Brand Experiences Create Brand Relationships

By Maura Troester Nuñez, Ph.D. / March 10, 2015 / No Comments

This is a story about grocery store/consumer relationships. As far as brand relationships go, it’s not a good one.

Our little town has two national grocery chains: King Soopers and Safeway. The Safeway store is a depressing place that has bad produce and sometimes stinks of old fish. Most people only shop there for last-minute purchases.

Recently, the experience of shopping at Safeway has gone from bad to worse.

The checkout people used to be pretty nice and had interesting things to say. Now there are virtually no cashiers. Ten people wait in line to use the self-checkout lanes while eight traditional checkout lanes stand dormant.

I never really liked the place. And then I got a coupon. It was a BOGO for Safeway’s O Organic’s new line of kombucha. Because Safeway has a good CRM system, they knew I bought a lot of the stuff, so it was good practice offer the coupon and stimulate trial. Last week, I bought my two bottles and tried to open one. Then I tried to open it again. And again. And again. And again.

Did anyone on the marketing team even try to open one of these bottles?

My gut reaction? I’m never buying O Organics kombucha again. What’s my relationship with Safeway? It goes something like this: Safeway doesn’t care about me or any of the other people that shop at their stores. They care only about their bottom line. Avoid at all costs.

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