Last week I was reading Leslie Sarasin’s latest blog about the Worry Index. If you aren’t familiar with the Worry Index it’s a section of FMI’s The Industry Speaks research which compiles a list of the grocery industry top 10 issues identified by CEO’s as concerns they deem most impactful….the ones that keep them awake at night. I had seen Leslie speak about a month ago on this very topic and was kind of mesmerized by the issues and numbers FMI was putting out there in comparison to last years. The more I listened the more I knew I have been on the right track for a while now. I got really jazzed over a very specific area though. Take a guess guys….ta da…it’s the effect Millennials are really showing in the grocery marketplace over 2015.
There is no surprise that “competition” in of itself has always been a factor right at the top of the Worry Index, ranking either #1 or very near the top for years now. Then this year it darn near fell right “off” the Worry Index list, barely hanging in there at #10. How could that be? More importantly I guess the real question we should being asking is “why” is that? Hasn’t competition been a key factor in doing business? Does the economy stabilizing have anything to do with this? Or are the micro type marketing initiatives beginning to show numbers?
I do have my own suspicions and it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone who reads my blog. It’s those darn Millennials again. I believe that as we have moved our marketing into an era that uses more media and social marketing to entice Millennials on a “one on one” basis we are really seeing the differentiation of stores. I talk an awful lot about making each shopping trip an experience and now the numbers are starting to reflect that mindset. The sheer need to draw more Millennials into your floor space has made a lot of grocers think out of the box in their marketing concepts, opposed to just the older competitive pricing structure that had been occurring for so long.
As we all throw everything at the wall trying to entice more Millennial shoppers in 2016, I think we will see the differentiation of the shopping experience continue to elevate over sheer competitive price matching that has been the main staple of the past.
So what’s our take away? I think we’re all starting to see that competition isn’t necessary with the store down the street any longer…our main competition lays right within your own four walls and just exactly how far we are willing to go to make a shopping experience unique and personalized for the Millennials…and even their parents. Remember, I may not be leading this parade like my Millennial kids but don’t be mistaken; I am not opposed to joining that parade as it passes by me. So, if we are our own competition now and we’re only limited by own creativity, then isn’t this an opportunity to finally take the upper hand? Just give that a minute to settle and percolate….then go for it!
Blue Skies Everyone