Kiss the Cook: Grilling & How Niche Subcultures Make Purchasing Decisions

Independence Day is like Christmas for fans of barbecue: a day full of family and fun. The main event? A smoky, savory feast. That puts a LOT of pressure on the Grill Master for the day to deliver the best barbecue possible. These folks know that workers are only as good as their tools – and chefs are as good as their grill! Their emphasis on using the right tools (and fixings!) makes grill enthusiasts a case study for how niche communities make purchasing decisions. So, before you kiss this cook this fourth, let’s look at how these niche communities operate. 

Barbecue enthusiasts, unite!

In our connected world, finding like-minded individuals with shared interests or values has never been easier. The ability to connect has spawned thousands of niche communities on pretty much any topic, hobby or issue you can imagine. These communities can become extremely powerful and important, influencing members to choose or abandon brands. This makes these communities extremely appealing for marketers looking to target thought leaders for efficient targeting. 

At the same time, these communities often are less receptive to traditional marketing methods. Why? They rely on their fellow enthusiasts to discuss and recommend brands and products. The barbecue enthusiast community is an excellent example of how niche communities operate and how brands can harness that.  

This tight-knit, passionate group of amateur pitmasters gather in analog and digital spaces, hosting discussions on hobbyist forums and arranging events and competitions that sometimes attract thousands! The group’s collaborative nature makes word-of-mouth marketing extremely effective at boosting a brand’s presence among the group’s core members.  

Grill, no…drill down on audiences.

So, how can your brand get in on the trend? Leverage AI-powered data that can drill down to the individual level, including Grill Masters. Resonate data offers rich data on this niche audience, including how individuals within this audience evaluate brands in the space. Utilizing the Resonate AI neural network, rAI, brands can identify key motivators and activate a niche audience into a dedicated consumer base. Here’s what we found when we leveraged rAI to research “frequent grillers,” which we defined as those who grill once a week or more: 

Resonate data on BBQ enthusiasts | sources of information

You see that this is a community that prides itself on knowledge of its hobby, and it affects their purchasing decisions:  

Outsider endorsements from celebrities and online influencers

This group of hobbyists respects the experts. Successful brands in this space are the ones able to elevate their legitimacy among influential group members. 

Community knowledge & online reviews from independent sites and customers 

Niche communities present an opportunity for organic, word-of-mouth growth for any brand willing to take advantage of the rich relationship that can be built using data. 

Effective messaging also involves connecting with your audience in more meaningful, personalized ways — but you can’t do that with basic data that only shows what happens within your brand walls. Enriching your 1st- and 3rd-party data with psychographics, including values, motivators and intent, will help you tell stories that grip key audiences emotionally.  

Leverage their values to add flavor to your marketing.

In the barbecue enthusiast community, we drilled into what they value…. Here’s what we found:  

Our Grill Masters over-index for values in security, nature and tolerance. How can you use this vital insight in your marketing messaging?  

  • Focus on freedom, preservation and stability in your creative and messaging 
  • Use themes of unity with nature and conservation 
  • Include messaging surrounding acceptance, inclusion, harmony and diversity

Now that we know their values, we can glean a better understanding of what drives their lifestyle and purchasing decisions

Grill Masters, unsurprisingly, are highly driven by their ability to establish themselves as masters at their crafts, being over-indexed for proving skill as a top psychological motivation, meaning it’s no wonder that they take so much pride in what they do.  

Understanding the values of your customers and potential customers is the key to developing and nurturing long-lasting relationships that permeate beneath the surface of basic purchasing decisions. You need the right data – AI-powered, privacy-safe and continuously updated – to do that. After all, you wouldn’t necessarily want to advertise a meat tenderizer to a vegetarian family!


Categorized as: Blog Page, Brand

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