Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is a group of 10 food companies and business ventures located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This includes a delicatessen, bakehouse, creamery, restaurant, and coffee company. The Zingerman’s group produces over $60 million in sales annually.
Zingerman’s has mastered the art of using marketing to connect with customers. Graphic design is a standout element in all product packaging and promotions. Zingerman’s uses unique in-store signage to showcase their products. All writing is done in a custom, quirky Zingerman’s font that looks handwritten and product visuals are quirky, colorful sketches.
Zingerman’s CEO, Ari Weinzweig, believed in the power of content marketing before it was a trend in the Internet marketing community. In the beginning, Ari wrote fun print catalogs that he included with all mail-orders. Today, this has evolved to numerous books, 13 email newsletters, and a wide range of content. Ari Described his approach to content marketing in a recent interview:
“By doing so much writing and hand illustration we set ourselves apart in a world that’s increasingly confined to 140 character tweets and two-paragraph blogs. Not that there’s anything wrong with those. But putting out longer, thought-provoking, in depth work that’s based on serious study gives us a special place in the market.”
In addition, Ari believes that creating a strong company culture is a vital aspect of any marketing strategy. He believes that treating his employees with care is the most important marketing work that can be done:
“I believe our work is to honor everyone’s uniqueness and creating an organization in which their creativity can come to the fore makes a big difference.”
Zingerman’s marketing helps create repeat customers and loyal fans. For example, the company offers monthly food subscription clubs. Members of the Coffeecake club, which sells for $230/6 months, will receive a coffee cake delivered to their door every month. The “Bacon All Year Club,” which sells for $400, delivers artisan bacon with recipes and stories each month.