The following is the latest segment that I recorded as a commentator for the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s (PLMA) web based video magazine PLMALive! The segment “Using Social Media for Retailing takes a look at how retailers are using social media to grow, promote and innovate their brands.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Mommy Bloggers and Pinterest, are just a few of the social media opportunities that are now integral parts of consumers’ lives and herald a new era of communication for large and small brands alike. Retailers like Kroger, Smart & Final, Publix, Food Lion, & Wawa are embracing social media to grow their brands, have meaningful conversations and build relationships with their customers. Whether it’s a recipe contest, feedback on a product or creating brand champions, retailers are testing the waters of social media and winning.
Over the last few years, Food Lion, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, has been taking blogger engagement to a whole new level with its “Frugal Cook-Off” challenge. During one event, the North Carolina-based retailer took over the Driftwood Restaurant in its Raleigh backyard and invited area bloggers to use the restaurant’s kitchen to create nutritious, low-cost meals for a family of four using only Food Lion Private Brands, as well as fresh produce and protein options available only at Food Lion.
The winning team created an entrée with two sides in 45 minutes using items shopped from a temporary, onsite Food Lion pantry of store brand products. The total cost of the meal was $15.00. In addition to generating thousands of positive social media mentions, the winning team was also featured on the retailer’s social media assets and a local morning TV show.
In a post on its Facebook wall, West Coast grocer Smart & Final Stores announced its First Street Frozen Treat “Cowdown” Sweepstakes, which invited consumers to enter to win a tablet computer by voting for their favorite private brand frozen novelty in the private brand promotion.
In the event, Smart & Final pitted two First Street private brand ice cream products against each other on its Facebook page and asked customers to vote for their favorite. Ten grand-prize winners were then selected at random to receive an Amazon Kindle Fire.
This past year, Trader Joe’s held it’s 6th Annual Customer Choice Awards. The exclusive online event allowed customers to give proper ado to the Trader Joe’s private brand products they love. The first place winner was once again their iconic Speculoos Cookie Butter, followed by Mandarin Orange Chicken, Frozen Almond & Chocolate Croissants and Triple Ginger Snaps.
Early last year, 7-Eleven combined the hipster mustache craze with social media and ended up with thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts featuring their fans mustached by their iconic private brand, Slurpee, in a limited edition mason jar shaped cup with a mustache straw.
So like, follow, tweet and engage. Your customers can become fans and your market share can grow.
I am Christopher Durham for PLMALive!