Bridgethorne: failure to target the shopper as well as the consumer could see the World Cup as a missed retail opportunity

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Nevens: suppliers need to focus on category insights

Nevens: appeal to the shopper

Brands that are looking to exploit the potential of the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil need to be preparing strategies that target the shopper as well as the consumer, according to a leading category and shopper management specialist.

Bridgethorne says that traditionally major sporting events like the World Cup, especially where there is participation by one or more of the home countries, represents a business bonanza for the UK retail sector.

“If history repeats itself, over the next few months England football fans will splash out on everything from replica shirts and new television to pizzas and cases of beer as they follow the team’s progress in Brazil,” said Bridgethorne co-founder John Nevens.

This, adds Nevens, reinforces the importance for brands and retailers to ensure that marketing activity is optimised by focusing on the shopper (those who actually make the purchasing decision) as well as the consumer.

“Take beer as an example, where most statistics show that whilst the overwhelming amount of bottled beer bought in supermarkets is consumed by men, most is also purchased by women,” said Nevens. “A campaign that offers tickets to a sporting event may be a good idea but a ticket promotion that may motivate the consumer – the man – might not necessarily appeal to the shopper. For a campaign to be fully connected it needs appeal to the shopper – perhaps a spa break to appeal to football widows – as well as the consumer and be relevant to both the stage of the purchasing journey and the shopping environment they are in.”

The power of the World Cup is not in question. British retail sales rose six times faster than expected in the monthpreceding the last World Cup. (Source: ONS), whilst the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that the 2006 World Cup in Germany generated about £1.25bn in extra spending across the retail sector. The British Beer and Pub Association estimates that around 3m people watch football in pubs during the regular season whilst up to 15m could watchEngland’s World Cup exploits in pubs.

Nevens goes on to say that vast sums of money are invested to drive brand awareness, increase sales and competitive advantage but this investment is being risked every day because suppliers fail to recognise that their consumers and shoppers behave differently.

“The investment needs to target all phases of the shopper’s path to purchase (not just in-store activation) right the way through to consumption and repeat purchase. One message or one type of activity rarely fits all these requirements and only by adapting activity and fully connecting the dots on the shopper’s journey can return on investment be optimised.”