In a competitive market, what makes a c-store stand out from the rest? If you can’t count on your authentic Texas pit BBQ to differentiate you from the crowd, what can you do?
I recently read a great article in the February issue of NACS magazine (The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing) about a single location c-store that is doing all the right things with their marketing. The article was about Buccaneer Food Store in Brenham, Texas owned by Nathan Winkleman. Buccaneer Food Store is a 4,000 foot c-store that also offers pit BBQ and seating for lunch. Winkleman’s passion goes beyond standard c-store food and fuel to the quality of the lunch food he offers as well as the addition of local Texas wines in his “beer cave”. It is clear from the article that Winkleman has a desire to grow his business and customer base with attention to detail and a focus on marketing to his customers.
There were four ways in particular that this c-store is marketing to their customers that stuck out to me.
- Importance of partnering to market your business – Winkleman has worked with the local school district providing food for boxed lunches that students sell. Because he is dedicated to good food at his c-store this has helped get the word out about his food and store. Partnering with other local businesses to maximize your marketing is always a good idea.
- Survey and listen to customers - At Buccaneer Food Store they survey their customers 2 times a year and listen to what they have to say. Surveying customers is something that is so simple yet can give you invaluable feedback that your customers wouldn’t necessarily just tell you. No one keeps you in check with how you are performing like your customers.
- Loyalty program – They have a simple loyalty program structure where customers get 1 point for each $10 they spend. When they reach 100 points they receive $10 off a meal. Another example of a c-store loyalty program is a simple coffee club – buy 10 coffees, get 1 free. It’s simple and drives customers back to your store.
- Collect data and send out email promotions – The loyalty program enables them to collect customer data which they can then use to market to their customers. By collecting customer’s birthdays they are able to send them a birthday email along with an offer for a free dessert. Something as simple as acknowledging birthdays can drive repeat business.
Just because you aren’t one of the big chains in the c-store industry doesn’t mean you can’t be marketing to your customers. To keep up with the competition it is important that you take the time to get to know your customers, market to them and send them promotions and rewards to keep them coming back.
If you are looking to stand out from the competition with a simple, effective c-store loyalty program that includes email and text communications contact Tecmark.