Positioning Retail News Headlines to Your Benefit
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
- What do Jewel (the musician) and health and wellness have in common?
- Name a retailer that launched a health and wellness podcast over the past year.
- Can you name a retailer that started a radio show in 2018?
- Which retailers have RDs working in culinary roles?
The point of this pop quiz is to assess if you’re paying attention to media headlines as a part of your role as a retail dietitian and in support of your programs and services. Given the tight margins in grocery retail, company executives are always paying attention to the competition. What are competitors doing that is working well? Who is launching a new service first? What programs and services are getting cut by other retailers?
As a retail dietitian, there are multiple benefits to paying attention to these headlines – you’ll see what your executives see and can provide your take on industry movements, you’re positioned to ask for new program funding based on marketing dollars being allocated to projects at other retailers, or you may be able to expand your program based on new roles at other retailers. There’s real power in knowing what’s happening at your competing retailers.
Here are some tips for tracking the competition:
- Keep an electronic file of newsworthy movement in retail health and wellness. Just dump in interesting tidbits you find.
- Schedule a health and wellness comp shop. Visit retailers where you believe there is interesting health and wellness work being done. Invite key partners and leaders in your organization to attend. Plan meetings with retailers in your share groups to discuss best practices.
- On a quarterly or semi-annual basis, assess this information, putting together a presentation for store leadership on your competitive analysis and what it means for your company’s programs and services.
- Use the information gathered to justify program expansion, added headcount, and marketing dollar allocation to health and wellness.