Let’s look at two examples, revealing that shopper marketing can work both inside and outside the store.
Shopper Marketing Outside the Store
In China in the 1980s, only about six percent of the estimated forty million children under the age of two were wore disposable diapers. Procter & Gamble looked at this situation and saw a great opportunity to promote its Pampers brand. After doing some research, they learned that moms in urban areas were more likely to value Pampers’ benefits than were their rural counterparts. These urban moms liked the hygienic value of disposable diapers and found them less messy. Pampers were readily available in local outlets, making the issue of outlet selection an easy fix in urban areas.
Rural mothers, on the other hand, presented a very different path-to-purchase challenge. Their popular choice for their children was kaidangku—split pants that expose a child’s bottom and make it easy for him to go to the bathroom anywhere (often on the street!). When rural Chinese mothers did use disposable diapers, it was for special occasions or long journeys, making even the affordable value packs inappropriate for this market. Because there was little peer pressure on rural moms to use a more sophisticated solution like Pampers on a daily basis, P&G had to overcome a sizeable problem.
Seeing the differences in consumption needs, P&G recognized that there were differences in shopper needs, too. Rural consumers only needed diapers occasionally and had low disposable income. Thus, P&G needed to sell affordable packs containing a low number of pieces. In response, the company developed small and single packs of Pampers. This solution made it easier for the parent to use Pampers on occasions when a bare bottom was inappropriate (the shopper’s interpretation). By reducing the size of the package, P&G could offer a more affordable price for those shoppers with limited cash (the shopper’s need). They made the new packs available at a wide range of local stores in rural areas (outlet selection). The stores were small, so solution location was easy for the shopper (though P&G did invest in “hanger strips” to ensure that the product was easy to see from anywhere in the store). The small pack and low price point ensured that Pampers was selected (product selection). By 2009, Pampers had acquired 31 percent of China’s diaper market, and P&G’s range of products was distributed across towns and villages throughout the country.
Shopper Marketing Inside the Store
Tropicana Twister, a Pepsi product, is an ambient drink that contains five percent juice. It was first launched in markets where Tropicana juice couldn’t affordably be imported. Twister is packaged in bottles and should be stocked with other ready-to-drink juice drinks, whether ambient or chilled. The company invested heavily in advertising to promote the product. Naturally, shoppers would look for such a product in the juice section, in the chiller. But in one global chain store in Thailand, Twister was stocked with ambient cordials that needed to be diluted with water, a feature not required for this particular drink. It also was featured in the chiller cabinet near the cold meats. Placed well out of its category, the brand tanked in these stores. It wasn’t the product that failed but the solution location—or in this case, solution mislocation! During the launch period, sales of Tropicana’s key competitor shot up—perhaps due to all those shoppers who couldn’t find Tropicana and went to buy Splash instead.
This blog found in Course 14: Persuading Shoppers.