Company News

New Mover Program Evolution — 2011

by webmaster — December 3, 2010

For two decades, there have been “New Resident” programs available to supermarkets. For the most part, the programs included:
  1. Mining a list of residents “new” to an assigned marketing area.
  2. Mailing (direct mail/US Mail) a letter or packet from the supermarket, welcoming the new resident with a preformatted “welcome” letter from the store manager/owner along with some special offers to encourage repeat visits.
  3. In some cases, tracking the response rates of redeemed offers to determine who isn’t responding to the initial offer.
  4. In the case of a new resident not responding, determining if an alternate offer should be mailed.
Fast forward to 2010. Many of these programs have evolved, and some of the best programs are worth implementing as a way to increase your customer counts and sales per transaction levels in 2011.If you google “new resident marketing program,” you’ll be overwhelmed with over 460,000 offerings. Many of the programs are pretty much identical. So what should you be looking for in a great “new resident” marketing program?Here are seven suggestions to consider in your new program:
  1. First, a warning about some of the new resident lists that some companies offer: be aware of the sources from which these “new residents'” addresses and names are mined. During the 1990s, for example, most “new residents'” addresses came from those who had physically moved into new homes or apartments in a defined ...
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Happy Thanksgiving

by DW Green — November 24, 2010

During this week of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for your friendship and for your support of our Idea of the Week. Too often, I take for granted the relationships that God has so graciously given to me. The gift of friendship is what provides meaning and purpose in my life. So thank you.I’d like to acknowledge each of you for your contributions to your peers, to your employees, to your customers, to your suppliers and vendors, and to the communities in which you serve. In the busyness of living, we often forget to acknowledge ourselves for the acts of kindness and generosity that we give to one another without hesitation or expectation of receiving anything in return.I’m thankful and grateful for the many, many blessings that bring delight, magic, love, joy, peace and connection into my everyday, ordinary life.“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally ‘count our blessings,’ give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” — Shakti GawainHappy Thanksgiving!DW Green
Founder and President/CEO
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The Value of Storewide Signage Audits

by DW Green — November 5, 2010

Earlier this year, I visited a wonderful supermarket chain in the southwest. It is an excellent supermarket company, with beautiful and well-merchandised facilities. Since it was going to be my first visit, I did some advance research about the company. In doing so, I learned that the business was committed to, among many things, delivering exceptional customer service and exceeding customer expectations.So you can imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw before walking into the store was a large sign announcing the store’s security cameras, the penalty for shoplifting, and a warning about the $25 fee for returned checks. I can tell you that the sign didn’t make me feel too good about the store, or myself. I imagine that from a legal perspective it is wise, perhaps even necessary, to warn the public in advance about these types of policies and procedures, but it doesn’t set the stage for a warm and welcoming shopping experience.Store signage can have a significant impact on a business. Signs set the tone for customer visits and the employees’ work atmosphere. Their appearance, placement and word-choice make a lasting impression. Signage also sends a strong message to customers about whether or not a company cares about them and their business.A storewide signage audit can identify any customer-unfriendly signs that require modification. For example, you may want to:
  • Take off any “no” or “don’t” messages that appear in your signage.
  • ...
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Satisfaction Guarantee…A Pledge, A Promise

by DW Green — October 28, 2010

I’m passionate about product and service guarantees. Offering a satisfaction guarantee seems pretty basic to me, though many retailers do not embrace them. As you know, a guarantee is a promise or assurance that a company will stand behind the quality of the products it sells or the services it performs. Guarantees build trust and loyalty with consumers. In a sense, a guarantee is a company’s commitment to the wellbeing of its customers. Wow, what an intriguing approach to serving the customer; imagine a conscious intention by company leaders to enhance the wellbeing of their customers5 Reasons Why A Guarantee Works 1. It pushes the entire company to focus on the customer’s definition of good products/service, not an executive’s assumption.
2. It sets clear performance standards, which boosts employee performance and morale.
3. It generates reliable data (through payouts) when performance is poor.
4. It forces an organization to examine its entire service-delivery system for possible failure points.
5. It builds customer loyalty, sales and market share.
So what makes a good guarantee? It is: unconditional, easy to understand and communicate, meaningful, easy and painless to invoke, and easy and quick to collect on.Cheating. Fear of customers cheating is a big hurdle for some when considering whether or not to offer guarantees. Sure, there will be cheats—the handful of customers who take advantage of a guarantee to get something for nothing. What they co...
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Changing a Supermarket Liability to an Asset

by webmaster — October 21, 2010

I think that one of the most difficult challenges in the supermarket industry is trying to change the “stripes” a store has developed over many years. By “stripes” I mean trying to shed the reputation that a store is dark, dirty, dumpy, poorly stocked and poorly serviced into something different. The adage “putting lipstick on a pig” might be a fair analogy. Consumers have etched in their minds what the store will deliver and it’s virtually impossible to change that impression.At the other extreme, the challenge can be equally difficult. Can you imagine trying to re-brand a store that earned the reputation of being an extremely high priced, even out-of-reach store, with a sales foundation of specialty items catering to the occasional shopper?Most major cities in America have one of these store groups. The finest quality meat, deli, bakery and specialty items at outrageously expensive prices, and a center store that simply never gets shopped. Some have chandeliers, expensive artwork showcased throughout the store, mahogany fixtures, Italian slate floors and even water features.Back to the extreme challenge…we have a customer here in our hometown of Phoenix that took this challenge on. A local chain, AJ’s Fine Foods, is a collection of small stores (16,000 to 25,000 square feet) that cater to those seeking the very best quality at any price. How...
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Good Food Market is now open!

by webmaster — October 15, 2010

Good Food Market is an independent, family-owned grocery store offering customers a whole new way to shop for and think about food. Owners Darin and Valerie Hill are truly passionate about giving shoppers a unique grocery shopping experience, and it’s evident in everything from the exciting product assortment to the innovative store decor. Check it out! Good Food Market is open 7 days a week in the Fulton Ranch Promenade at Chandler Heights and Alma School Road....
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Avoiding the Communications Gap

by webmaster — October 14, 2010

Brand consistency must be maintained throughout all areas of an organization; it builds credibility and consumer trust, allows for clear ownership of a brand’s differentiated positioning, and inspires a culture of development and innovation.Yet in a landscape where consumer preferences are ever evolving, market conditions are exceedingly dynamic, and the competition is always changing, it’s equally important to be responsive, creative, open to new ideas, and fully committed to your brand’s continuous development. It’s crucial that your brand management team identifies the elements of your brand that can and can’t be changed without compromising trust or eroding brand equity.This is where a completed brand strategy or brand foundation can prove to be an invaluable tool. Decisions affecting your brand must be made purposefully, with the intention of providing improved support to the brand as a whole. If and when a decision is made to modify one or more brand elements, it’s essential that you then take the time to appropriately and honestly communicate to all stakeholders what’s behind it.A little over a week ago, ...
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Planning for Increased 4th Quarter Competition

by webmaster — October 7, 2010

Target and Wal-Mart are getting ready for the 4th quarter “no holds barred cage match” which kicks off Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It’s no fun being caught in the crossfire of two behemoths, especially when both giants are vying for the all important 4th quarter sales.Both retailers made announcements recently of the rollouts of their new formats, Wal-Mart with their new 20,000 square foot hybrid of Marketside/Neighborhood Market in New York City and San Francisco. Target announced their plans for a 60,000 to 90,000 square foot new format in Seattle.You also may have seen the recent announcement that Target is offering a 5% discount on all items in their stores that are purchased with the Target credit card. In the past, we’ve worked with retailers on similar, short-term promotions; it appears that Target is making their 5% discount an ongoing, permanent program.The Target credit card 5% discount will likely be a game-changer.To begin, the Target credit card has always played a role in Target’s continuity efforts. The Target grocery initiative is so large and sweeping that they need a strong lure for grocery shoppers. We already know Target will be price competitive; coupling Target’s strong pricing model with a 5% discount makes for a great launch campaign.Long term, any shopper with interest on their credit card loses, and this could be Target’s Achilles heel. The industry shakeup is not complete, but from where Target pulls shopp...
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Black Friday Sales

by DW Green — September 30, 2010

The Friday following Thanksgiving is generally the worst food-shopping day of the year for supermarkets across the country. If not the lowest sales day of the year, it’s certainly in the top five! Accordingly, many retailers “give up” on sales for the long weekend following Thanksgiving. Many even cancel their weekly ad Thanksgiving week. Is this a good strategy or a self-fulfilling prophecy?Black Friday, the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season, has become a sales boom for most every retail format. For many Americans, a Black Friday shopping trip has become a family tradition. Waking up in the wee hours of Friday morning and standing in long lines to take advantage of some of the best deals of the holiday season appears to be a fun and entertaining activity for many families. I can recall partaking in this annual sale-a-bration with my own family on many occasions!I wonder what type of sales events food stores can run to take advantage of Black Friday’s shopping frenzy? What about stock up sales for holiday products, meat items, frozen foods, beverages, supplements, cosmetics or wine and liquor? The sale could last two, three or four hours in length. Schedule it after the traditional early morning retail events, in the late morning, at noon or in the late afternoon. Tie in deli and bakery deals around the sale. Use radio, your website, email blasts, facebook, twitter and in-store handouts and signage to announce and promote the event. Even a ...
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What's In-Store For Fall?

by webmaster — September 16, 2010

Special events, eye-catching displays and seasonally themed promotions that create a fun and unique shopping experience for customers of all ages. Here are three fall-inspired ideas to help you make the most of the upcoming fall season:1. How does your curb appeal compare to other businesses’ nearby? Pay extra attention to your outdoor signage and merchandising, and look for new opportunities to make your store’s exterior more inviting: fall is one of the best times of year to set your store, and your brand, apart from the competition. Fall floral displays, bountiful pumpkin patches, and branded parking lot banners done in an autumnal color palette can go a long way in helping to attract new customers, while warmly welcoming returning shoppers to your store.2. Autumn is apple season, which means it’s the perfect time of year to showcase the quality and freshness of this spectacular seasonal treat, while finding new ways to inform and inspire your customers. Use signage, one-sheets or fliers to describe the flavor profiles of each apple variety you offer, and highlight the best varieties for baking pies, making applesauce, or eating out of hand. Recommend the perfect cheese and apple pairings, (include a coupon for the cheeses you’re recommending in the printed piece ...
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