Across the road from the office is the C&S Grocers…
To those in the office, we know it more fondly as "Joe's". It's your traditional corner shop, with wares packed high to the ceiling in no particular order (a little unfair but I'm setting the scene). It is a truly family business with father (Joe), mother, daughter and son. Joe is becoming increasingly frail so the family have been more and more active the last year or so. It does pretty good business from our office (I alone spend far more than I should on crisps, chocolate and the occasional Mr Kipling) but there is no hiding; it is a tough existence.
Every time I walk past (strangely, not when I pop in), I have the same thought... How can a creative, strategic and idea-driven marketing agency, only 20 yards down the road, make their business better? We are paid by some of the most famous and successful brands in the world, so surely we can deliver some improvements to Joe's?
This ambition always leads me to ask the same questions:
Q1. What is it about Joe's that makes it Joe's (the brand personality) and do I need to change or embrace this to deliver success?
Q2. Where would this success come from (the target audience)? A corner shop is just that - a shop on the corner - meaning locality is king. I can't see a global mail order business developing but never write it off.
Q3. Should I keep my big, agency-twisted nose out of their lives and simply enjoy what they do?
Q4. Will I ever do anything about it? This post is at least a start, I suppose.
The best I have so far is this...
A simple rebrand to The Best Corner Shop In The World... Ever™
This simple trademark does nothing more than package and celebrate everything that makes Joe's Joe's. From the 27 year old stickers on the door to the appalling (but occasionally worthy of passing on) jokes that the son makes every day (perhaps shared in a blog or on Twitter). The magic is in the promotion and some clever branded paper bags.
Who wouldn't want to have something, be it a Twix or some bog roll, from the greatest corner shop in the world? The footfall question is easy enough - there are two Co-ops, a Sainsburys and a Tesco all within five minutes...
The thought continues...
Written by Tim Jones, Senior Strategist here at RPM