The times are changing and people (especially millennials) are no longer solely focussed on price. In fact, research shows that CX (customer experience) will outweigh price as they product differentiator by 2020. This case study is the perfect example of the power of putting purpose over price.
We were approached to help lead the successful rebirth of one of Australia’s largest nuts, whole grains and exotic spices wholesaler in the highly competitive health foods market. Our client was looking to establish themselves as an online trader…but not just an online trader, a ‘new school’ online trader.
A Snapshot of Our Results
Here are the results 9 weeks post-launch:
- Over six-figure growth of sales in the first 9 weeks of launch with a minimum budget on marketing
- 40% repeat customers (this never happens. Especially with a product that is readily available in supermarkets)
- Over 60% of customers that received products during the 9 weeks posted to social media, sent cards to head office (we even got organic traction on Reddit, which is virtually impossible)
How We Did It
When we are helping clients solve their greatest marketing problems we always turn to the design-thinking process. This ensures we are working on the problem with the customer front-of-mind, not aiming for something that looks great on paper but realistically doesn’t meet any of their customer’s needs!
In order to empathise with what our clients considered ‘new school’ we asked two questions that would be used to fuel the design thinking process. What does your company want to become and what do you stand for? – A company cannot begin the innovation process until they know the answers to these two questions!
The retailer stated they wanted to be ‘new school’ and but didn’t really know what this meant outside of trading online. Considering trading online has been around for 20 years, just trading online wasn’t going to give them the real ‘new school’ edge they were after. We needed a strategy that encapsulated the beliefs of their target audience (environmentally-conscious millennials) and a way to pedestal this ‘new school’ sustainably-focussed, brand for rebirth.
It’s one thing to state your values on your website, it’s another to put these values into action and live them through every business practice and process.
Just trading online isn’t new school, new school is about getting on the same wavelength and making an impression on the hearts of minds of the consumer – forming an unparalleled loyalty. You need to earn a millennials trust and that’s easier said than done!
It’s about leaving the consumer thinking, ‘I love this brand’ not simply ‘I love this product’. So where did we start? We started with the most unsustainable part of the CX, product packaging.
Starting with the foundations, we optimised the user experience of their website and fulfilment processes to make it seamless and efficient. To us that isn’t innovative, it’s just the essential best practice for any growing retailer and modern-day consumers.
We then moved on to the customer experience. The first thing a marketer should know about millennials (and the rest of the consumer market in general) is that they value purpose over price. They want to see their values and beliefs reflected in the brands that they buy from and for brands to care about something greater than profit and notoriety.
First and foremost it was the fact that a company who prides itself on sustainable healthy living was using a non-recyclable plastic packaging. This clashed with consumer values and needed to be innovated fast.
After some intense market research and brainstorming we refined it down to two solutions which we prototyped and tested on the following parameters:
- Easy for the customer,
- Easy for us (their team) to manage, and most importantly…
- Something that customers loved and engage with
We assigned these two options microbudgets and tested them for 3 weeks. Growing retailers don’t have the time or budget to commit to long testing cycles so we aim to make this process as agile as possible, focussing on razor-targeted markets and clearly set objectives.
The two options:
- Send back and refill – this option proved to be difficult to manage due to food and allergy restrictions and wasn’t a viable fulfillment option
- Recycling Program – this proved to be extremely popular and highly-efficient
The winning option was the Recycling Program, which became part of the marketing and buying experience. The program worked by including a paid/addressed mailing slip with each purchase and awarding customers who returned their packaging bags to head office with 10% off their next order. If they return 10 empty packaging bags or more, they receive a free gift with their next online order.
Bonus: all packages were sent with Sendl, who is the only carbon-neutral delivery service
Conclusion / Results
We did over $100,000 of sales in the first 9 weeks after the launch. At the end of the 9 weeks, the retailer was at 40% repeat customers (which never happens, especially for a product that is readily available in supermarkets).
60% of the customers that received the sustainability program started tweeting, Instagramming and even sending written cards back ‘thank you so much for looking after the environment. We also, believe it or not, got traction on Reddit, which is usually no man’s land for digital marketers.
Innovation these days is no longer about simply being better, being faster or having the greatest profit margin. Innovation in this age of business transparency and consumer-advocacy is about standing for something bigger than yourself and putting purpose over profit.
There’s nothing we love more than seeing the results clients get after innovating even the simplest aspects of their CX (Customer Experience). If you want to learn more about our CX Evolution Program click here or drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org