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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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CHPA elects board of directors

BY Michael Johnsen

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Members of the board of directors of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday were elected at the association’s Annual Executive Conference. James Mackey, SVP U.S. Region Head, Merck Consumer Care, will continue to serve as chair for a second term.  

“CHPA is looking forward to another successful year under the vision and leadership of our chair Jim Mackey,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville stated. “We welcome our new members and thank all of our board members for serving an integral role in shaping the future of the industry.” 

Newly elected CHPA board members include:

  • Daniel Chiazza, SVP Nielsen Consumer Insights, North America, Nielsen;
  • Jeffrey Cohen, VP and general manager, Meda Consumer Healthcare;
  • Jeffery Gerchenson, chairman and CEP, Alva-Amco Pharmacal Companies;
  • Thomas Higgins, president, North America, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare;
  • Alexander Lacik, SVP NA, Reckitt Benckiser; and
  • Ryan Olohan, industry director for healthcare, U.S. Sales, Google. 

 

 

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