Going back to basics means just that. Take a step back and look at some fundamental principles that can help you properly connect with your customers. Here are a few suggestions to get you on the right path.

1) Think like a customer

Get in front of your show cases and look at them as if you were the customer. Look not only at your product, but also at your equipment, cases, walls etc. How does your bakery are feel? Smell? Sound? Surround your customer with the feelings that you want your products and your bakery to convey.

2) Change it up

Break the routine of always placing the same item in the same place. Mix things up periodically. Promote daily featured items, or items that you make only on certain days.

3) Stay on trend

Be out in front of popular trends and add them to your product offerings. For example, real chocolate items are extremely popular. Consumers view chocolate not only as upscale and decadent, but also good for you. Differentiate your top-tier donuts from your competition by using ganache in place of chocolate icing and decorating them with real chocolate curls. When you make these upscale and top-tier items, be sure to price them accordingly to stay profitable.

4) Watch the calendar

Take advantage of seasonal opportunities and special occasions. The fall and winter holiday off great opportunities; so do year-round occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. Don’t forget the Hispanic and other ethnic holidays, as well as other regional specialties.

5) Merchandise to the entire family

Don't overlook younger generations of customers; make items geared for family members of all ages. Products like cake pops or brightly topped cupcakes make special after-school treats or classroom party favors. Caramel apples appeal to kids and elicit a feeling of nostalgia for mom and dad. Not to mention, items like these will add color and excitement to your display.