These days it seems like everyone is trying hard to eat better, buy local, and focus on fresh—all in the name of adopting a healthier, happier lifestyle.
“The number of people who are focused on their health is the greatest it’s ever been, and that’s across all ages and income levels,” says Devora Rogers, a vice president and shopper analyst at Murphy Research and speaker at the recent IGA Global Rally.
Add to that the fact that shoppers are increasingly concerned about what’s in their food, along with other details such as where it came from, and how it was made, and it’s clear that there’s an opportunity for today’s retailers to be and do more for shoppers.
As Rogers puts it, “If we’re going to serve those folks, we need to be empathetic of their situations.” In other words, retailers need to shift the approach from simply selling products to helping solve problems and create solutions, says Rogers.
So how does IGA become the trusted partner and problem solver shoppers want? The answer, says IGA CEO John Ross, is in telling our Local Equals Fresh story.
Building confidence through building a brand
“IGA is already a leader in local and fresh,” Ross says. “It’s who we’ve been since the beginning and who we will always be. The problem lies in that we need to do a better job of telling our story and inspiring confidence in our shoppers about our relationship with the people and communities we serve. If we’re not telling the story, no one else will.”
And that’s where Local Equals Fresh up-branding comes into play. “Shoppers want what we do, and we intend to tell them in a bold, big way that IGA is the brand to trust when it comes to the food they feed their family,” Ross says of the new brand messaging that will appear on everything IGA—including websites, social media, store ads, and even the updated IGA private label line.
But it’s the merchandising and branding elements for use in store that will undoubtedly make the biggest and most immediate impact with shoppers.
The in-store strategy was designed to take the shopper through a journey that emphasizes IGA’s promise to buy from local and regional family farms whenever possible.
This promise is introduced with a “first impression” entrance sign…
…and reinforced with additional branding elements that follow the shopper’s journey through each area of the store, with window, hanging, wayfinding, stanchion and department signs, product stickers, and even employee apparel.
Promise to Shoppers
- At IGA, we believe that Local Equals Fresh.
- We buy from local and regional family farms, wherever possible.
- Every day, we offer items that are made fresh and made here.
- Every morning, we bake fresh breads, cookies, and more.
- In our delis, we make fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, and more.
- Our butchers are busy packing fresh cuts of meat.
- We believe that when you buy local, you support local.
- Throughout our stores, you’ll find local favorites—things like eggs, honey, and salsa.
- Atop the list of local favorites are our friendly IGA associates, who are always here to help.
- We are proud to sell the IGA Brand of products. We stand behind our brand with a double money back guarantee.
- We are IGA, the Independent Grocers Alliance. Proudly independent since 1926.
Taking the promise a step further, retailers can also customize pieces that tell the specific story of each store’s local family farmers, dedicated employees, and unique family recipes.
According to Ross, this journey is key in helping shoppers recognize and embrace IGA as the fresh, local solution they’re looking for. “It’s not just signs, it’s a system. It’s a strategy. And it’s a shopper experience,” Ross says. “Shoppers already believe independents are twice as likely to carry local products than the chain stores. Now it’s our job to get busy branding what we already do, to tell the story across our entire chain of stores so IGA becomes known as the local and fresh leader we are.”
Putting it all together
Ready to tell your Local Equals Fresh brand story? Click here to learn more about how IGA Red Oval partner DG Graphics can work with you to build your ideal store kit, and order here: www.iga.com/ branding.
In the next parts of this series, we’ll share tips and showcase what some IGAs are already doing to promote fresh and local in each department of the store. Have a story you’d like to share? Send an email to Ashley Page, editor of The IGA Minute, at email@example.com.
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