Clorox Leverages Shopper Insights
To Power Seasonal Promotions
By John Karolefski

The cold and flu season is over, and nobody is happier than consumers who survived without suffering through all of the accompanying discomfort. Many of them can thank the Clorox Company for keeping those nasty germs at bay.        

The maker of the dominant and well-known brand of household bleach also has another star in its product portfolio: disinfecting wipes. According to shopper insights gathered by the company, seven of ten consumers (70%) believe that disinfect¬ing surfaces can keep their families healthier, but only about half of them (46%) do anything about it. So Clorox developed the “Prevent, Protect & Soothe” in-store display program that leveraged these insights and resulted in a winning trifecta for the shopper, the brand and the retail partner.  

Clorox first identified a gap between consumer beliefs and behaviors about disinfecting surfaces, and calculated that it represented $400 million in potential sales. The marketer next sought to understand shopper behaviors around preventive health products. They discovered that most shoppers prefer to buy these products together and expect to find them in or near the pharmacy.

Meanwhile, executives at Roundy’s Supermarkets were looking for a shopper-relevant way to increase total store sales by driving traffic to the pharmacy – and to do so in a way that would be a win for their shoppers. The “Prevent, Protect & Soothe” shopper solution was perfect for this retailer which conducted the program in 140 of its 158 supermarkets in the Midwest during the last two cold and flu seasons. The Milwaukee-based grocery company, which serves shoppers throughout Wisconsin, across the Twin Cities and in the greater Chicago area, operates five retail banners: Rainbow, Metro Market, Copps, Pick ‘n Save, and Mariano’s 

AMG Strategic Advisors, a unit of the Acosta Marketing Group, helped to create the account-specific program which collected and co-located a variety of relevant products:  Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner with Bleach, and Clorox Bleach, along with Campbell’s soup, Kellogg’s cereal, Brita water filters and Dial soap. These products were conveniently displayed as “Barge Events” in the pharmacy area. Shoppers had an easy-to-shop destination around the themes of preventing illness, protecting the health of family members, and soothing them if they did become sick. In addition, signage in the form of anti-microbial pharmacy counter mats provided additional awareness.

The program drove total Home Care category sales during the October-through-January promotional period. Participating Clorox brands were up 2.3% in sales in 2010 and 16% during the program, led by Clorox Disinfecting Wipes which were up 154% (sales increases for 2011 were not available).

“This program really has become industry standard for total store health and wellness execution,” said Bob Richardson, Director of Sales, Customer Development for Clorox.

AMG Strategic Advisors defines shopper marketing as insights-driven integrated marketing and merchandising efforts, steeped in a deep understanding of shopper behavior, the path to purchase, and today’s retail realities, aimed at satisfying the needs and wants of targeted shoppers and enhancing their in-store experience. 

“Successful shopper marketing needs to ultimately improve business results and brand equity for manufacturers while helping to differentiate retailers,” said Barbara Ford, Senior Vice President, AMG Strategic Advisors.

Despite the challenges of planning for, implementing, and evaluating shopper-marketing programs, she said, they are here to stay and are ranked as a high priority for larger and small CPG companies. Her firm recently studied and assessed the trade spending of more than 200 CPG company clients for a new study, “Trend Behind the Spend: A Study of Trade Promotion and Merchandising Spending in the CPG Industry”  The study included pricing analysis and slotting tactics to spending priorities and retailer performance. 

“While the report provides many insights and perspectives on the trade spend landscape, we were most intrigued with the ongoing opportunities and challenges of superior shopper marketing programs,” said Ford. “The Clorox program for Roundy’s is a great example of the value and power of collaboration between manufacturer and retailer, starting with a strong foundation of shopper insights. The value of the program for all stakeholders made the executional logistics of coordinating multiple categories and manufacturers well worth the effort.

The “Trend Behind the Spend” report reveals insights into today’s CPG trade promotion and shopper marketing spending environment, including a look into the future and how key tactics are changing the retail landscape.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on this report, click here to go to the Trade Marketing section of this issue of CPGmatters.

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                                                                               April 2012