If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you’ll know that our supermarket giants have been struggling to implement the plastic bag ban with Coles being the latest to offer free bags in exchange for customer satisfaction. The bag ban comes as part of an attempt to improve the state of our environment, particularly our oceans and landfills, but with customers being reluctant to accept the change, it’s causing major backlash for our grocery giants.
Nicole Reaney, director at Inside Out PR, says that an effective communications strategy may have been the key to avoiding the debacles. Reaney says that there is a difference between listening and responding to consumer feedback compared to the backflip reactions that supermarkets are currently choosing.
In a Mumbrella article, Reaney suggests a few ways that the supermarkets could have improved their communications strategy;
In the lead-up to the business change, Coles and Woolworths could have benefitted from delivering their messaging to their audiences in a tailored and targeted fashion. Supermarkets cater for the elderly, right down to millenials who all have different beliefs and lifestyles, therefore requiring a different response to their thoughts on the matter.
Change often lies in education. If the public understand what the issue is, why the change is required, and what can be achieved, then they are more likely to support the cause. Reaney says this is an opportunity to emotionally connect with consumers.
Incentives and Rewards
Woolworths were heading in the right direction by offering their shoppers the chance to earn Woolworths Rewards points if they reuse their own bags or select a ‘crate to bench’ option for online delivery. This encourages shoppers to embrace the program by offering them something in return.
Choosing a brand ambassador that reflects the personalities of an everyday shopper, or that is popular among the demographic is an effective way to help shoppers welcome the change. Social influencers are a great way to reach the younger demographic through social media. Like a mirror, the customer will see themself in your brand, generating more trust and loyalty.
While the giants were working on implementing the plastic bag ban, Reaney notes their increase in plastic use elsewhere in the store. Woolworths faced backlash over the increase in plastic packaging on fresh produce, and Coles for their series of mini plastic collectables for children.
Change is difficult in many situations, but businesses can help their consumers ease into the process by preparing and assessing their communications strategy. Want to know more? Take a look at the original article here.