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Stop trying to be something for everyone

It seemed unlikely that someone presenting about a ski resort at an email conference would relate to the grocery business. The 2019 And Then Some Conference hosted by emfluence had speakers from a variety of fields. One of the keynote speakers was David Amirault. He spoke about turning around the marketing program at the Snowbird ski resort. Amirault talked about putting marketing resources where they would be most effective in the 21st century. You may remember the “one-star” campaign pictured above.

Snowbird is known for it’s difficulty. There are very few runs for beginners. The hotel accommodations are not as opulent as other resorts. Snowbird is for serious skiers. None of this stopped people from leaving scores of one star Yelp reviews about how hard the skiing was. This is when Amirault’s team had a break-though. They decided they would “stop trying to be something for everybody.”

They knew what Snowbird was and who it was for. Stunning images of death-defying skiing paired with real reviews quickly went viral. Our members need to decide what their store is and what they do well. Trying to compete with dollar stores on price, and Whole Foods on quality is a losing strategy. Pick what the store does best, and highlight that. There are undoubtedly people that are shopping somewhere for meat not knowing you have the best meat selection in town. They could be at Whole Foods paying more for produce grown farther away, or at a dollar store browsing a smaller selection while not saving money. All of these happen because we feel the need to promote everything.

In the long run it will be better to focus on what your store does best. Pleasing everyone is impossible, and it is often the smallest groups that are the loudest. When you spend time, energy, and money catering to them you are missing out on keeping the customers you do have. You are also missing out on an opportunity to attract new customers who want the things your store already does well. Keep the focus where it needs to be, and don’t feel the need to be something for everyone.

Sean is a web specialist. He runs the email marketing program, helps in website design, manages social media accounts, and uploads weekly ads. In 2017, Sean started Grocer Podcast, a month show that intends to be another way to get information to retailers. Prior to joining AWG, Sean spent three years as a high school teacher. Sean is an avid cook, sports fan and Kansas Citian.