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P&G introduces Febreze allergen reducer, partners with Sam Champion

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble on Thursday announced that its brand Febreze has partnered with the Weather Channel’s newest anchor Sam Champion, host of “America’s Morning Headquarters with Sam Champion,” to educate consumers on the connection between the outdoor pollen count and allergens found in the home. Champion will help introduce Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer, a new product that eliminates odors and reduces up to 95% of inanimate allergens from pollen, pet dander and dust mite matter that can become airborne from fabrics after making their way into the home. 

“The outdoor pollen cast and allergy index are a critical portion of the weather forecast, but what people may not know is how the outdoor report can affect the indoors,” Champion said. “Weather can affect the allergen count in your home, so I’m thrilled to partner with Febreze to educate consumers on this important connection and on the new Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer that will help Americans this spring season.” 

Fabric and upholstered furniture, like couches, curtains and carpets, can often act as a reservoir for allergens, particularly during the spring and fall when pollen can be carried into the home by family members, guests and pets. When you sit on the couch, walk on the carpet or fluff up the pillows, you often release the allergens that have settled onto the fabric into the air you breathe. Febreze Allergen Reducer features a unique technology that acts as a net that flexes over allergen particles, trapping them on the fabric until they can be removed through routine cleaning and vacuuming.

“While it’s easy to wash the allergens that can accumulate on your clothing, it’s hard to tackle the daily allergens from pollen, pet dander and dust mites that become airborne in the home from tough-to-wash fabrics,” said Kirsten McKillop, Febreze principal scientist. “Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer was developed to address this issue, to help consumers achieve a deeper clean, particularly when pollen counts are high.”

Febreze Allergen Reducer is available in both Fabric Refresher and Air Effects. Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer comes in Unscented and Clean Splash. Febreze Air Effects Allergen Reducer is available in three light scents, Clean Splash, Freshly Clean and Soft & Light. The suggested retail price for Febreze Air Effects Allergen Reducer (9.7 oz) and Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer (500ml) is $4.29, and $6.29 for Fabric Refresher (800ml).

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Turning heads

BY Dave Wendland

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of NBC’s "The Voice." It’s not because of the variety of talent that graces the stage and tries to wow the judges and the general public, but rather because of the blind auditions. For those unfamiliar with this popular television reality show, singers have a 90-second audition to make an impression on the panel of celebrity judges.

Attracting shoppers and gaining their loyalty is not dissimilar. One big difference – retailers are given a fraction of a 90-second audition. Impressions are formed quickly. Even if chairs do turn in favor of "The Voice" contestants and they discover themselves on the journey toward a recording contract, they must continue to progress and impress the voting audience. Your shoppers also want to be constantly wowed, and you must evolve to ensure that they remain loyal to your business.

Here are four lessons I believe translate nicely from "The Voice" to consumer healthcare at retail:

1.    You need great talent. During the competition, the singers definitely need well-honed talent. The same goes for your business – hire and train the best possible talent. Employees that are dedicated to upholding your customer service levels will make your store stand out and encourage customer loyalty. It will not go unnoticed.
2.    It’s about the message. For singers on "The Voice," song and genre selection can make or break the performance. Same can be said about brands at retail – what are you communicating, and is it in the right genre?
3.    Differentiation matters. For the reality show, the judges seek talented individuals who are unique. They want someone who stands out from the crowd. Does your brand stand out? Is it differentiated enough to gain shopper votes over your competitors?
4.    Seek professional advice. The performers on the show are teamed with well-versed mentors to receive coaching, guidance, and sage advice. Who do you have on the team for your brand? Are you surrounding yourself with objective experts who can provide the sound advice necessary to build more success?

For any retailer – and for any consumer brand – each new encounter with a customer is another chance to get their chair to turn. Ensuring that you have passionate employees, consistent marketing messages, noticeable differentiators, and trusted advisors, can lead to lasting connections and the strengthening of brand loyalty. How are you turning heads toward your brand?

 


Hamacher Resource Group vice president Dave Wendland, a 20-plus-year retail industry veteran, is a popular presenter and discussion facilitator available to speak at corporate and association events on a variety of retail-related topics. HRG is a research, marketing and category management firm specializing in consumer health care at retail. Product manufacturers, healthcare distributors, retailers, technology partners and others rely on HRG for strategic and creative solutions to help build their business. Learn more at www.hamacher.com.

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Meijer augments mPerks program

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer on Thursday announced added features to its mPerks program that allows customers to store digital receipts from purchases in a single place and details exactly how much they’ve saved by shopping at Meijer locations.

With more than $100 million saved by mPerks subscribers since 2010, Meijer is among the first retailers to provide interactive spending and savings information to customers. The new features are available for subscribers who enable the digital receipts option on their accounts and enter their mPerks ID each time at checkout.

"Customers who enjoy our everyday low prices and take advantage of mPerks can really see how their savings are adding up and better recognize the overall impact Meijer makes toward stretching family budgets," stated Michael Ross, VP customer marketing and emerging technology. 

While paper receipts will still print at checkout for all customers, digital receipts will appear 15 minutes after a purchase, and savings graphs on their mPerks accounts will update every 24 hours. Once the features are enabled, users will be able to track how much they have saved in the "Receipts & Savings" section of mPerks. Pie graphs break down savings into various categories and also display overall savings.

In addition to viewing on mPerks.com, the Receipts and Savings features can also be viewed via the Meijer app. 

Meijer launched mPerks as a way to help deal-seeking customers save money at the register by offering a faster – and more convenient – way to clip coupons. Ross said the program has a redemption rate up to four times higher than the national average and recently reached a milestone of 344 million clips. In 2013, an average of 90,000 customers signed up for the free online program, which keeps shoppers from having to cut, print or even present a coupon upon checkout.

"We’re pleased that so many of our customers are taking advantage of the time- and money-saving resources we have in place," Ross said. "We’re dedicated to continually introducing solutions that enhance their shopping experience."

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