ALEXANDRIA, Va. – What does it take to craft a single brand for your convenience store? Ernie Harker, the executive director of the Maverik CREATE department, revisited his popular NACS Show educational session during yesterday’s NACS Show Speaker Chat: Fans and Focus Through Branding. Harker reminded chat attendees of the seven key ideas to keep in mind when creating a brand.
- Identify what makes your service proposition unique.
- Define your target customer.
- Identify a core belief.
- Outline your vision.
- Establish design elements.
- Actualize the brand.
- Defend your brand.
Chat attendee questions included how to reach customers with a new branded foodservice program. “Identifying your customer in order to deliver the message is the first step,” Harker said. “By that I mean you need to know what media they consume: social media, radio listeners, TV viewers, etc., so you can choose the media most likely to reach that customer.” The retailer should also figure out what is unique about that product. “This is important because you want to convey that uniqueness when reaching out to your customers,” Harker said.
In answer to a question about the biggest challenges to maintaining a convenience store brand, Harker replied that it takes “a consistent effort of presenting the same message over and over again in a variety of inputs, such as through uniforms, charity sponsorships, interior design, materials used in packaging and vocabulary used to describe employees … The biggest challenge is the inability to define what that brand is and the integrity and consistency of maintaining those brand choices.”
Next week, tune in to NACS Show Speaker Chat: How NOT to be the Next Food Safety Headline for a chance to ask speakers your questions on food safety. NACS Show Speaker Chats will run weekly on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. EST through March 21.