So, how can consumers tell if your retail
food outlet is different than your competitors? How can you send a message and
then reinforce that message in the-minds-eye-of the consumer so they will elect
to come to your restaurants, c-store, or deli? Well, at Sprint
Food Stores point of differentiation is just a little less common approach but
it clearly is edifying its brand identity with consumers: it appeals to
the nose and your sense of smell.
Food Stores partnered with Prolitec,
a provider of ambient scent delivery systems, to launch a three-store pilot
starting in 2017. After testing Prolitce product and finding a uniformly positive
response, that drove new electricity into the brand and brand messaging, Sprint
rolled out the program to all 30 of its Central Savannah River Area
The key to the program's success lies in how it affects customers' emotions in ways that colorful signage or a good two-for-one deal can't.
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the
new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such
things as; corporate partnerships, fresh foods, smell, online
ordering, delivery, self-driving cars, plant-based foods, music, sampling,
toy’s, podcast, movies, cereal, developing brands, grocerant
positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less
retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to
survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence
revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that
are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different and
this fits that bill according to Johnson.
In a press release Prolitec stated, "Our
sense of smell is the only [one] of our five senses tied directly to the
emotional side of our brains, making scent a powerful way for businesses to
form connections with their customers”.
Additionally, rolling the program out across
the chain reinforces its place in Sprint's brand identity by providing
continuity, ensuring that all customers have the same experience regardless of
which store they visit.
The selection of a particular scent is
the most important step in the process, before any in-store testing begins.
Prolitec noted that another of its retail partners opted for a diffused coffee
fragrance and reported a subsequent increase in in-store dwell time
that led to a 5 percent boost in sales.
Prolitec's press release went on to say, "Fresh,
welcoming scents can be more appropriate for brands with less focus on
foodservice," … "This concept is what Sprint employs. Their fresh
citrus brand scent greets shoppers right at the front door, encourages them to
linger longer shopping, and reassures them the space is clean and safe.". Do you cook from scratch in your stores or do
you assemble meals? What sent will your
customer find in your store.
So, the diffusers themselves create
"scent experiences" that are hypoallergenic, leave no residue, and
neutralize unpleasant odors. Touchless technology enables remote monitoring and
After launching the ambient scent
program, Sprint has received widespread positive feedback from customers,
and store managers unanimously agree that the program adds to a
positive in-store experience for customers.
Sprint Food Store Manager Michael Thomas stated
"Customers say it smells good as they walk in,". Customer comments
highlight the "fresh," "spring-like" and
"amazing" store scent. Multiple store managers report that customers
have even asked where they can purchase the scent for themselves.
The battle for share of stomach has never
been more intense so if you are not working to differentiate yourself from
competition both within and outside the industry, you just might have a problem.
Are you ready for outside eyes for inside results?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in
outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify
additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and
brand and menu integration strategy. Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche
visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter
Battle for Share of Stomach