Customer Experience (CX) Keeps a Strong Brand Competitive

Customer Experience keeps brands competitive.If you’re from the south, Publix is synonymous with grocery store. Just like Kleenex is for tissue or Reynolds Wrap is for aluminum foil. For decades, Publix emphasized service and a family-friendly image over price, and was able to outgrow and outperform its rivals. Founded in 1930 with one location in Winter Haven, Florida, the retailer now operates almost 1,100 stores in six states.

However, for the past 20 years, the retail model shifted as customers began to discover new options for picking up their weekly staples. Membership Clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club introduced shoppers to deep discounts on everyday items such as one-gallon jars of olives or five-pound shakers of paprika.

Soon after, non-grocery retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart added “Super” to their names, moved into stores the size of Rhode Island, and introduced customers to the convenience of picking up a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a patio set and a pair of turquoise yoga pants.

The latest entry into the space has been the niche retailers such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods where shoppers encounter a dizzying wonderland of hard-to-find products such as gluten-free housecleaners, GMO-free mascara, artisan honey and fair trade jelly beans. Just kidding….or am I?

So what can Publix do to compete in this ever expanding industry? Improve their customer experience of course! In the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings*, Publix claimed the top spot in the 2015 Temkins Experience Ratings (up from the third spot in 2014).

“Customer experience drives loyalty,” said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group. “As grocers fight for market share and customers, the food shopping experience has become more important than ever, with more grocery companies building upscale stores and increasing organic options and prepared foods.”

It seems to be working. In 2014, Publix saw record sales of $30.6 billion. Publix, already known for quality product and service, now offers the following to enhance the customer experience:

  • Apron’s simple meal recipes and shopping lists
  • GreenWise organic products
  • Wider selection of prepared foods
  • Online ordering
  • Party catering
  • In-store pharmacy
  • Red box DVD kiosks
  • Expansion of loyalty clubs
  • Free lifestyle publications

Perhaps their tagline should be changed from “Where shopping is a pleasure” to “Where your experience is pleasurable.”

What are you doing to measure, monitor and improve your customer experience? Contact Electrum Branding and discover your customer experience through the eyes of your customers. Identify and correct service gaps, measure again and monitor for ongoing experience improvement.

*About the Temkin Experience Rating: 10,000 U.S. consumers were asked to rate their recent interactions with 293 companies across 20 industries and then evaluate their experiences across three dimensions: success, effort, and emotion.