Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
12 November 2018
Grocery brands and…yoga?
I first thought it was all pretty stupid. Grocery brands trotting out yoga classes, on-site breweries and jazz pianists to attract customers. I mean, how desperate can you be?
Pretty desperate. Grocery brands are struggling with Winn-Dixie declaring bankruptcy and Kroger’s market value dropping, among other happenings. It’s a category figuring out what happens next.
So, my normal pitch would say that all those bells and whistles grocery brands are producing won’t achieve a thing unless you create a meaningful brand first.
That’s still true. Brand makes you preferred. Not the individual aspects of your business. Those are simply table stakes, what you need to have to be in the category.
But I got thinking. One answer for the grocery category is to completely rethink itself. Maybe the idea of a grocery store is simply becoming outdated as Amazon drowns another category.
“Now, those additions are still only important if they fulfill the promise of the grocery brands. Meaning, a yoga class only works if the grocery brand promises an emotional value that a class like that fulfills.”
Grocery brands rethinking the category
The key to grocery brands remaining in business is to become destinations. As an old fart, stopping at the grocery store on the way home from work is a daily routine. However, my middle daughter, a PR professional working in Raleigh, rarely steps foot in a grocery store. She simply orders from Amazon Fresh. Like all the time.
The grocery category sees the same trend. While nearly all the large brands offer online ordering that you pick up, it doesn’t solve the main problem. How should grocery brands reclaim the status of a daily destination?
By becoming more important to customers. That means completely rethinking what a grocery store should be. Maybe it’s not even a grocery store. Maybe it’s simply a new definition of a destination. The idea of an organic fast-food restaurant in an Orlando Walmart isn’t so crazy. The category simply needs to change to remain relevant.
Now, those additions are still only important if they fulfill the promise of the grocery brands. Meaning, a yoga class only works if the grocery brand promises an emotional value that a class like that fulfills.
So, yes, the main problem remains that grocery brands generally lack meaning. There’s no emotional pull, leaving many audiences completely forgetting the grocery store on the way home from work.
Once groceries begin thinking about their brand first, then finding new ways to transform the category, they can create preference again.
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