Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
15 November 2018
Walmart delivery idea represents a great opportunity
Buried deep inside a report that Ford and Walmart delivery are teaming up sits an interesting tidbit. The service, now in pilot stage in Miami, uses self-driving cars to deliver groceries.
Jeremy Acevedo, an industry analyst for Edmunds, says, “People may not be willing to trust a self-driving care to take them somewhere. But if the car is going to bring things to them and make their lives easier, suddenly the technology is a lot less scary.”
Point well made. Like anyone from my generation, who remembers car windows you rolled up, self-driving cars are frightening. All the data in the world isn’t going to convince me it’s safer than me controlling the wheel.
In the face of logic, that’s a purely emotional response that most of us likely have. Self-driving cars are coming, whether we like it or not.
But true acceptance won’t happen until we feel a measure of control.
This Walmart delivery idea banks on that, in a roundabout way.
“If Walmart delivery states it’s for the busiest among us or those shopping smart or who know what they want, who wouldn’t see themselves in those categories?”
What Walmart delivery should do now
Let me explain. The brand strategy we perform at Stealing Share finds its basis in precepts, the emotional drivers to preference. Everything we do is based on those emotional, often irrational, beliefs.
As consumers, we simply backfill our choices with rational reasons. But those aren’t the reasons we choose. We simply use rational reasons to justify our emotional response.
Self-driving cars being used for Walmart delivery is a sensible step in that direction. We don’t feel out of control because we’re controlling the purchase. And, because we’re not IN the car, there’s no perceived loss of control.
However, to be truly accepted, Walmart delivery (and Ford) must tap into another emotional trigger. Being smart. Or recognizing that we’re all busy.
If Walmart delivery states it’s for the busiest among us or those shopping smart or who know what they want, who wouldn’t see themselves in those categories?
Earlier this week I wrote grocery chains must rethink their model, especially in light of Amazon (and Walmart, frankly) taking up so much market share. Outside the box thinking is a cliché. But it’s appropriate here.
Groceries must become something else entirely. Self-driving Walmart delivery may not be a game changer. Yet. But, if couched within an emotional context, it could be.
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