In an era where consumer choices are abundant and loyalty is fickle, cultivating a devoted following can provide your brand with a solid foundation for long-term success. A loyal tribe not only generates repeat business but also becomes your brand’s advocate, spreading positive word-of-mouth and, in turn, amplifying your reach. In this blog from the Small Films team, we explore the vital importance of building a loyal tribe for your food or drink brand and delve into effective strategies that will help you forge lasting connections with your audience.

Build a relationship with your followers:

Creating a loyal tribe is all about building a strong relationship with your followers. It’s not just about selling products; it’s about establishing a connection that goes beyond transactions. Here are some proven techniques:

Authentic Brand Storytelling:

Share your brand’s story, values, and mission with your audience. Be transparent and genuine, allowing customers to relate to your brand on a personal level. Huel, the meal replacement drink excels in storytelling by incorporating the founder’s passion (Julian Hearn) for the lifestyle his brand gives into key elements of their marketing. From website content around why he created Huel to YouTube films on how he built a $72,000,000 business in five years – tapping into a key segment of their audience that are likely interested in entrepreneurship.

Julian Hearn, Founder of Huel

Engage and Respond:

Actively engage with your followers on social media platforms. Respond to their comments, queries, and feedback promptly. BrewDog, the craft beer company, is known for its witty and humorous interactions with followers on Twitter, creating a sense of community and fostering loyalty

BrewDog twitter

Likewise, the Kings of Twitter Aldi, time and time again engage brilliantly with their followers. This not only creates a sense of community with their network, but it helps to inspire their followers to tag them in their content, which in turn helps to build their brand awareness. 

Aldi twitter post


Waitrose and Dish podcast

Dish podcast

One of the smartest moves that Waitrose has made is launching their Dish podcast in 2022. Hosted by Nick Grimshaw and leading chef, Angela Hartnett, the podcast has been an enormous success, bringing in millions of video podcast views and listeners. With cleverly chosen dishes and always a wine or cocktail to match, the podcast makes you associate Waitrose with high quality ingredients where you can turn simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces. 

Personalised Experiences:

Always make customers feel valued by personalising their experiences with your brand. This can be personalised emails, exclusive offers that feel like they’re just for them, or even surprise gifts. Whilst the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is now over 10 years old, the sentiment hasn’t dated – the powerful theme of community. 

coca cola share a coke campaign


A US pet food company, called The Farmer’s Dog, was able to personalise its content through an email segmentation campaign. This all helps to create the message that The Farmer’s Dog has their pet’s best interests at heart. 

pet food brand email marketing

Give beh
ind-the-scenes footage:

One effective way to build a loyal tribe is by giving your audience a glimpse into the inner workings of your brand. Behind-the-scenes footage creates a sense of exclusivity and authenticity. Here’s how you can leverage this approach:

Day-in-the-Life Content: Share behind-the-scenes footage of your team, showcasing the passion and dedication that goes into creating your products. Innocent, the smoothie brand, often posts light-hearted videos on social media featuring their team members, creating a relatable and transparent image.

Manufacturing and Sourcing: Highlight your manufacturing processes, ingredient sourcing, and quality control measures. This not only demonstrates your commitment to quality but also fosters trust and loyalty. BrewDog often shares behind-the-scenes videos of their brewing facilities, showcasing their craft and attention to detail.

Inspire User-Generated Content:

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for building a loyal tribe. By involving your customers in the content creation process, you empower them and create a sense of belonging. Here’s how to inspire UGC:

  1. Contests and Challenges: Run contests or challenges that encourage customers to share their experiences with your products. Doritos have a highly loyal and engaged audience, which is partly down to how they inspire their audience with challenge content. Take their Legion of Creators. A chance to get paid for creating Doritos content. An awesome way to get your audience excited about your brand. 
doritos bag by a lake


Doritos Legion of Creators 

Influencer Collaborations: Collaborate with influencers or micro-influencers who align with your brand values. Their endorsement can inspire their followers to engage with your brand and in turn create UGC. 

Repost and Recognise: Show appreciation for your customers’ content by reposting and giving them credit. This not only encourages further engagement but also makes your followers feel valued. 

Create a distinct brand voice

The brands that often have the greatest tribes are those with the most distinctive brand voice. Take Innocent for example, their campaigns, tone of voice, and packaging are so recognisable that most people could identify them from a distance in a long lineup of smoothie brands. Or M&S Food, synonymous with luxury, and translating into beautifully shot, mouth-watering content that is so distinctive to their brand. 

innocent smoothies on the grassBuilding a loyal tribe for your food and drink brand does require a ton of hard work and certainly doesn’t come overnight. But if you put the right frameworks in place, and ensure that there is a two-way conversation with your audience you’ll start to build a more loyal following.

Author: George Hughes, Creative Director, Small Films
George Hughes is the Founder and Creative Director of the video production company, Small Films, and also the Author of the book “Resonance: Unleash your Brand’s Potential with Video” – a number 1 bestseller on Amazon. George comes from a 14-year career in the television industry directing for an array of networks from the BBC to the Discovery Channel. He went on to found his video production agency Small Films, and for the last six years has been creating video advertising campaigns and branded content for an array of brands, from Aldi supermarket to disruptive startups like Lick Paint.

If you’d like support with your food filming needs, then the Small Films team are expert in food & drink video production. We’ve worked with the likes of Aldi, Plenish and Gressingham Duck, so we know what makes a mouth-watering food film.  Do drop us a line, we’d love to help.