If there’s a grocery store that was described as loyal, Publix would come to mind to thousands, at least in the southeast part of the states. Publix for those that may not know is just a normal grocery store, but they have an extremely loyal, almost cult like following. The prices are not cheaper, but to its many customers shopping there is still worth it. Growing up with a Publix down the street I’ve always been fascinated with the brand loyalty the store elicits from the public. Customers know that when they walk into a store they’ll be well taken care of by knowledgeable staff. By remaining committed to customer service and business practices this chain of store has been building momentum every year with no signs of stopping.
Publix built their following well before the social media age and in fact have only just recently joined the rest of their competitors on it. Close to a year ago they launched the #myPublixstory campaign, which encourages their shoppers to share experiences on twitter and Facebook. They have set up a site dedicated to sharing these experiences and building what they call “the Publix story.” Check out the site Here
This is one of the simplest ideas as far a campaigns go, but has been a great success because of Publix’s knowledge of their audience. This campaign relies heavily on the audience’s prior knowledge of Publix’s company culture. Publix played it very safe by targeting existing customers. This demographic is mostly middle to upper-class women who have families.
As you can see from this tv spot they also target middle aged and senior citizen. This is due to the fact that they don’t claim to have the cheapest prices. Publix sells their audience on their company culture not their prices. They target the people who don’t mind spending a little extra if it means they know they’ll be treated well. From a psychographic their target audience are those who value cleanliness, respect, and honesty. Publix shoppers want to be reassured that their money is going to a quality and honest businesses. The type of business that listens to customers needs and will do anything to fulfill their needs.
The #myPublixStory campaign takes what they are already doing in the store and puts it on the social stage. This campaign takes the company motto “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” and lets their customers provide free advertising on behalf of the company. Through customer testimony chosen through thousands of submissions Publix can pick the best stories that tie back to their key message of the campaign. This message is tied directly to the brand they’ve built; Publix is a place where customer’s needs are meet and taken care of. If you read though some of the entries on my Publix story website you see many of them display acts of employees going above and beyond to help people.
Although Publix’s first few steps into social media have been very safe steps their success is evident. Through years of brand building and remaining consistent to their core values Publix’s social media ventures have proven the effectiveness of knowing your audience.