meal, I look to pick several ingredients and think about how to formulate them into a tasty dish. Marketing strategy is all about thinking outside the box and coming at things from different angles and not taking the easy or obvious option.
This lack of central focus allows me to think more about what ingredients work well together and how I can add different textures and little touches to elevate the dish. People often say salads are boring. I think salads can be really exciting, as it can be a process of building layers of flavours, textures and seasoning.
With multi-channel marketing strategies, the different channels, platforms and collaboration tools work together and feed into one another. The content then becomes a melting pot of exciting ideas that engages the consumer.
A lot of people say to me, “isn’t is hard to find many vegetarian options when eating out?” Having lived in London, I can safely say “no”. Especially as Turkish and Indian food are two of my favourite cuisines. There are lots of great vegetarian dishes at most Indian restaurants, whilst Turkish and Mediterranean restaurants have a plethora of meze options. Meze dishes (or platters) encourage sharing, and the current trend of small plates in hip British restaurants taps into the food sharing culture.
The power of social media is in the ethos of content sharing and community engagement. The digital age is all about sharing ideas, tastes and behaviours. Any good strategy needs to embrace this.
Food and Instagram go hand in hand these days. Quite literally! If you are passionate about food and social media, chances are you’ll be a serial snapper of your dishes when dining out or cooking at home.
The Internet is awash with visually tantalising dishes, from the ludicrously gimmicky burgers (on a board not a place of course) to the epically indulgent desserts. What I think is fun about preparing vegetarian dishes, is the adding of colour and panache to the presentation. Whether it be sprinkling of toasted pine nuts, the colourful addition of sliced beetroot or even vibrant pomegranate seeds, presentation is just as important as the taste.
Delve into the veg patch
As it is #NationalVegetarianWeek why not try making a great veggie dish? Think about the process and the challenge in relation to marketing strategies and you might be surprised by the result.