Published on: February 10, 2022
Earlier this week we reported on BrandSpark Internationals' special edition of its BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards (BMTAs), "highlighting the most trusted grocery stores as voted by American shoppers."
I raised some questions about the rankings, which were seconded by a number of MNB readers.
One MNB reader wrote:
I would have Hannaford in the Northeast ahead of Stop and Shop.
Hannaford didn't make the northeast regional top five. Stop & Shop came in fourth … and Wegmans came in fifth (which I found to be astounding).
Another MNB reader drilled down in the category awards and wrote:
3200 American shoppers and not one Independent Natural Food Retailer was an award winner? Best Produce; Walmart?
I don't get that one, either.
And another MNB reader noted a company that didn't make the western regional rankings:
What has happened to Raley’s?
I think Raley's not being on the list is more about how the questions were asked and who was asked the questions.
The thing is, I almost never put much stock in these kinds of surveys - they're generally done in order to generate publicity for the company doing the rankings (mission accomplished!), and for a variety of reasons I don't think they adequately measure the degree of loyalty felt by many shoppers for the stores they patronize. No Stew Leonard's? No Dorothy Lane Market? No Metropolitan Market? No PCC? I could go on…
MNB reader Steven Litt had a thought about the FaceTime piece I did the other day about how people (like, family members) don't always appreciate the evolution of other peoples' eating habits.
Thanks for this! IMO, your examples highlight how Observation Research (even with AI) isn’t always enough. Observation data records past recorded behaviours. Some of that info is the same TYPE of info a survey (as an alternative form of Descriptive Research) may provide, HOWEVER surveys also leave a door open to ask about attitudes & future preferences ie Observation Data just looks backwards –and at past behaviours- that data may mislead us. Just as siblings wrongfully think our past meal habits (visible to them) signal ‘preferences’.
Surveys, of course, only report what people say they will do … not what they actually do.
On the subject of Starbucks firing employees trying to unionize, claiming they were violating company policies, I suggested that if nothing else, the optics ain't great.
MNB reader Steve Anvik responded:
Indeed the “optics ain’t great”. However if specific allegations of wrongdoing are accurate & documented (and they better be), when it goes to arbitration for UI, or wrongful termination – things are far worse than optics. If they are accurate / documented – any company has the right to protect itself. The writ large alternative? See CA example of decriminalizing retail theft up to $950 – and the results widely reported here recently. If SBUX is all in, knowing the details and optics – then I’m withholding judgement, until this plays out and the guilty are adjudicated. This “contretemps” may be more smoke than fire.
Regarding Amazon's expanding telehealth business, one MNB reader wrote:
Am I the only one completely creeped out by this? No thanks. As with most anything as technology advances - we are the product. If they would like me to partake of these services, they can pay me for the knowledge they’ll mine. Not the other way around.
On an other subject, from MNB reader Lisa Malmarowski:
I’m rather dumbfounded that mega-grocery stores don’t have banks of charging stations in their mile-wide parking lots - most of which sit half empty all the time. Our stores, our small stores, feature 2 stations in our tiny lots. People really like it and folks have discovered our stores because of them.
And hey, while they’re at it, why not include decent bike parking, green swales planted with native plants to manage water runoff from the asphalt, and permeable pavement to help as well?
Seems like a no-brainer.
Businesses, all businesses, need to step up fast and do what they can with resources and space they have.
Trust me, it’s good for business.
And finally, responding to a story about inflation that we ran yesterday, MNB reader Dale Tillotson wrote:
I sense a conspiracy here. Oreo cookies rising in price as well as Colgate.It costs more to blacken the teeth and it costs more to clean the teeth. Investigation by Congress needed. Maybe Nancy Pelosi bought stock in both companies.
Why stop at Pelosi? I'd blame the entire Democratic Party conspiracy …and I'd look especially hard at Barack Obama's recent stock trades.