In the wake of Spring Gully, it is a sad thing when another well-established iconic South Australian store like Trims goes into administration. It is also perhaps a good indicator that businesses need to develop new strategies across their communications in order to keep their doors open. These recent events are quite possibly a lesson in responsiveness. With an ever-changing shift in consumer behaviour and a constantly evolving digital environment, what has worked in the past may not work today.
Although we are not privy to the exact details as to why Trims or Spring Gully have struggled over recent years, it is interesting that in both instances, they are well-established family-owned businesses. In our experience, family-owned and operated businesses can often become caught up in the traditions of their brand and communications without responding to the current environment in which they are operating. This may not be the case for these two iconic SA brands, but it is important for every business to review their brand, sales, communication and marketing strategies on a regular basis. This will always ensure that they are responsive to their markets and can evolve alongside competitors.
CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS
We have had the privilege of working with Spring Gully Foods on their social media presence in an effort to help them trade out of administration. The support that they have been generating online has been very encouraging. The brand has managed to genuinely connect with consumers and moved them to act. As a result, Spring Gully has had greater sales in the last few weeks than in the last 6 months
This experience has been an amazing learning curve for both the Spring Gully team and Nucleus. Should they trade out of administration, re-invigorating the brand with strategic advertising and building online social networks will be at the forefront of their future plans.
Russell Webb, Marketing Manager of Spring Gully said, “The difficulties Spring Gully ran into happened over time, not overnight. There were warning signs along the way.” Russell now believes that if they had started building their brand online years ago and focusing on new advertising and business strategies that the brand may not be in the difficult position it is now.
Considering the specific purchasing behaviours, as well as the general lifestyle and routines of our consumers, is very relevant to business sales models and strategies. Reaching our markets through media they are using and providing them with relevant and valuable products, services and information should all be factored into business and communication strategies. Of particular importance is the shift to online and digital communication platforms.
FINDING THE BALANCE
Incorporating social and digital strategies into your marketing and communication plans can help to achieve cut-through, build awareness of your brand, products and/or services, as well as become a great resource for discovering how your consumers are interacting with your business and what they want. Going online can help brands maintain and evolve their business and continually respond to shifts in the market and consumer behaviours.
This being said, digital strategies often work best in support of more traditional advertising and communications. There needs to be balance and should always be tailored to market consumer behaviours and needs.
Building brand awareness is essentially at the core of all communication strategy. Ensuring consumers know who you are and what you stand for is paramount. Robern Menz Fruchocs is a great example of an SA brand that has embraced the social and digital realm. They lean strongly on their South Australian heritage and have built loyalty for their products across various advertising and social mediums. Their social presence further communicates their brand personality and respectfully supports other SA businesses, which additionally reiterates their traditions and heritage. They have found a good balance across traditional and digital advertising, perhaps something Trims or Spring Gully could have mirrored to support their own brands.
In the end however, no matter whether you operate a small business or a large corporation, it is important to continually review your brand, your business strategies, your communications and most importantly, never forget your customers. Speaking to professionals who are well versed across digital and traditional marketing strategies can help you to balance ‘what’ you are saying with ‘where’ you are saying it. A tailored strategy can be more cost-efficient and will always be more effective in achieving business goals.
If you would like to discuss your business and communication strategies, please feel free to call us for a chat and we will help point you in the right direction.