retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I love stories.  I love it when retailers tell stories … because a clear narrative connected to retailer's brand equity and value proposition creates an enormous opportunity for differentiation.

It was just a week or so ago that I drew your attention to an email from Wegmans in which it identified the different kinds of needs that shoppers have going into the Thanksgiving holiday, and explaining the ways in which it could satisfy those needs. 

Yesterday, Wegmans did it again.

I got an email from company CEO Coleen Wegmans.  (Not a personal note, alas … I'm pretty sure everybody in the system got one.  But … there is real power in personalizing communications, as opposed to having the email just come from a company.)

The email explained that Wegmans has made a change in suppliers for its rotisserie chickens, and why the retailer has chosen to partner with Bell & Evans Farm, which offers "the best-tasting chicken on the market, raised humanely on family farms and without antibiotics."

Wegmans also provided a link to the bigger story.

Here's the deal.  Wegmans could've changed chicken vendors without mentioning it.  It could've chosen a vendor based on lower costs and kept charging the same amount, which would've given it better margins.  But instead, it decided to use the moment to make a point, to tell a story, and to do so in a way that actually sends a broader message about Wegmans' priorities, and how it wants to serve as an agent for the customer.

I love stories.  I love it when retailers tell stories … because a clear narrative connected to retailer's brand equity and value proposition creates an enormous opportunity for differentiation.  Which is the Eye-Opening thing that Wegmans has done.