Mustard Seed Series: Education

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WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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This article continues our series on building consumer trust, with insight from Abraham and Gabe Nabors, owners of Mustard Seed Market and Café.

The natural products industry is unique in that there are many people who hear about the benefits and want to jump over, but don’t always have a lot of actual knowledge on the subject. The Nabors believe that providing education at the customer level is a great way to not only get customers interested, but also maintain their patronage by empowering them. Some ideas that they have implemented at Mustard Seed Market are lectures, where an industry professional leads a discussion on a specific health issue. In addition, they also offer store tours, where an employee takes customers around the store while sharing information about the various products. On the employee end, they have implemented a perpetual Supplement College, an ongoing educational series designed to make sure that employees are constantly aware of changing trends with supplements, enabling them to convey that to the customers they serve. There is also a monthly employee newsletter, with information on products and company developments to keep everyone in the loop.

Granted, Gabe and Abraham recognize that some of these larger-scale concepts may not be feasible for every natural goods store, but there are many other smaller ways to promote education among your staff and consumers. For customers, small cooking demonstrations and demos are a great way to teach your customers why your product is a healthier choice while giving them a free taste. Something else they say any store can invest in is good signage. A thorough signage system with facts about top-selling products can allow customers to educate themselves. For employees, offering food samples in the break room allows them to expand their knowledge and impart that to the customer. Education can come in many ways at many levels, but customers are more likely to revisit retailers that show the interest and care to try and inform them.

Read this Entire Mini-Series

Part 1: Mustard Seed Gives Retailers Advice During NPA Webinar: Walking the Talk

Part 2: Establishing Core Values (story available on 7/1/14)

Part 3: Education Tips (story available on 7/8/14)

Part 4: Community Involvement (story available on 7/15/14)

Part 5: Fostering Transparency (story available on 7/22/14)

Part 6: Promotions and Discounting (story available on 7/29/14)

 

Information about future Wednesday Webinars from the Natural Products Association is available here:

http://www.npainfo.org/NPA/EducationCertification/NPA_Wednesday_Webinar_Series.aspx