The local coffee roaster has come up with a clever way to keep their shelves in area stores shipshape.
Blanchard’s Coffee Co. is rewarding customers who tidy its shelves in area grocery stores with free coffee as part of a creative way to build customer ownership of the brand while sprucing up retail display shelves.
“We have all those retail stores that sell our coffee,” said Stephen Robertson of Blanchard’s Coffee Co.–stores like Kroger, Martin’s, Ellwood Thompson’s, Whole Foods, and more. Robertson said inevitably those shelves end up looking like “wild badgers” got into them.
Blanchard’s Coffee Co., like other wholesalers, have little-to-no control of how their product looks after it lands on retail shelves. So about a month ago, the Blanchard’s team began discussing ways to remedy the Wild Badger Effect.
What they came up with: while in their usual grocery store, Blanchard’s customers go to the coffee brand’s designated shelf and confirm it’s tidy. If it isn’t, customers simply neaten the shelf. Those customers can then go on Twitter or Facebook and share a photo of the tidied shelf with Blanchard’s, or email the coffee company to let them know what store they visited and when.
In turn, Robertson keeps a list of those that help maintain store shelves. Every three weeks or so, Blanchard’s sends those “ambassadors” a thank you reward. The last one, sent a week ago, included a bag of direct-trade coffee.1
Robertson said the new program not only helps Blanchard’s build an army of shelf stewards, it also creates a deeper connection between the customer and the brand. “It builds a little bit of ownership in something they were enjoying already,” he said. “It gives them a little bit of pride and incentive.”
It also gives Blanchard’s another way to reward a customer base the company is proud of. “Our customers are awesome,” Robertson said. “We have the greatest network of really cool people.”
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- Also included was a free tube of Arm & Hammer toothpaste. Robertson said that Arm & Hammer reached out to Blanchard’s asking them to help disseminate teeth-whitening toothpaste. ↩
photo courtesy of Blanchard’s Facebook page