Alexis Giguère, VP of Canadian sales for Guru Organic Energy Corp., says it was supported “with localized efforts in both independent c-stores and chains.” Localization is a strategy he says they do to support all their major event sponsorships.
It also recently created a major promotion, making it available to both national chains and independents through an exclusive distribution agreement with PepsiCo Beverages Canada. The agreement was announced last October. Under the agreement, PepsiCo. oversees all aspects of sales and merchandising at points of sale, including both national chains and independently owned c-stores.
The campaign, called “Made With Plants,” launched in March and was supported by the brand’s first-ever large-scale, in-store activation program created by Montreal agency Sid Lee.
The activation also included sampling events and other activations in major Canadian cities.
“Aiming for maximum impact, assets and content were offered to all our partners, including smaller independent stores, to ensure continuity in our messaging and to make sure that we obtained as much visibility as possible during the peak of our campaign,” Giguère tells Convenience Store News Canada.
It also aims to build relationships with c-store owners, including through “incentive programs,” he says. “This is a tactic Guru aims to continue to leverage in the future.”
Independent c-stores may not have the scale or visibility of their larger counterparts.
However, their size offers some distinct advantages.
“In many cases, we can do special stuff at some smaller groups that we aren’t able to do with the larger chain accounts,” notes Wright. “That is because the bigger guys have more defined planograms, and regional management and district management—there are just so many layers of the onion that you sometimes have to pull back.”
For instance, he says they can quickly create a promotion with a single store located near a baseball field or hockey arena where a weekend tournament might be taking place, knowing demand for hydration products will be high.
“We can talk to the store manager, and quickly add six cases on the floor with promotional signage,” notes Wright.
Of the one-to-one approach, he says, “To think that we’re just going to focus on three or four clients in this country, and everybody else is a rounding error—it’s just the exact opposite mentality that we have taken.”
Discounts, in the way of a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) or a mix-and-match, are tried-and true promotional strategies.
However, some manufacturers have been looking to move away from this kind of promotion, towards showcasing brand attributes.