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Tesco & the Beer Category: Exploring Shopper Insights Crucial Role in SABMiller’s Retail Strategies

While  SABMiller launched its first fruit flavoured beer in South Africa this year, Flying Fish – available in orange and lemon flavours, it has become a top player in the category through innovation around the world, in over 90% of their markets.


(Photo: Wikipedia)

Recently they have started a new collaboration with their retailers and applied two main principles: triple win and cross-functional collaboration. Utilizing recent work with Tesco, they’ve put together a case study that demonstrates how they brought more excitement into the beer shopper’s world.

We spoke with Jan Solta, Shopper Marketing Manager Off-trade at SABMILLER who filled us in what works for this category and how they collaborate with Tesco:

What trend, discipline or school of thinking has had the most influence on the way you think about retail strategy (and why and how)?

The most influential to my thinking was my former trade marketing boss who introduced me into the world of the shopper insight and showed me how to translate it into impactful shopper based triple win strategies. Today, the shopper insight plays the crucial role in our retail strategies.

Česky: Obchodní dům TESCO na pražském Zličíně

(Photo: Wikipedia)

To what extent has mobile technology affected how you market to the shopper (as opposed to the consumer) and/or conduct research around shopping? (Any anecdotes or specific examples you can provide?)

So far the mobile technology does not play a big role in our shopper activations.

It is caused mainly by the fact that ecommerce is not very much developed here in the Czech Republic.

We test and learn with Tesco who is the only one retailer providing ecommerce today.

As the mobile technology is wide spread among consumers our brand marketing focuses on digital very strongly and we try to find ways how to be part of it.

The mobile technology also helps us to find new opportunities in the market and to improve our in-store execution.

How has the proliferation of channels and touch points affected how you engage shoppers? What are you doing differently as a result?

As our resources are not unlimited we had to learn much more about the shopper’s behavior in the store so we could invest into the right touch points with the best possible impact.

Today we know much better which touch points are the most powerful, which POSM work the best and how shoppers read our communication so our messages are delivered.

In the video below, Alan Clark, Chief Executive of SABMiller, celebrates some brand highlights, and shares the brand stories which have underpinned their success

Editor’s Note:

We invite you to Taking the Beer Category Further with Jan Solta, who will share  how SABMiller collaborates with retailers and applies two main principles: triple win and cross-functional collaboration. Discover  how to apply your category vision into life, fostering a joint collaboration with your retailer where everybody wins, and shopper based activations that build a highly saturated category at The International Shopper Insight in Action Event taking place 3-5 November in Edinburgh.


Beyond ‘Matching Luggage’: How can ‘Shopper Marketing’ be seen as more strategic by Marketing

‘Matching Luggage’ is what the client was implying, she was a senior marketer looking after one of the largest brands in Europe, and she was describing her approach to shopper marketing. The client was about to invest heavily in shopper marketing and we were doing a number of stakeholder interviews to benchmark them at the start of that project. She went on ‘It’s was about negotiation with Sales to get the best deal’. If she paid for promotions in store she was ‘damn well going to make sure her advertising was on the point of sale’ she said… and that the brand was consistent and all over the fixture…It was the way I was brought up… Reminding the consumer of the brand, about getting the advertising message across, it’s about consistency…’

As a Marketing Director of 15 years I perhaps would have agreed with her, I once had a similar mindset. Shopper marketing was really just a way of spinning sales promotions to get your brand message across and compensate for the increasing cost of TV. It was tactical; the time horizon of the plan was 12 months tops and only with those accounts you had a ‘joint business plan’ as a way of getting them on your side, as was being flexible fitting into their campaigns, as long as you got your brand message across there was no harm.

In fact as it was so tactical it was often given to the junior member of the team to sort out and ‘cut their teeth on’, just like brand extensions and minor pack designs. TV and consumer understanding were really what made a difference, created value and had a longer time horizon. That was where you changed behaviour, delivered growth and value.

So ‘same on the TV, same on the shelf’ i.e. ‘matching luggage’ is what ‘shopper’ is about to many in Marketing. This supposition ignores the fact that the shopper is often not the consumer; that the mindset of shopping is very different and the shopper spends time, money and emotional currency as they battle to find solutions that are relevant; that their behaviour is affected by many influences that do not affect the consumer. If these are not met or known their behaviour cannot be changed, the product cannot be bought and it cannot be consumed. If that goes on long enough you do not get paid!

This is why we believe that the ‘Physical Availability’ of a brand is not just about making sure the shopper ‘trips over’ it but that the choice is framed in relevant, easily understood, motivational and emotional ways. Shopping affects, contributes to, and builds ‘Mental Availability’ for a brand. Only when the ‘Mental ‘and ‘Physical’ availability overlap will there be a sale. Only when it is done with emotion and relevance will it be repeated over and over again by many. Shopper marketing is therefore very strategic.

So what about ‘Marketing’, how do you get to change their behaviour? After all the ‘consistency’ paradigm runs very deep. Well, like most aspects of behavioural change it is about reframing the problem. Consistency does not mean uniformity. After all if a person had exactly the same approach (tone of voice) to everyone they met, in every situation they encountered, then you would be a bit concerned about their mental health. If you believe in ‘brand personality’ why would you subscribe to this version of consistency? It has to be to mean ‘integrity’ in its truest sense. It is the ability to flex your communication situationally whilst still being true to your core values.


That’s all well and good but how do you get that message across to ‘Marketing’ simply, in a way to get their real engagement and bring their real skills to bear. Well we have found reframing ‘Shopper Marketing’ from a matter of promotion to one of media helps for them. ‘Marketing’ is used to seeing ‘Media’ as strategic and important. It is where a lot of money gets spent. It is how you change behaviour. Targeting and gaining insight into the viewers and their motivations are paramount. Making sure you appear in the right place, with the right advert, with the right message is vital. Making sure the program or context that the advert is consumed within is appropriate is second nature. It is not ‘hit and run’ activity but about a planning a long lasting campaign, with the best running years not just weeks.

For all just listed you can read channel, retailer, facia, adjacencies, shelf position, pack type, shopper mission, shopper solution being bought for in terms of consumer needs and occasions, shopper, significant budgets and campaigns designed to change real behaviour. It is about owning an idea (a solution) in the mind of the shopper over many years and ahead of anyone else. ‘Shopper ‘really is media choice. All these choices affect the performance of the brand both in terms of ‘Mental’ and ‘Physical’ availability. They affect sales.

So ‘Shopper Marketing’ is not just about ‘matching luggage’ and is definitely not just a tactical discipline.

It’s strategic; it’s about understanding the audience and changing their behaviour. What you choose to sell, where, to whom, why and how you do all impact the brand and its meaning. Shopper marketing is about framing these choices and making a difference. So taking the media analogy to heart then there is perhaps no better person than Marshall McLuhan, to summarise, who famously said that ‘The medium is the message’.


Richard Tolley, Director of Consulting and Joint Consumer and Offer Lead, Kantar Retail Europe

Richard joined Kantar Retail in 2012 working in the Consumer Shopper practice bringing with him over 23 years’ experience, mainly in Consumer Packaged Goods, through working for companies such as Unilever, Kraft General Foods, Mars and a couple of local champions such as Dairy Crest and Northern foods in the UK.


Meet us in Edinburgh! What’s in store for Shopper Insights & Retail

The International Shopper Insights in Action Event has exciting news and we just can’t wait to share it with you!

The International Shopper Insights in Action Event is the only event with 76% client side attendance with 96% senior decision makers from 35 countries across the globe, where Researchers, Shopper Marketers, Category Leaders and Retailers come together to shape the retail landscape of tomorrow.

Based on how the industry is rapidly evolving and the feedback we have received from current attendees, we have added NEW content AND experiences to this year’s program in Edinburgh, including a post conference workshop on Translating Insights into Actions. All of which are meant to help you develop, connect and drive your business forward.








Below is a sneak peek of all the new features just added. For full details, download the NEW brochure

6 November: Post-Conference Workshop

NEW! Translating Insights in Actions:

A Practical Took Box: Retailing is changing faster than any time in the history of the industry. During this interactive workshop, you’ll find new tools and approaches to serving today’s consumer. Speakers and Facilitators include former experts from: PROCTER & GAMBLE, MCDONALD’S and RETAIL WEEK.

3-5 November: Key Learnings Capture

Key Learnings Capture: Dedicated daily sessions to help you create a personal framework and toolkit to prioritize your actions when you return to the office.
Hosted by Chairmen: Duncan MacConnol, CEO, KANTAR RETAIL EUROPE and Barry Lemmon, Global Head, Retail & Shopper, TNS

Pub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (Photo: Wikipedia)

3 November: Interactive Sessions, Welcome Reception and Historic Pub Crawl

VIP Roundtable Discussions:

- Phil Barden’s table will participate in a robust discussion on the science behind influencing shopper behaviour.

- Nathalie Nahai’s table will discuss how to predict online behaviour to tailor your marketing communications.

Annual Welcome Reception:

Featuring traditional Scottish music, food and culture in the Exhibit Hall; experience the unique traditions that make Edinburgh such a fun and exciting city to visit.

Historic Pub Crawl:

One of the famous pedestrian streets of Edinburgh’s 17th century New Town is renowned for its 48 pubs. Experience Edinburgh’s finest ale houses while continuing the conversations had throughout the day.

4 November: Drinks, Conversation and Whisky Tasting

Cocktail Reception:

Join conference attendees in the Exhibit Hall for cocktails and networking.

Whisky Experience Tour:

Partake in a spirited insight into the world of Scotland’s most famous export as this tour takes you from its cottage industry beginnings to the global success it is today while sipping whisky along the way.

For full details on the new sessions, post-conference workshop and evening events and how to get involved, please visit the website

Bringing you best practices for activating insights at retail this November, The International Shopper Insights in Action Event is the one shopper event you don’t want to miss. Join us.


Trendwatching: What’s the Best Way to Tap into Consumer Trends & Make Them Actionable?

Watching, learning from and then applying the insights from consumer trends is at the heart of any successful business.
Covering everything from changes in consumer behavior, to key trends in emerging markets to new business concepts.

In this video interview from the 3rd Annual International Shopper Insights in Action Event in Prague, Henry Mason, Global Head of Research & Managing Partner at TRENDWATCHING.COM, discusses his keynote “Tapping Into and Profiting from the Hottest Consumer Trends,” packed with examples from leading B2C brands from across Europe- from Brazil to Belgium, offering the inspiration and the insights needed to tap into and profit from the hottest current consumer trends.

The International Shopper Insights in Action Event is the most integrated, cross-market shopper agenda focused on strategy and activation. Details on how to join us for the 4th Annual International Shopper Insights in Action Conference, taking place on 3-5 November in Edinburgh can be found here.



The new buzz word, channel blurring

One of the interesting topics in the @Shopper360 organized by IIR @IIRUSA in Edinburgh is the retailer panel discussion with speakers from Ahold USA, Petco and Safeway.  Over the last years retailers have found shoppers difficult to keep, loyalty is on the decrease, shopper missions are more differentiated and shoppers go to various channels to fulfil similar shopping missions. In this context we hear the word channel blurring more often. Shopping has become unpredictable in the sense that main trips are not fulfilled only at supermarkets any more. If we look for example in Asia, more and more smaller store formats like convenience stores and mini markets are used for main trips. Smaller impulse trips are often done in bigger store formats now, stores need to adjust more to whatever type of shopping trip the shopper has in mind instead of the other way around. Of course these trips require very different store layouts and assortments. The question is therefore, how can we adjust store formats better to this greater variety of shopper missions and needs?  A first step is to better analyse the different shopper needs in the various stores of each retailer. We have done a store clustering study for a super market chain, Robinsons in Philippines to improve on the existing store clustering based on store size and income which is still very commonly used across retailers in many markets.  It was found that stores attracted shopper segments with very different needs that could be clustered in much finer detail groups if we looked at 25 variables that are more relevant for shoppers than just store size and income, such as price sensitivity, family size, importance, need for fresh assortment and their need for a big range. This led to a new store clustering into concepts like Fresh and Easy, with shoppers less price sensitive, more need for fresh items, mostly catering to main trips, store comfort is important. Another cluster is Family Discount, catering to more price sensitive shoppers with larger families, and Robinsons Express, catering more to singles, shorter trips, less price sensitive.  This shopper need based clustering allows for differentiation in prices, service levels and store range. This will give a better match to desired shopping trips. In the end channel blur is just caused by not understanding shopper needs well enough.


This Week in Shopper Insights: 9/29/14 – 10/3/14

How Consumer Choice is Impacting Marketing Strategy: Consumers are embracing control and looking for better options

English: Samsung Logo Suomi: Samsungin logo

English: Samsung Logo Suomi: Samsungin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yogurt and Phones: Chobani and Samsung are using NYC’s Soho for experimental stores

Tackling Their Mobile To-Do Lists: Amazon, Wal-Mart, Peapod share how they handle mobile mobile priorities

Cereal Displays: Picking the right Display to peak interest

Why “Bendgate” Won’t Kill the iPhone: Bending will be nothing but a memory when Apple Watch Launches

RadioShack is Trying to Fix its Problems How? With Toys of course

ScanLife Consumer Behavior Survey Reveals Mobile Info: An Infographic

 US Consumers’ Behavior: Least Sustainable Globally but at least we re concerned (61%)

Snacking to Replace Meals? 45% of 30,000 consumers already do this

Are Tablets as Mobile as Smartphones? via Adweek

Rewarding Shoppers for Paying Full Price: Fashionism will reward you for shopping at full price


About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at


Webinar Encore: Kantar Retail & TNS on Shoppers Behaving Badly

Play it again, Sam! If you missed our Shoppers Behaving Badly webinar presented by Richard Tolley, Director & Consumer and Shopper Lead at Kantar Retail Europe and Lee Smith, Global Director, Retail and Shopper at TNS, explaining what happens along the shopper decision journey and give key insights into why their behaviour is not always what you want, here’s your chance to pick up what you missed.

Shoppers behaving badly SIA conference webinar 24 September 2014 2















• how shoppers really make decisions
• the implications for shopper marketing
• how to drive a return on investment


This Week In Shopper Insights: 9/22/14 – 9/26/14

3/4 FCMG Launches Fail Within a Year: 4 Rules for Innovation Success

How does US omnichannel development stack up against European retailers’ drive towards omnichannel innovation?

Five FMCG brand campaigns that prove digital works

Second screen purchasing is gaining serious traction. OOH is a new point-of-sale for online retail brand

Shopper MarketingPlanning For A Digital Future: CPG Companies Must Adapt or Lose Market Share

Several distinct e-tailing business models are jostling for the attention of shoppers and investors

Mobile Advertising Fraud: Avoiding Bad Bots

4 Keys to Unlock The Value of Mobile: Pay Attention to Mobile Identity

Symbolic Power of Emptying Your Pockets:  How even feeling like you have less makes you more stingy

How Macy’s Gets New Hip Customers Through Innovation

Would a “Buy” Button on Twitter Work? Exploring a new way to reach customers and speed up the purchase path

The Death of Strategy? 7 Reasons the end may be closer than you think via Forbes

2V Launches a Second Screen and Brand Management App: social tools, polls, news articles, filtered social chats and more

American Eagle In-App Merchandising Key Element In New Strategy: Trying to recover from the past few quarters

Neuroscience: You’re doing it wrong, stop looking for magic tactics

 How to use Technology to Build Trust and Form the Basis for Supplier-Retailer Collaboration

Young people have high expectations, and any brand that gives off the slightest signal of “fake” will quickly be identified.

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at





Emart Reinvented: Transformation to a World-Class Retailer

After years of leadership in its home market, and being called the “Korean Walmart,” Emart is pushing hard to become recognised as a world-class retailer in its own right. With an eye toward a brand invention and retail format development, Emart created three stand-alone retail stores:

  1. Matrix, a specialty consumer electronics store;
  2. Molly’s Pet Shop, a high-end pet store/pet hotel; and
  3. Emart Traders, a warehouse-style store

In video interview from the 3rd International Shopper Insights in Action Event in Prague, Andres Nicholls, Partner, PROPHET, discusses the keynote, Emart Reinvented: Transformation to a World-Class Retailer, offering an inside look at the development of these retail stores, leveraging segmentation data and engaging the Korean consumer to create compelling and differentiating retail experiences.

The International Shopper Insights in Action Event is the most integrated, cross-market shopper agenda focused on strategy and activation. Details on how to join us for the 4th Annual International Shopper Insights in Action Conference, taking place on 3-5 November in Edinburgh can be found here.



This Week in Shopper Insights: 9/15/14 – 9/19/14

The Value in Measuring the Immeasurable: In-Store Customer Experience

Understanding the Shopper Journey in The Moment: Is it Better?

Creating a Lasting Bond With Shoppers: Recognizing Bumps vs. Bonds

Omnichannel Shoppers: They are the best and worst shoppers out there. Also a better definition of what “omnichannel” means.

Consumer Psychology Matters in Content Marketing: Consumers are smarter and more informed than ever, making marketing harder

Urban Outfitters in Pasadena, California

Urban Outfitters in Pasadena, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 Ways to Make Content More Sharable

Landing Page Design: Using psychology to improve yours

Instacart: Speeding up online grocery shopping with new partnerships



About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be reached at