A puppy shows that Sainsbury’s new strategy is working well

A valuable lesson for any business

Sarah Warby – Board Marketing Director at Sainsbury’s – is on a mission to ‘stop making shopping hard work’.

Examples of this new focus are becoming evident – simplifying pricing and promotions and making the website easier to navigate for a better online shopping experience, are just a couple. But there’s another which is far more compelling than all of the others put together… and it’s hidden, until that is, it’s experienced.

Let me explain, because there’s a valuable lesson for any business here.

OK, we have a new family member – Herbie, an 8 week old puppy. So all of a sudden, we need to buy a particular variety of dog food that Herbie has been eating. It’s not available locally, so my wife calls a Sainsbury’s store nearly 20 miles away to see if it’s in stock, so she could drop by whilst in the town. Here’s what happened next.

  • The Sainsbury’s employee who answered the call directly, went straight to the dog food section.
  • He confirmed that the brand was in stock, on shelf, but the puppy variety that Herbie needed, wasn’t, although it should have been there.
  • He then promised to find the puppy food and call back within 10 minutes to confirm it was in the store.
  • He checked the warehouse stock instantly. Called back within 5 minutes to confirm that the puppy variety was in the store and that he had left a couple of cases at the customer service desk, to make collection easier and quicker.

The result

  • Happy customer – a solution found and made easily accessible. A win for the customer!
  • Sainsbury’s sell 2 cases of puppy food, not just a few cans. A commercial win for Sainsbury’s!

So here’s the lesson for any business

1. Listen to your customers and genuinely understand them.
Yes, understand the real needs that they have within the context of what your business offers.

2. Set new standards
Think and create new ways to do things that are more valuable to them; than are offered by you or your competitors.

3. Empower and enable your people to create customer surprise and delight every time, every day.
Once your people are aware of what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re trying to achieve it, remove any barriers in their way and motivate them to go-do it.

Confident brands , set new standards and find ways to do-it. So, go-do it, be true to your service promise and watch the commercial benefits roll in.

At Brand Success, this is what we love doing for our clients. Helping them to better understand their customers, create propositions which set new standards and aligning and enabling their people to delight customers every day. Let’s do-it!

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