When I came to Canada nine years ago I can remember finding either raw ingredients in the shops, or highly processed foods. In the UK, I was used to getting part-made or ready-made meals made with real ingredients which allowed us to eat healthily in little time and relatively low cost. I discovered Sobeys as it was, and really still is, the only grocery store that had prepared in store meals without all the preservatives and six-month shelf life.
It came as no surprise to me to hear in August that Sobeys had teamed up with Jamie Oliver, the champion of real food. His eleven-year alliance with Sainsburys, a UK supermarket with a similar product rather than price positioning like Sobeys, was very successful for Sainsburys. He championed real food and the ability for everyone to eat well.
Last week the first TV and radio ads came out and the cheeky chappy Mr Oliver was running around Canada telling everyone how you can eat well and affordably by shopping at Sobeys. So imagine my surprise when I got an email in my inbox from Sobeys that very morning, with no mention of Jamie. On Saturday I popped into the local Sobeys and again, no in-store branding. There was one hairy picture in the meat department advising me to take my meat out of the fridge one hour before cooking, with Jamie’s face, but that was it.
I asked at the till about what was going on and got an “I dunno.” Where is the internal communication, to use your best brand ambassadors, your employees? So please when investing in a celebrity or any campaign, ensure there is an integrated marketing plan, map every touch point and be consistent with the messaging. It takes from three to seven times for people to see the message before it is picked up. If a customer doesn’t see that consistency it may cause confusion and definitely reduce the impact of your activity.
Victoria Bennett is the Principal of Bennett Milner Williams Consulting. With over eighteen years experience in Business to Business and Business to Consumer marketing in Europe and North America; in addition, she has overseen sales, operations, finance and HR, experience to ensure a comprehensive implementable solution. She is goal-focused with strong commercial success working for major companies including; Procter & Gamble, TD Bank, Mars, Tervita, BP, Gushor (a Schlumberger company), ENMAX and Axia NetMedia. Her proven ability to define the problem, collect and analyse the data and develop an effective plan is supported by her project management abilities to draw on her strong network of trusted, proven consultants to implement the approved plan.