Advancing Your Internal Agenda with Industry Announcements
By Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
If you follow various industry organizations in social media and through their e-newsletters, you’re likely to see announcements over time about other retail health and wellness initiatives. Over the summer alone there have been key announcements – Kroger is hosting a wellness and music festival, Hy-Vee has streamlined their store tour process and is marketing the program more, Raley’s added a dietitian back to their organization, to name a few.
If you’re seeing these announcements, it’s likely that your retailer leadership is noting them as well.
By staying on top of these announcements, you can leverage advances in healthy living programs at other retailers to advance your own agenda at your retailer. Here’s how:
- Competitive review. Given the competitive nature of retail and its tight profit margins, all retailers are continuously evaluating action at their competitors. When a retailer adds a dietitian to their table of organization, make sure your management and senior leaders know about it. Growth in the retail dietetics industry solidifies their decision to have a healthy living team and may help you justify added headcount and/or expanded programs.
- Budget justification. Big announcements like Kroger’s wellness and music festival or Hy-Vee running television ads for Family Meals Month scream marketing dollars. Run some estimates on what a program like it would cost (or partner with a marketing or events colleague at your retailer for help) and the return expected and evaluate how vendors are involved. Use this data as budget justification for programs you know would advance your strategy of meeting your shoppers’ health and wellbeing needs.
- “Imitation is the best form of flattery” as the saying goes, and if another retailer’s announced program would fit nicely into your offerings and meet your shoppers’ needs, consider how you might imitate it or build upon it at your own retailer. Consider whether the originating retailer is in your share group, and if so, whether you can meet with them to further discuss the program.
- Media Grab. These announcement should make you consider what’s new and newsworthy in your program. Work with communications to consider getting your news out in trade press. It’s great publicity, showcasing your retailer as a leader and potentially drawing in new customers.