The Last Mile of Grocery Brand Building

July 24, 2019

One of the most effective brand activation methods is orchestrating a well planned and executed in store demo or sampling event campaign. Many of today’s  well recognized, brands achieved spectacular results in a very short time  by using the leverage of field marketing. It is the last mile of brand building and an invaluable part of retail marketing.

KIND is the poster child of successful field marketing management. It was founded in 2004 and now estimated to be worth over 1.5 billion. Yet, you will hardly see their advertising in print, TV or any other media, except digital. Instead you will see KIND brand ambassadors sampling their products in over 150,000 stores in the US.

In Store Promotion Marketing is More Effective

In Store Promotion Marketing is more effective than any other form of advertising because it can measurably impact sales in a very direct and accountable way.

“Half of my advertising budget is wasted away. Unfortunately I don’t know which half” is the quote attributed to John Wanamaker, Philadelphia retailer and marketing pioneer. Even with the advent of digital advertising it is difficult to account how ads exposure and clicks translate into actual unit sales. ​

Difference Between Solid ROI and Lost Sales

“Per our study (Adweek), in the U.S. 39 percent decide brand choice inside the store and that decision is most frequently triggered by a product demo versus other activities. Twenty-nine percent of shoppers buy products impulsively in-store. How would you rework your marketing if you had this information about your brands?

Activating brands in-store is the single biggest investment most manufacturers should make today, and using a shopper insight-based approach will be the difference between solid ROI and lost sales.”

In Store Demo Campaign

Any field marketing manager can easily figure out the complete cost of in store demo campaign. Understanding factors that contribute to return on this investment is a little more challenging. Most brand builders realize that the product sales during in store demo are only one piece of this puzzle. While it is easy to measure it is only the tip of the proverbial value iceberg.

Another contributor to in store demo profitability is the product residual sales uplift that often lasts weeks after initial event. You need help from the grocer’s POS data or your distributor”s sales reporting to detect and measure it. Keep in mind that grocers benefit greatly from your in store demo investment, as these events lift sales of an entire product category and promote more traffic in their stores. Your demo reports data also has value to both grocers and distributors, and can be used to incentivise them to pool your information resources together as it enhance the value of this information for all.

Brand Awareness contribution of In Store Demo

Lastly, the brand awareness contribution to profitability of in store demo is often targeted, but rarely measured. We have borrowed a methodology from CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) calculations as it is commonly used in digital marketing to simplify brand awareness contribution estimates and incorporated it into the Demo ROI Calculator available free of charge.  

To build this Calculator, we analyzed data collected during thousands of  in store demos, including  sales numbers for demonstrated products,  day of the week variations of foot traffic during the events, and  number of shoppers who tasted a product without purchasing it.  We also looked at follow-on sales of these items for four-five weeks after the events. This data is a critical asset in your drive to secure more and better shelf space in the stores.