Smaller Loaves: Lessons on Adapting to Your Audience From the Bread Industry

Bread-makers are baking smaller loaves due to shifting consumer preference. It’s an interesting solution to a problem that reflects the ways that you might need to adapt to your own audience.

As it turns out, the greatest thing since sliced bread might be a little less sliced bread.

At least it seems that way based on a recent trend in the bread industry—and it’s one that might offer some lessons on adapting to your audience’s needs. As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, bread companies are cutting down on the size of the loaves they sell in some cases, to match millennial eaters, who eat healthier variants of bread that tend to go bad faster because they have fewer preservatives, as well as the growing number of people who live alone.

Speaking to the Journal, American Bakers Association CEO Robb MacKie noted that cutting loaves in half is harder than it sounds, requiring new processes and packaging capabilities.

“It’s doable, but you can’t flip a switch and do it overnight,” MacKie explained.

This general idea of meeting your audience’s preferences translates pretty well to all sorts and contexts beyond bread making. Among them:

Create content that matches their lifestyle. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience of people, you may need to push your content out in new formats that appeals to them. One way to do this could be by producing a podcast, a format that is increasingly popular with millennials ages 25 to 34, according to research from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Set a price that matches your audience. If you’re trying to reach college students or teenagers, you may need to change your pricing to adapt. One way to go is to offer a monthly subscription to this audience rather than a larger annual fee—just as Amazon does with its Prime service.

Use tech to get a new audience thinking. Sometimes, telling a story to a new audience might require the use of bleeding-edge technologies like  augmented reality, something the White House Historical Association was quick to try a few years ago with a smartphone app.

Target your events to younger audiences. This type of approach, just like for the bread companies, might require changes to your current offerings, including adding features to your meetings that are specifically targeted toward Gen Y and Gen Z. While that might require new processes and ways of thinking, it might also create new opportunities for revenue and success along the way.

If they don’t need the full loaf, don’t give it to them.

(virtustudio/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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