Schnucks Promotes ‘Peace of Mind’

May 11, 2011

When Schnuck Markets rolled out the first phase of its “Peace
of Mind” ad
campaign in January, the 105-store grocery chain pointed to its competitive
prices on the top 1,700 items it sells.

Enter phase two and Schnucks is promoting
the quality of the products it sells while pointing consumers to the “Schnucks
” website.
Consumers who visit the site enjoy an interactive, multimedia environment where
they earn entries to win up to $25,000.

Bob Howard, vice president of marketing
for Schnucks, said the site was designed to provide information to people who
have an interest in learning more about the food they eat. The program runs
through July 3.

“This is the first time we’ve really talked about the quality side,” Todd
Schnuck, president of Schnuck Markets, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We
see real differences between what we do and what the competition does and we
want to make sure the consumer understands that.”

Mr. Schnuck said the
first phase of the “Peace of Mind” campaign
was focused on making sure that the chain could compete on price with limited
assortment grocers, mass merchandisers and supercenters.

“Our statement is that you don’t have to go to these other stores for
very competitive pricing or for the best quality,” he told the Post-Dispatch.

Discussion Questions: Why do so few retailers, particularly in the grocery channel, create campaigns that focus on something other than price? Is Schnucks on the right path with the quality angle in its advertising?

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6 Comments on "Schnucks Promotes ‘Peace of Mind’"

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Ed Rosenbaum
11 years 15 days ago

This reminds me of Stew Leonard’s in the New England area. They took a different path to success and made it work. I see Schnucks following the same path. We do not always have to walk in the same line to get where we want to go. Sometimes the road less traveled is better and faster.

Ryan Mathews
11 years 15 days ago

Any time you can authentically differentiate yourself in a positive way you are on the right track.

Why don’t more people move away from price? There are several reasons.

(1) They don’t really know — and therefore tend to underestimate — their customers, seeing them as one-dimensional buying machines with an insatiable appetite for discounts.

(2) There isn’t a lot of creative innovation in supermarket marketing/branding. It has historically been a “me too” or “follower” industry and it seems that’s a tradition carried forward into the 21st Century.

(3) In some cases that’s all the operators have to talk about. They really aren’t doing anything special at all.

(4) It’s easy to default to price — part of the collective “muscle memory” of retailing.

(5) Finally — and this is the most dangerous reason of all — they don’t really believe in themselves or have confidence that they have a legitimate story to tell.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
11 years 15 days ago
For the most part, middle-of-the-road retailers have survived touting price. In fact, it is one of the reasons customers focus on price. The industry has been reminding us about price for the last 50 years. To a certain extent, the focus by traditional food retailers on price provided an opportunity for Walmart, Save-A-Lot, Aldi, and dollar stores to develop profitable niches based on low prices. In addition, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and others developed the “cool” segment by providing key attributes sought by customers, namely, natural, organic, fresh, unique, etc. I applaud Schnucks for attempting to move out of the big middle. Peace of mind is not a new concept. This was Fisher Price’s mantra for years. The new focus on quality is somewhat risky unless Schnucks can really differentiate its offering vis-a-vis its competitors. To a certain extent, most customers view their primary food retailer as satisfying the “ante” of price, quality, variety, and cleanliness. Who would shop at a store that doesn’t have these attributes? Schnucks needs to develop a unique quality… Read more »
Ian Percy
11 years 15 days ago
So what really gives people “peace of mind?” “Peace” is the object, the end result, and its etymology points to the absence of struggle and disorder. So when one grocery shops there should be no struggle or disorder in the process. Do low price claims reduce the struggle and disorder or do they actually generate it? The ‘holder’ of this peace is the mind. How one thinks and what one believes. What do people think and believe when virtually all stores claim to have the lowest price? They can’t all be telling the truth. What is one to ‘think’? Isn’t Walmart making boatloads of money while claiming lowest prices? Doesn’t that make you wonder if you’re still being ripped off? No peace there. Now the switch to pushing “quality” as well. Perhaps that will bring peace to one’s mind. Or is it like putting up a sign reading “We treat customers honestly.” Come on–what was your other option? Apparently someone decided to promote “quality” products instead of…. Finally we face the struggle and disorder of… Read more »
Tony Orlando
11 years 15 days ago

As a supermarket owner, you can not ignore the “price” factor, as we are being bombarded by every retailer who has a pulse on savings. It is also important to promote value, and quality, BUT you better be able to back it up, if you want the higher grosses.

Keep the staples in your store competitive, and push the perimeter, with great merchandising, seasonal values, and signature foods, that only you carry.

It takes a lot of work to steal a customer away from another store, and it can be done with unique foods, super cleanliness, outstanding service, and value.

Aaron Spann
Aaron Spann
11 years 14 days ago

I live in a Schnucks trade area. While the “Peace of Mind” campaign is definitely visible but it really isn’t driving people to the store in droves (at least from what I can tell). I see the same shoppers I always see at Schnucks.

They’d be better served by upping the ante with their fresh offerings alongside the “Peace of Mind” campaign. The stores in my area (and some are less than 5 years old) are dank and simply boring. Meats, Deli and Produce are pretty bad.

People want “peace of mind” when they go in to buy dry beans, eggs, milk and bread. They want quality brands and freshness when they shop for meats and produce.

Peace of mind on a pound of store-brand butter and a dozen eggs doesn’t equate to something which is better than the rest. The rest offer the same exact thing every day as well.


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