Tuesday, November 17, 2009



For a number of years we have profiled the shoppers, into various categories, e.g. value shoppers, lifestyle shopper, convenience shoppers, family shopper, etc. After this classification, we have decided on how to approach a shopper based on this profile and what is the nature of message which the shopper responds to.

This “shopper type” has meant that we could decide which type would want discounts vs. which type would buy lifestyle vs. which type would want convenience.

This “typification” meant that we could target relevant brand messages to these specific segments of customers and the expectation has been that once a value shopper always a value shopper.

However, new research indicates that the same shopper shops in discount stores, while he also shops in departmental stores and specialty stores… but he/she shops differently.

Consumers are less loyal to any single channel / type of retailer than they were in the past.
Different needs = Different stores.

What this really means is that a brand needs to increasingly target the shopper close to the moment of purchase and hence at the store level and dependent on the store format.

Consider a shopper at a “cash and carry” store – he or she is there to buy in bulk and is seeking out value for money. So if a cola brand has to be relevant to the shopper, it has to offer a bulk deal or maybe a value pack based offer of 2 free bottles with 10 bottles or it might want to push its mega sized bottles at a discount.

Now consider the same shopper hops into the gas station convenience store for a drink while he tops up his fuel tank. For the same brand of cola to be in the consideration set in this format – it has to be in a very handy size, in an easy to grab location, ready for immediate consumption and maybe bundled with a short-eat.

The fact that the same shopper will respond to very different stimulus at the two locations is because his purpose of shopping is different – value vs convenience.

While the brand would have the uniform overall image, however, its last mile messaging, is what gets the brand into the shopper’s basket.

The brands consumer touch-points need to be relevant to where is it placed and which need state does that format address.

One singular overall “awareness” focussed message / campaign does not work on ensuring conversion in the last mile.

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