Edward Barneys, the father of Public Relations, was working for Beech-Nut Packing Company as a publicist when he was instructed to increase sales for the company’s bacon products.
Based on consumer studies, he discovered that Americans ate very light breakfasts. He then convinced physicians to publish articles on the advantages of a heavier breakfast in order to start the day right. Journals all around the US published this breaking news, some specifically stating that bacon and eggs would lead to a healthier diet.
The result was a dramatic increase in bacon and egg sales and Barney´s is considered to be the author of the American Breakfast.
Some eighty years later, Al Wittemen, then working for Heinz Ketchup, took a very similar approach. In order to sell more ketchup, he realized, the best is to sell more barbecues. Shoppers need solutions for special occasions and hence, selling more barbecues would necessarily lead to increased sales in ketchup. Retailers would also be happy as to sell more across categories and to see their shoppers satisfied.
A shopper solution approach is at the very basis of shopper marketing. Instead of merely selling one’s own products, every manufacturer must first consider the shopper´s basic needs and then offer a complete solution incorporating retailers and third parties. Shopper marketing must therefore be a holistic approach to influencing the purchase decision if extraordinary results are to be achieved.
So, next time you want to sell more flour, you might first want to convince the public that caring mothers themselves prepare their kids´ birthday cake and then place your product next to candles, birthday hats and balloons.
What Shopper Solution would you launch?