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Save-A-Label Success

The Save-A-Label program helps more than 9,000 non-profit organizations and schools raise $300,000+ each year. It’s a simple fundraising program that AWG retailers can promote to help their customers support the organizations that are important to them. The program is simple to use. If you’re not sure how it works, you can click here to learn more about it, but basically customers clip Best Choice labels and submit them to AWG for cash for their organizations. The program has been successful for decades. It hasn’t changed much since its invention, so we decided to survey our customers to see if there are any ways we can improve it. Through two rounds of surveys (one emailed to people who have signed their organizations up for the Save-A-Label program, and the second round emailed to our general Best Choice subscriber list and posted on the Best Choice social media sites), we discovered the great parts and the pain points of the program. Thank you to the 553 people who completed the survey! Here’s what they had to say: Do you actively use…

The Mindful Millennial and Cause Marketing

Two of the biggest challenges facing grocery retail in 2018 will be millennials and mindfulness. With unlimited technology literally sitting in most customers pockets, mindfulness is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2018. Pew Research Center has predicted that millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest living adult generation in 2019. This is changing the landscape of how grocery stores market themselves and do business. Price and quality are very comparable nowadays and millennials look to support causes when they shop. Visibility into the practices of businesses is the clearest it has ever been, so customers (mainly millennials) are now holding stores and companies accountable socially and ethically. 80% of consumers believe that businesses must play a role in addressing societal issues. So what does this all mean for grocery stores?   Two words: Cause Marketing. What is cause marketing? Cause marketing is when a company partners with a charitable organization to address a social or environmental problem. 91% of Americans want more products to support causes. So what can you do? AWG has the partner…

The Market Hall in Rotterdam

Tips for Grocery Shopping

This morning a blog post was shared on my Twitter timeline, 50 Tips for Grocery Shopping. I figured anyone who took the time to come up with a 50 item list had put some serious thought into things. I wondered how retailers could use the tips from this family of seven to improve their shopper experience. Check out the full list, but here are some of the highlights 1. Always go with a list. If you go without a list, you may as well just throw your money away. Better yet, donate it to me — I probably need it more than you. 🙂 Seriously, though, you need to prepare a list of everything you need, pulling from your weekly menu (next tip) and checking to make sure you don’t have it in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Now stick to that list. The number one tip was about list making. In fact, 10 percent of the tips were list related. How are you making it easier for customers to make lists? Most retailers…

Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty

Adobe MAX 2017 Recap: Building Fun, Creative Work Environments

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings and owner of SwissMiss design blog and studio, was one of the speakers at Adobe MAX this year. She talked about some of the values she bases her companies on, her approach to being a leader and her favorite interview questions. She is genuine and inspiring and has a unique way of building fun and creative work environments. Tina was trained as a graphic designer in Switzerland and Germany but had a dream to go to New York City. She recalls the business owner who hired her for her first job in NY and continues to show gratitude toward him. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward Becoming a mom inspired Tina to pursue other dreams she had in life, such as starting her own design studio and her own blog. She says, “I’m a better boss because I’m a mom and I’m a better mom because I’m a boss. Both of these roles force you to really think about what…

Graphic: editors and community support

Be a good neighbor

Price and selection aren’t the only ways to attract customers to your stores. It is also important to be a quality members of the community. There are plenty of things to handle each day and community outreach is easy to shove down the list as other things pop up. However, don’t sacrifice the important for the immediate. Apples for the Students and Making Change are two programs offered by AWG to give retailers an opportunity to impact their communities. Apples has shoppers turn in their receipts to their school to raise money for classroom supplies. Making Change allows customers to donate money to local causes at your registers. Both programs are easy to start and maintain. Not only that, but they are a great opportunity to show how you are involved in community. You think big national chains take the time to support local causes? Take advantage and show how much your store cares for its neighbors.

Grocer Pod – Episode 1

 The debut episode of Associated Wholesale Pod features conversations with Heather Standifer, Kurt Kloeben, and Kevin Phipps. Sean Kosednar starts the show with how your store can integrate into the community. Also discusses Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, National Ice Cream Month and how traditional retailers can stay competitive in the digital landscape.

Local Pages illustration

How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Charlie Hustle Facebook Cover Photo.

Cause Marketing Tips from Charlie Hustle – SMCKC Recap

*Image above is a cover photo from the Charlie Hustle Facebook page.  Charlie Hustle is a vintage apparel company based in Kansas City. Since its founding in 2011, the company has gained a huge following of fans who not only buy its products, but also connect with the brand on social media and support the causes the company promotes. A significant part of the Charlie Hustle brand is its cause marketing efforts. Charlie Hustle helps non-profit organizations fundraise through sales of specialty t-shirts designed specifically for each cause. In fact in the last 12 months, the company has helped raise funds for more than 20 organizations! Why do organizations like Charlie Hustle spend significant marketing efforts on supporting others? By becoming a community partner, brands connect personally with their customers. The goal here is not simply to increase sales (although that is a nice side effect of cause marketing), but instead to develop a relationship with customers, and together do some good. Study after study shows that the millennial generation wants to build relationships and loyalty behind brands that are…

Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…

Collage of social media icons.

Time for some spring training

Spring training isn’t just for baseball players. It is also a good time to learn new skills. Brush up on Twitter best practices. Refine photography skills. Learn to code. Each years digital skills are being democratized more and more. Tasks that were done only by professionals with expensive equipment can now be done by following simple tutorials on YouTube. Use the skills below to jump start your own spring training. COB – No, this has nothing to do with corn. It stands for Cut Out Background. Ever wonder how the Crying Jordan face gets added to things so fast? COB is the answer. Removing the background from an image can be a good idea for highlighting individual items. It may not be a skill that you use all the time. However, knowing how to do it will save you a ton of time. Photoshop allows for the most control. The more precise the cutout the better the final product will look. There are at least five different ways to cut out a background in Photoshop – here is one. This…

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