Sprouts Farmers Market is a healthy grocery store chain with over 175 stores in 10 states, formerly all west of the Mississippi. Naturally, when they decided to open four stores in the outer perimeter of Atlanta, they called us. Our charge? Introduce Sprouts to a new market and replace zero awareness with a loyal database of shoppers. With the art and science of the retail loop on our side, we set out to do just that.
Sprouts is anything but your typical healthy grocery store. Customers love Sprouts for its simple, welcoming layout, affordable pricing, surprising product offerings and superior customer service. In fact, ‘love’ was one of the most frequently used descriptors in our consumer research. So, how could we convince suburban Atlanta shoppers - sight unseen - that they’d be crazy about the new store in town? Simple. By attaching it to a concept our audience enjoys believing in: Love at first sight.
Outdoor, print, radio and newspapers blitzed the news that Sprouts was coming to town. Each ad put a different product in the spotlight, teasing the ‘love at first’ moments that customers would be able to experience, thanks to Sprouts.
Sprouts challenged us to bring 25,000 fans to each store’s Facebook page prior to the grand opening. Our goal? Broaden the database beyond Facebook by snagging everyone’s email address, too, for future marketing long after the promotion ended. We motivated fan growth by promising two things to all 25K new fans once the goal was met: a coupon or gift card for each individual fan, plus, a big surprise for each store’s host community. The surprise? In the case of Snellville, fans could vote for one of two good deeds Sprouts would enact in Snellville on their behalf: a ‘free admission’ night at the local theater or a donation to a local food bank. It worked. The fan count was met well before opening day — and the good people of Snellville chose the latter by casting nearly 12,000 votes.
Once Sprouts’ doors were open, the campaign shifted to turn the awareness we’d created into action. New outdoor and print blanketed the region while database marketing spoke to the Facebook fans and email recipients on a more personal level. Pre-grand opening messaging had teased the idea of Love at First Shop, so we took the messaging a step further and described the moments that made customers fall for Sprouts, all to drive traffic down the store aisles.
It was a grand opening, indeed. Record numbers of customers visited the Snellville Sprouts store, completely exceeding expectations. And Sprouts sure welcomed them warmly. From on-site experts educating customers about unusual products (lychees, anyone?) to ‘golden tickets’ hidden around the store, the elements of surprise and delight synonymous with the Sprouts brand introduced shoppers to a new flavor of southern hospitality.