Case Studies

Increasing same-store sales despite a tough economy and intense competition

Background

Locally owned and operated since 1969, ABC Co. is a grocery store chain with multiple locations spread throughout southern New England. In addition to offering a full complement of grocery, produce, meats, and seafood, ABC Co. is also a purveyor of prepared foods, baked goods, and catering services. Its emphasis on providing attentive service and everyday value has established it as a household name in the communities it serves.

For years, ABC Co. had placed the majority of its focus on internal operations, store build-outs and product selection. This emphasis on providing value was its greatest marketing asset. However, its lack of emphasis on marketing placed it at a distinct disadvantage. What little marketing ABC Co. did was handled by an internal marketing “point person” — and was limited to standard weekly newspaper inserts, occasional email communications, in-store signage and basic website maintenance.

Challenges

Cutting through the clutter to increase sales and share.

Competition in the retail grocery business is nothing short of fierce. This crowded marketplace has a full spectrum of outlets including discount chains, convenience stores, big-box supercenters, and high-end organic/specialty markets. All are vying for the consumer’s limited shopping dollars while dealing with razor-thin margins, high inventory costs, and rigorous health and safety regulations. ABC Co. found itself squeezed between the big chains and the specialty retailers. It not only found it difficult to stand out in the consumer’s mind, but its marketing budget paled in comparison to the large publicallyheld companies with massive marketing war chests.

Knowing the company needed to strengthen its marketing
efforts, ABC Co’s leadership team had three viable options:

  1. Hire a traditional ad agency. The problem was, their recent subpar experience with a traditional agency proved to be very expensive for the minimal impact provided.
  2. Build out an internal marketing department. This would not only be an expensive undertaking, it would take time to find appropriate talent. Going forward, ABC Co. would also be limited by the abilities of this internal team.
  3. Outsource the marketing function. This would enable ABC Co. to enlist experts with in-depth experience who could work closely with its internal point person.

ABC Co. leadership chose to enlist TribalVision as an outsource solution. This would enable them to rely on TribalVision’s team of experts to fully lead and implement the company’s marketing function. It also freed the leadership and operational teams at ABC Co. to stay focused on their core competencies.

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