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Supermarket Chic

We’ve been thinking a lot about supermarkets lately. Following up with Branding Ideas’ last post, we wanted to further explore the grocery shopping experience and see how the practical wisdom of store managers across the country could help all different kinds of businesses attract customers and keep them engaged.

You’ve probably noticed that every several months the products in the aisles at your local supermarket get switched around: the cereal aisle is now the coffee aisle, the frozen foods have been shifted around like musical chairs, and the bread is now at the complete opposite end of the store. At first you might be irritated, but before long you can scarcely recall when your favorite box of cereal could be found in any other place. In between, you might have even stumbled upon an item you didn’t realize was on sale, or one you didn’t even know existed. And that’s point. Store managers aren’t trying to annoy or fatally disorient you; they want to keep you on your toes. The more time you spend in a store, the more you’re likely to buy, and supermarket owners have known this for decades.

So how can you employ this supermarket shtick to help your business in today’s arduous economic climate? Think about ways you can shake things up. Whether it’s your website, a catalog, or other marketing tool, keep things fresh. But also remember that you don’t want to alienate or confuse prospective clients or consumers, so make sure that any changes you make are simple to navigate for new customers and easy to adapt to for returning ones. When it comes to promotional products, look for new items that will surprise people while remaining consistent with your company’s brand. Real estate agents in a troubled housing market, for example, should consider eschewing practical but obvious ideas (refrigerator magnets, key chains) for more high-tech but affordable items like a USB drive or even something fun like a stress ball! Remember: Even minor changes, when executed smartly, can yield noticeable results.

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