Store Brands

FEB 2017

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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Connecting with Consumers 4 0 Store Brands / February 2016 / www.storebrands.info noting that Facebook is the best platform for posting short human interest stories. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also become a vital platform for retailers because it is so popular with millennials. Nearly 60 percent of online adults who are 18 to 29 years old use Instagram, the Pew report points out. Millennials commonly use Instagram to share photos of food with one another. Grocery retailers, in turn, have found the medium perfect for showcasing their prepared food, signature baked goods, and other fresh own-brand offerings. "We are fortunate to have a very talented in-house photographer who takes amazing pictures of the products we have in our store," Kuhn says, noting that Dorothy Lane Market has around 3,500 followers on Instagram. "We've found that the Instagram community responds very well to those beauty shots." Media, Pa.-based Wawa, meanwhile, encourages its customers to post photos on Instagram of themselves enjoying the convenience chain's branded coffee and freshly prepared sandwiches. Used by 45 percent of online adult women and 17 percent of online adult men, according to the Pew study, Pinterest is another important platform for displaying food and beverage photos. Women commonly use the virtual pin-board for cataloguing recipes, Kuhn notes, so recipe sharing is the main reason grocery retailers are on Pinterest. "Sometimes our recipes on Pinterest include our store brand products," she adds. President Donald J. Trump's favorite social media channel, Twitter is another key platform for grocery retailers — in part because it is used almost equally by men and women (approximately one-quarter of online adults of both genders) and frequented by higher-income, better-educated consumers. "Twitter is a great place to talk about events that are coming up," Kuhn observes. "For example, we used it for our promotion on National Coffee Day last September and for March Madness last spring. "We've found that a lot of media personalities in the Dayton area pay attention to what we're saying on Twitter, so this is how we can get on their radar. And sometimes things we are doing get integrated into their stories." Festival Foods uses Twitter to promote tailgating- type snacks when the Green Bay Packers have games at Lambeau Field. "The Packers brand is really important, so we leverage that on Twitter in the days leading up to a game," Bailey explains. One of Twitter's strengths, though, is its ability to stir emotion and generate feedback. "We conducted a poll on Twitter in which we said, 'The Packers are going to run the table. What would you like to eat on it?' " Bailey shares. "People could vote for our Oktoberfest brats, our taco dip, our potato salad, etc. It was a call to action-type initiative to get people interacting with us and make them aware of our brands. People were not only voting; they were also separately tweeting about our poll." Kuhn also likes the fact that Twitter users comment on events as they are happening. "This channel truly captures customers' reactions," she says. What's next? Kuhn is experimenting with how best to use the fast and ephemeral Snapchat, a platform popular with teenagers and young millennials. For one event, Dorothy Lane Market's Food & Wine Show, she created a Snapchat filter so attendees could share selfies framed with the retailer's customized filter. "The filter, which we paid Snapchat for, appeared only during the time of the event and in the location of our event," Kuhn explains. "That was a cool thing to just try." As the youngest Snapchat users grow up, the platform will likely increase in importance for retailers, Kuhn predicts. "It's good to understand how to use these tools so you can further develop them," she says. Without overextending themselves on social media, retailers need to keep abreast of the latest hot apps and new features on existing platforms. "Whether it's Facebook or a new platform that's coming up, we need to be thinking of new ways to get people engaged," Kuhn says. "I would encourage social media managers to test out a new feature or platform and see how it goes and then make a decision about whether it's something that is right for your fans." SB Schierhorn, managing editor of Store Brands, can be reached at [email protected]

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