Following The Buzz

Creating Customer Engagement

January 15, 2013

As I write this the holidays are in full swing, which gets me thinking about cookies, holiday decorations, hot chocolate … and contests – specifically the contests retailers are running this holiday season. Not surprisingly, many are using social media.

Meijer recently announced the winners of its first Meijer Next Great Toymaker contest, which became available exclusively on Meijer.com, just in time for the holiday season.

Duane Reade announced a seven-week social media campaign to raise awareness of Duane Reade brand hosiery products. The contest asks shoppers to upload their photos wearing the hosiery via the retailer’s Facebook page for a chance to win.

Delhaize-owned Food Lion ran its Food Lion Store Brands Holiday Bake-Off in November, in which customers entered their favorite holiday recipe – featuring their favorite Food Lion private brand products, of course – for a chance to win a $500 Food Lion gift card. In December, Facebook users had the opportunity to vote for their favorites.

Albertsons invited shoppers to create Colorful Harvest recipe Pinterest boards for a chance to win the grand prize of a $2,000 gift card from the company. Contestants had to “pin” three recipes from each of these sites: AlbertsonsMarket.com/Recipes, McCormick.com, and FisherNuts.com.

The private label tie-in here? AlbertsonsMarket.com offers an entire section of Essential Everyday recipes featuring the private label products. Furthermore, shoppers can find an exclusive collection of recipes for Essential Everyday products from Chef Antonia Lofaso of Bravo’s Top Chef.

At the 2012 PLMA Private Label Trade Show, “creating customer engagement” were the buzz words I heard most. At the Fastechnology Group booth I saw how technology can drive this idea into the future.

Fastechnology is able to print QR codes on pack. What this means for recipe contests, for example, is that a shopper could buy a product in-store and remove a scratch off on the package to reveal a QR code. The code could then take them to a website to enter a recipe or get a shopping list for winning recipes – a shopping list with private label products from the original store.

I found this technology inspiring, and I hope it gets retailers thinking about how to incorporate new technology into their private label promotions. I would love to see at next year’s PLMA show a section highlighting promotions, contests, and customer engagement – something to really showcase what retailers are doing to promote their private labels. I guess what I’m saying is, private label can’t stop at the shelf.

I’d like to be able to bring you these insights throughout the year so that they can spur on your own creativity. Hopefully together, we can spark new ideas on how to engage your customers and create loyalty through private labels.

So, if you are running a promotion, contest, or mobile coupon, drop me a line about it. I’d love to hear about how you are promoting the innovative brands you’ve worked so hard to create. 

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