Bindoon Bakery Case Study

Bindoon Bakery Case Study

Jurek Leon - Tuesday, March 04, 2008

by Jurek Leon

Early in April I was at Bindoon Bakery to take part in filming for Channel 9s ‘Business Success’ program which is shown each Sunday from 8.30am to 9.00am.  Each week the ‘Business Success’ team showcase a different business that is brave enough to volunteer to be critiqued by three different business specialists.  If you are in Australia, you can view this episode on Sunday 20th May.

I was invited to appear as the retail marketing specialist and was asked to stick to 3 key messages and put them across in 3 to 4 minutes – always a challenge for me!!!  The 3 messages I settled on were –

1.      Systems, Delegation and Empowerment: "You've grown the business now you need to grow the people."

2.      Shopfront Marketing: "What are you famous for and how will people know what you are famous for?"

3.      On The Spot Marketing: How you make the customer feel when in your shop.

You’ll find the points I covered with them both on and off camera on the next four pages.  First though, here’s some background to Bindoon and it’s bakery.

Bindoon is situated about 88 kms north east of Perth in a beautiful citrus and wine growing area and is a leisurely 90 minute drive from the city.  Bindoon Bakery is a real business success story for two hard working young women, Anne Maree Hagge and Leanne Phillipson.  Anne Maree was a pastry cook travelling overseas when, in late 2000, her father bought the Bindoon Bakery to entice her back from New Zealand.  It worked and on 1st February 2001 he said, ‘Your mother and I are off overseas for 6 months.  Good luck!’

Leanne had a marketing background but this was the first time either of them had run their own business.  And what a success story - from 5 staff in 2001 to 26 today and a steady increase in turnover each year, if you can call a 33% increase in the last quarter ‘steady’!

Their challenge was to identify what business processes they need to put in place to safeguard a healthy business and what they personally needed to do to ensure further growth and development for the business and themselves.

Set out below is my contribution which I include with permission from Anne Maree and Leanne.

Bindoon Bakery: 3 key messages from Jurek Leon

1. Systems, Delegation and Empowerment: "You've grown the business now you need to grow the people."

Retailing & Hospitality, and your business is both, provide a source of immediate feedback.  And when you do it well, as you do at Bindoon Bakery, its usually positive.

Now we all know as good managers that what gets rewarded gets repeated. The positive response reinforces the right behaviour.  That’s great for motivating your team.  It’s dangerous though when you are motivated by your customers and your staff in this way.  When you are on the frontline you are recognised and appreciated by customers and staff.  They like you being there with them.  You soak up the recognition and appreciation.  It’s addictive.

It turns us into workaholics.  There is always work to do.  The longer you work the more positive vibes you get.  It’s so easy to spend hours on the job doing stuff that others could be doing.

Your job isn’t to run the place.  It’s to teach others to run the place.  Your job is that of a coach – to develop the talents of your players – not to prove over and over what a great player you are yourself.

In a successful business like Bindoon Bakery the 'Must Do's', the urgent and important issues, are clearly getting done and getting done well.

It doesn't matter what ideas I come up with, you will only be physically able to do the 'Must Do's'.

The 'Nice To Do's', the important but not urgent issues that can drive the business are the ones that you need to focus on.  Allocate the 'Must Do's to others. Set up systems, delegate, empower and grow your people.

This is about committing to make the investment.  Getting things systemised so that you are both comfortable and confident about handing over control becomes another of the 'Nice to Do's"!  Invest the time and get the pay off.

The real compliment is when customers think that members of your team – ‘Sue’ or ‘Jane’ - own the bakery because of the way they go about doing their job.2. Shopfront Marketing: "What are you famous for and how will people know what you are famous for?"

What are you famous for - Quality ingredients, made the old fashioned way, no preservatives, trained baristas?  How do I know?  There is nothing in the shop to tell me.

Make the walls work for you
The only promotion in-store is for Masters Dairy products.  Currently (and I know you are part way through renovations) there is nothing on the walls to let customers know about Bindoon Bakery, your story, what you have to offer....other than an outdated encased trophy unit from another era that looks more suited to a Bowling Club.  Get a modern display board.  Have newspaper cuttings and magazine articles laminated before you display them.

Mixed Messages – It says 'Ultimate food with attitude' on your logo; 'Best pies' in the email address (though no domain name).  What is your focus?  What do you want people to say about you?  Does ‘ultimate food with attitude’ get the message across about what you offer?  Is it an easy, descriptive message for your customers to pass on to others?

Additional mementos - There are opportunities for visitors to take away a memento of their time in Bindoon with a Bindoon Bakery bag, travelers coffee mugs, containers to keep the pies hot and other products – First you have to be very clear about your brand, about the experience your customers have and the memory you want them to have of you.

Name Badges – let people know who you are.  Wear clear, easy to read name badges.

Local Legends?

You proudly promote Bindoon which is great.  How about a ‘Local Legend’ display on the wall rather like some organisations do with ‘Employee of the Month’.  Each month have your customers nominate a local for the ‘Local Legend’ award – an act of kindness, service to the community etc.  Put up their photo and a brief description of why they have been nominated.  Place an ad' with the photo in your local newspaper.  They may be happy to co-sponsor the award.  It all helps you build the Bindoon brand and will drive even more local traffic to your bakery.

Are your loos a tourist attraction?

You have a ladies and gents toilet facility, which is great, but if you want to encourage more tourist coaches to stop, additional facilities would really help.  Can you persuade the landlord to invest in more dunnies?  You could make them a feature.

Jenny and Lloyd Maloney own Two Dogs Hardware in Merredin, a business that they have built up dramatically in recent years in the Western Australian wheatbelt town and region that has suffered population decline in recent years.  A couple of years ago they shifted their business to a far larger location and used the opportunity to build the most impressive loos I have come across in regional Australia or New Zealand.

Hardware stores sell plumbing supplies, bathroom and door fittings, paint and electrical equipment.  So, they approached their suppliers and explained that they wanted to showcase their products in the most talked about loos in the wheatbelt.  The result is amazing.  Beautifully located, spacious ladies and gents toilet facilities, piped music, a baby changing area, top notch fittings on everything.  A marked contrast to the typical outback store dunny down the back with the door hanging off and the resident redback spider in the corner.

They’re so good it’s a tourist attraction.  Does that give you ideas?

$1 or $2 notes

Tom O’Toole of Beechworth Bakery fame makes it clear that their most effective promotional tool is their ‘Beechworth Bakery $2 note’.  It’s a great tool to reward locals, particularly at off-peak times and to encourage ‘weekenders’ to come back.  I showed you the example of Southwick Ales with their £1 note.  They have used the reverse side to include a map.  There is also a spot for customers to include their email address when they redeem the note so that they can continue to receive special promotions and an email newsletter.  They are rewarded for doing so by going in a monthly prize draw.  Great way to build up a database....and use it to promote repeat custom and encourage word of mouth.

Promote the written word
Storytelling is a great way to spread word of mouth and you can take this even further by writing it down and publishing it.

This can be stories about your business, your area and/or your recipes.  This is what Trish Flowers owner of the award winning Bay Merchants Deli and Café at Middleton Beach in Albany did.  Her 56 page book, “The Bay and Beyond - facts and stories from Albany and the region” is actually based around recipes for 12 gourmet sandwiches which they prepare and sell at their fantastically successful outlet.  It is accompanied by stories about the ingredients, information on the local producers supplying much of the fresh ingredients and stunning photography of the region.

It’s a celebration of local producers and their produce, a tourist memento, educational piece for the region and a great advertisement for her business.  Bay Merchants is a mecca for local well off baby boomers and tourists who happily pay $20 per copy for the privilege of spreading the word about Bay Merchants and it’s fantastic food.  And I can assure you the gourmet sandwiches and everything else about this business are a true delight.

If the written word doesn’t come easy to you or time commitments preclude this, get a journalist at your local newspaper to moonlight for you or a local person with writing skills.  They are usually happy to get the extra work and will interview you and turn it into an article, booklet or book that can be passed on to customers.

3. On The Spot Marketing: How you make the customer feel when in your shop

Start with the 3 P’s -

q       Pricing - When products are priced sales go up.  Price all your products.

q       Product Descriptions - Is that fresh blueberries in the tarts? How will I know?  Tell us with your signage.  Educate your customers.  If they know they can tell others.

q       Product of the week - People buy what you focus on.  It encourages regulars to try something different to their usual order.  It helps those who aren’t sure to make up their mind.  Have a more detailed information card on the product of the week.  Make sure all your team are clued up on it prior to the promotion.

Bundle products: 'Coffee and cake for...'; Travelers pack; Children's pack; Indulgence pack.

If you’ve got it out the back use signage to tell us out the front:  The weekend I did my ‘mystery shop’ I asked if you did fresh sandwiches.  I was told, ‘yes’ but there was no signage to suggest alternatives so I was reluctant to ask for one as there was no evidence of fresh salad.  It was only after I’d sat down that I saw two delicious looking fresh rolls being delivered to other tables.

Suggestive selling - Have you tried...?  Can we tempt you with...?

Track the average sale per customer.  Map out daily, weekly, seasonal trends.  Keep the team informed with an easy to understand chart out the back.

Spotting opportunities - "Have you traveled far? You must be hungry."

Focus on the person as well as the service experience - Find out about them.  Is this your first visit?  How did you hear about us?  What do you think of...?

Your team’s challenge is to make customers feel better about themselves for having come to Bindoon and your Bakery.

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at Alternatively, email

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email