NID tabloid power for local stores

On the morning of May 26, more than five and a half million readers of the Daily Mirror and Daily Record will open their favourite paper to read the latest news from Iraq, the new trouble for the Government and the big pop news. They will also find in their papers four pages of promotion for the nation’s independent c-stores and newsagents.

This will take the form of money-off coupons on no less than 10 big brands plus related editorial. And, critically, the feature will inform readers about NID 06, fixed for six days later on June lst.

The editorial will not be based on the doom-laden tone which characterised much of the recent political lobby stories surrounding the OFT, the Competition Commission and the future of the independent. Instead it will carry positive signals to the 5.5 million plus Mirror and Record readers many of whom, research shows, are regular users of local stores. The editorial will feature local stores which are involved in the community, serving the neighbourhood as only independents can.

It’s powerful stuff. In readers’ households throughout the land, these pages will have appeal. The money-off coupons giving price cuts to readers will connect with budget-conscious shoppers, pensioners, hard-up single mums and families watching their pennies. It’s a big audience.

They will not be accustomed to seeing money-off value at their local independent – every local independent – in their daily paper. But they will not miss the message. The promotion, however, will also appeal to the environmental lobby – not absent from the Mirror’s readership – and those who are big shop regulars at their favourite superstore but who also know that they need their local store for everyday requirements.

The local store is a consumer must-have.

NOISE IS WHAT MATTERS

Many consumers are lethargic when it comes to redeeming coupons or, indeed, taking advantage of any “buy me” offers. But that is not the only point. What matters is the noise that the pre-NID money-off Mirror and Record activity produces.

It reminds consumers of the value of the owner-managed store, the sole trader or family business forming the core customer base of every wholesaler. It’s about connection.

Another by-product of the MSYS campaign is the way in which it has galvanised the entire wholesale/independent industry into recognising the importance of the word “community”. Once it was rarely mentioned. But since the launch of MSYS in 2004, community has been the song that trade associations have begun to sing with the Government and many agencies joining in lustily.

COMMUNITY VALUE

MSYS is a positive campaign based on reminding the consumer of the value of the local independent in the community. Research shows that people are worried about the future of the community in an increasingly cloned world. MSYS answers this anxiety.

The independent owner-manager of a c-store or newsagents “living over the shop” has a daily interface with their neighbours. They share the experiences, good and bad, of the local community.

Thye can say to their community “my shop is your shop too, I own it but unless I stock what you need my store will fail”. It is a business managed entirely on the local economy and local needs and not by a manager working to corporate disciplines imposed by number crunchers in a distant head office.

Without touching on sentiment, the human element in a family run business should be one of the platforms for community trading, and this gives the local independent a marvellous marketing platform.

These very retailers will at this moment be learning about this biggest-ever NID money-off promotion from wholesaler briefings and trade press advertisements. And the long-term objectives of MSYS – to impact on the consumer – will be one step nearer to achievement.

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=== BIG BRANDS BACK NID ===

These are the 10 big brand promotional offers involved in the second national newspaper money-off promotion exclusively for independent grocers, c-stores and newsagents.

1. Minute Maid Froot Refresh 330 ml: 30p off coupon

2. Guinness Draught 440 ml 6 or 4 packs: 30p off coupon

3. Pedigree Denta stix, Rodeo, Jumbone (any size): 30p off coupon

4. Nescafé Gold Blend 100g: 20p off coupon

5. Nestlé KitKat Chunky/Chunky Peanut Butter: 10p off coupon

6. Lucozade Energy 380ml: 20p off coupon

7. Foster’s: pound;50m of free bets to be claimed multipacks

8. KP Original Salted/Dry Roasted Peanuts 50g, 80g and 100g: 15p off coupon

9. Sensations any 40g bag; 20p off coupon

10. Birds Eye Chicken Curry/Beef Curry with Rice price-marked pound;1.39: 30p off coupon

l Promofact: Combined circulation of the Daily Mirror and Daily Record is 2.17 million (ABC), producing a combined readership of 5.5million (ABC).

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=== Coupons plus PR how it works ===

The thrust for the first Mirror/Record money-off coupon initiative in 2005 came from IMA Group, the Manchester marketing agency whose managing director Graham Shelley sits on the FWD’s PR Action Group (PRAG).

Breaking the mould is a PRAG principle and the promotion helped the 2005 National Independents’ Day activity to go with a swing. Merged with PR media activity initiated by Nexus, the London consultancy represented on PRAG by Alan Twigg (who received an FWD Gold Medal at t he FWD Savoy awards for his work), there was nationwide recognition of the day of celebration.

This year Shelley was able to present a co-ordinated plan to suppliers giving more time for supplier/wholesaler identification of the opportunity. Of the major brands invited to take part, 10 recognised the power, the uniqueness and positive aspects of the signals to the trade and the shopper offered by the promotion.

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