Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

5 ways brands can use “Great British Bake Off” to increase sales

Great British Bake Off (GBBO) returns to the screens , and with last year’s average viewer numbers hitting over 12m people, there is huge opportunity for forward-thinking brands to increase their presence, sales and audience reach.

The BBC has strict rules on using its IP when not licensed to do so, but with some creative thinking there are opportunities for many brands to harness the theme and emotion of the competition to maximise sales.

Chris Baldwin, Director of Consumer Programmes at Protravel, part of the Sodexo family, provides top tips on how brands can take advantage of this culinary trend:

Capture creativity

With boasts of being “best baker” peaking amongst friends, colleagues and families, brands can expand this conversation into a social media led competition. Invite consumers to share pictures of their best bake or send in their magic recipes, with one winner being announced in line with each week’s episode. This is organic material for a website and provides great social media content too.

Join the #GBBO conversation

Between the 2014 and 2015 series, the use of #GBBO increased by 217%, and this is only set to continue this year. Brands must join the conversation, use the hashtag and run parallel, complimentary campaigns that reflect the sentiment and excitement of the programme amongst its audience. Spending money on promoting Tweets, Posts and Pictures across social media platforms will increase the exposure amongst the online noise.

Experience competitions

GBBO is not just a chance to increase sales of baking products, but provides brands with an opportunity to reach a target audience which is aligned with the show’s viewers. Hosting competitions to win baking lessons or afternoon tea experiences can change consumer behaviour by offering them something additional to the product in question. Using the Bake Off hype to maximise interest in such campaigns will promote the product to a larger audience.

Pick a partnership

Partnering with well-known individuals who have a connection to the baking world is guaranteed to be of interest to both the consumer and the celebrity, who will also be looking to piggyback off the series’ popularity. Celebrity chef’s and leading bakers can offer a wealth of competition prizes ranging from meet & greets, to signed merchandise or exclusive cookery lessons.

Opportunities beyond baking

The opportunities for brand exposure beyond cooking related products are widespread and, often, not immediately obvious. In 2015, a jacket worn by Mary Berry sold out within the hour long show; brands with similar items did well to quickly join the buzz and invest in ways to promote their products whilst the weekly buzz peaked. Brands should consider how their product offering could be reflected in the wider show, from fashion, to home décor to horticultural features.