Every year trends sweep the nation that offers us, as consumers, the chance to experience something new.

The trend eventually fades or becomes engrained in our daily life. All of these experiences impact our perceptions and consequent actions.

The Experience Comes to You
A few years ago, food trucks altered the concept of dining out. Instead of running around town for something new, or falling into our usual haunts, tables turned when “restaurants” started coming to us. They came to us with fresh ideas and ingredients, surrounded by a new attitude to provide us with an exciting new way to enjoy a meal, but in our own familiar environment.

Food trucks took a chance by following us, the diners, to where we live, work and play. After a positive ‘first date’, we started following the food trucks. We gather our friends, enjoy the food and share the experience with whoever will listen. It’s evolved into a relationship; sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow, but we always seem to find each other.

Breaking Out of Comfort Zones
Food trucks have found success because they broke out of the brick-and-motor expectations of the restaurant industry and focused on the people. Instead of saying “come to us”, they said “we’ll come to you, and if you like us we can grow together”.

Brands, new and old, have the opportunity to learn a lot from the success of food trucks. Instead of asking consumers to come to you, what if you go to them, on their terms and their turf? It’s further reinforcement that business is not the proverbial Field of Dreams – just because you build it does not mean people will come.

For an established brand, hitting the road is a way to re-engage their consumers. It acknowledges that while consumers are traditionally asked to seek out the products they love, brands are returning the favor and coming to the consumer to provide an entirely new experience. For a new brand or a line extension, it’s a gentle way to introduce yourself and to prove live and in-person your brand promise.

Getting mobile with your brand is a way to invest in consumer loyalty by creating new experiences and building relationships.

:: By Laurie Mueller, Word of Mouth Marketing Experiential Specialist

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