What on earth is Four Fat Cows?! It’s the best ice cream store ever!
Located on Baxter street, Four Fat Cows opened in January of this year and is the second location to open under the ownership of Robyn Rowles. Robyn and her son Brandon have worked together as a mother-son duo to create a place where the community can come together and enjoy sweet treats that meet a variety of dietary restrictions. As celiacs, Robyn and Brandon created an ice cream store where those who are gluten-free can enjoy all the ice cream offerings available. As a result, Four Fat Cows offers gluten-free ice cream, waffle cones, and baked goods. Additionally, there are dairy-free flavors available and specialty coffee can be made with regular milk or coconut milk. All in all, the store has a lot more to offer than just “regular” ice cream.
I have worked at the store since August, and doing so has given me enough insight into the company and customer base to make some recommendations about how the ice cream seller could benefit from implementing some digital marketing basics to expand its brand awareness. Despite its plethora of offerings, Four Fat Cows has only reached a small portion of the available audience in Athens – the student population.
Since its opening the ice cream store has been a popular spot for students to visit for their sugar fix. Due to it close proximity to Milledge Avenue and the freshman dorms on campus, the majority of the visitors to the store are students. Plenty of students involved in greek life and freshman who can easily walk to the store. Additionally, University of Georgia campus organizations also host percentage nights at the store. Overall, there seem to be a good number of students who are aware of the ice cream store. However, when the majority of students left during the summer semester this year, the ice cream store saw a decline in sales, which is very atypical for a business in its industry. While this might be expected in a college town, the business is missing a key target audience that could help make up for its migrating student customer base – Athens families.
Families are a big market in the frozen dessert market (yes that’s what ice cream falls under according to Mintel research). Think about it, when mom and dad take their three kids out for ice cream after dinner, they spend a lot more as a group than a single college student will. So, it is very beneficial for a local ice cream store like Four Fat Cows to reach Mom or Dad with their digital marketing. Doing so will increase sales and possibly cultivate a long-term customer as these families raise their children for almost two decades in Athens, whereas a student will live in the city for four years. So, how do we raise awareness of Four Fat Cows among the family population of Athens? Much like we would raise awareness in general! By increasing digital marketing efforts and strategies.
Currently Four Fat Cows has the following digital marketing measures:
Current Digital Marketing
- Website is broken into: home, menu, contact, hours
- Link to Facebook
- Website is very basic
- Homepage includes original copy from the website builder: “You can add HTML directly into this element to render on the page.”
Facebook: Four Fat Cows Athens
- Facebook link on website takes you to the Alpharetta Facebook page
- Rated 5 out of 5 based on 31 reviews
- Posts about percentage nights, special discounts for holidays, and product offerings
- 616 people like this page
- Active weekly
- 60 posts
- 653 followers
- Posts three or four times a month
- Posts feature attractive product images
- Utilize the story feature to showcase specific product categories: ice cream, bakery, smoothie bowls, coffee
Digital Marketing Recommendations
- Hire a professional builder to create a more professional looking website
- Update photos
- Create a blog section of the website to highlight features in local news and updates on current season offerings, new store openings, or even employee introductions
- Launch a Facebook Advertising campaign for the Athens Facebook page – even a small monthly budget will help target ads to new customers
- Specifically target adults with elementary and middle aged children living in and around Five Points
- Partner with local school PTOs to have percentage nights that will increase awareness among families
- Schedule regular posts and advertisements ahead of time to make sure the page sees activity
- Encourage new followers and likes with giveaways
- Link posts to scheduled Facebook posts so content is regularly published
- Utilize the story feature to advertise percentage nights and special holiday discounts
- Offer a special discount on slow days/specific items through Instastories
- Expanding into Snapchat could be a lucrative idea for Four Fat Cows – creating a sponsored Four Fat Cows filter would increase awareness among the student and millennial population living in Athens who often use Snapchat
Four Fat Cows has implemented basic digital marketing efforts through its website and presence on Facebook and Instagram. However, without venturing into paid advertising like paid search or advertising in print, there are still many things the company could do with digital marketing to increase its brand awareness with a small budget.