Give your brand the star treatment…
Fancy an A-list Hollywood endorsement of your services? While Bradley Cooper sharing his admiration for TMP’s customer research consultancy might just be a dream, there’s one British institution that knows just how it feels. This summer, Greggs – purveyor of puff pastry pleasures – was named as Jake Gyllenhaal’s go to snack shop when he’s in London. Can it be coincidence that last week Greggs posted a quarterly sales increase of 4.9%? Although I’m not sure Jake can take all the credit, the image of Mr G getting his southpaw on a Gregg’s cheese and ham baguette will have done them no harm at all. I certainly enjoyed it.
Two years on from the infamous ‘pasty tax’ – Mr Osbourne’s 20% VAT levied on hot baked goods – things are looking toasty for everyone’s favourite snack shop. This quarter’s sales increase comes on top of a massive 51% rise in profits for the first half of the year – £25.6 million compared to £16.9 million for the same period last year. Greggs have certainly come a long way since the profits warnings of 2013.
So what’s going right?
Whilst McDonald’s have been resting on their breakfast laurels in the UK, Greggs have taken the initiative and now offer a competing range of morning goods for early risers. Omelette roll anyone? With stores that open earlier – and many that have been refitted to include seating areas – Greggs have cooked up a winning recipe for breakfast on the go. They’ve also reached out to the more health conscious consumer who might previously have associated their products with an expanding waistline. Balanced Choice is Gregg’s range of products that all come in at under 400 calories – not bad for a cheeky Cajun chicken flatbread to get you through the afternoon.
So we have earlier opening times, new menus and a refurbishment programme that’s so far refitted 118 tired stores and converted 12 into cafes. Sounds like quite an appealing mix to get customers treading a path to your door – and this week’s figures show that Greggs are well on their way to keeping their hard-won conversions and taking an even bigger bite out of their market’s worth.
Take a look around…
Enter Roger Whitehead, CEO of Greggs for two and a half years. Stepping up to the job at the company’s lowest ebb saw Whitehead create a long-term strategy for winning back the customers Greggs had been losing to the likes of Pret A Manger and M&S Simply Food. Gone was the image of ‘local baker’ and in was the far more dynamic approach of ’food to go’. I know I’m repeating myself but yet again it’s a case of a business taking a look at their market, finding out what customers are looking for – and then giving it to them. Really. That simple!
So what’s hot in your market right now? What products are flying off your competitor’s shelves – and which are staying firmly put on your own? Pick out current trends and work them into your business. Your existing customers will know that you’re listening to them and you’ll win new ones by attracting them with exactly what they want.
Our much-loved purveyor of baked pleasures has turned around its fortunes in a relatively quick time by keeping their eye on the market, listening to customers and seeing things from their point of view. A sure fire way of having your cake and eating it.
Want to get to know your market from the point of view of the people that matter most? Get in touch with The Monachie Project to find out how our emotive customer research consultancy can help.