Most adverts released at this time of year are done so with the gusto of the Black Friday TV sales and the debate of the subsequent sales figures.
However, my favourite festive feature was none of these. No not Mog, or Man on the Moon. Or even Aldi’s brilliantly timed homage to the latter. My vote goes to a video posted directly to YouTube at about half past four on a Tuesday afternoon with little fanfare or ado.
At the time of writing, this video had little more than 1,000 views.
‘Closer to customers’ is not Christmassy.
And I’ll spare you any reaching metaphor of why it could be.
We simply see an ordinary day in the life of Jenny, Ben and Kitty. Jenny the Sainsbury’s shopper, Ben the employee and Kitty the supplier.
We’re given a momentary glimpse into the interlinked lives of three real people and the authenticity is heart-warming.
But for me, Kitty the supplier is the star.
Kitty Campbell: our quad bike riding, Woodland Trust tree planting, free-range poultry farmer. And although not featured for more than sixty seconds of the video, Kitty’s story is beautifully compelling. A living embodiment of produce provenance, heritage and sustainability.
Kitty is not new to the limelight: already selling a range of eggs at Tesco under her own name. But what strikes me is that there are not more examples of suppliers being put centre stage. Examples of suppliers’ stories being leveraged to build stronger connections with consumers – connections that ultimately grow loyalty and drive sales.
And even when they are used, like Sainsbury's in this instance. They seem to be the sideshow in the whole supermarket marketing machine. I certainly feel like Sainsbury's missed a trick by not sharing this endearing story with more people.
Suppliers’ stories are your secret weapon. Why wouldn’t you use them on the retail battlefield?
Your supply base is a marketing arsenal waiting to be unleashed.
Every time I visit a supplier I’m left with that buzz. That rush of another person’s infectious enthusiasm. I’m left with a sense of awe at the adversity they’ve fought as an entrepreneur and deep respect for the passion they put into creating a product that they’re proud of.
Make the introduction.
I think your customers might feel it too.
Interested in supermarket brand loyalty? Read David's blog: Can the living wage result in increased brand loyalty and sales?