The Strategy Department


Better and Better at Keeping Customers

Is Pick n Pay getting better and better at keeping customers or not? Late last year I was full of praise for what Pick n Pay were doing to both attract and retain customers with their Smart Shopper loyalty program and their Stickeez promotion which had kids busy nagging and collecting in a way we hadn’t seen since the Simba Tazo’s from a decade ago. Now, Checkers is living its brand promise; Better and Better.

Perhaps I am biased because I work in the world of brand building, but to me the Checkers promotion is way better than those of its forerunners. It’s not just building its own brand – it’s helping to promote and build 29 iconic brands that it carries on it shelves. As a loyal ‘Smart Guy’ I never did shop at Checkers, but this promotion took me there. I was curious to see what the quality of the 29 ‘Minis’ would be. My first ‘shop’ was a tester and I spent just over R300.00 to ensure I got two ‘free’ gifts. I was expecting something similar to the collectible cards or Tazos from yester-year, but when I opened the packs I was really impressed – I got a quality mini replica foil packet of Simba chips and quality little cardboard box of Weet-Bix.

Yes, it’s a copy of the same offer – instant, hassle free gratification, the intrigue or excitement element as to what you would get, the collectability factor, the gaming element and most importantly, the child nag factor. But now kids beware, I want to collect them too. This promo has just 29 collectibles and if one considers that the average supermarket carries literally thousands of SKU’s and hundreds of brands, this is not likely to be a one off promotion. And then if I put on my clients hat, I would want Checkers to ‘list’ my brands in their next Mini promotion.

I guess I do have some questions: why are certain brands not there, what were the qualification criteria to be a part of the ‘Minis’? Looking at the individuality and quality of each of the collectibles I can only guess that this promotion is way more costly than the likes of Stikeez or Tazos, but it does bring a level of added value, so I would love to see the numbers. But if I go back to the objective of creating sticky customers, then to my mind this works wonderfully for customers, both kids and adults alike and it comes across as a true win-win for both the retailer and the manufacturer. Better and Better; and isn’t that what brand building is all about – you need to ‘say’ and ‘do’ in order to ‘be’.

Regardless of what it is that you sell, the question that remains is this: what are you doing to create and keep truly sticky customers?

Clive Evans, The Strategy Department

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