How Kingsford Charcoal Used Snipp Powered Incentives to Blur the Lines Between Brand and Shopper Marketing

Co-authored with Max Thorpe.

Consumer response to traditional forms of marketing is waning. Consumers are bombarded by traditional, “outbound” marketing and advertising, including point of purchase displays, promotional signs, “annoying” emails, miss-timed texts, solicitation phone calls, banner ads on websites and in apps, and the all too rare, perfectly crafted and relevant marketing message.

Increasingly, consumers are doing what they can to block out unwanted marketing. They are using caller ID, spam filters, ad blockers, and good old-fashioned ignoring to bypass many marketers’ efforts.  Some vendors are helping with this too; Apple will  have Ad Blocking on Safari in the iO9 release. As a result, it is and will become increasingly more difficult for marketers to promote their products effectively, which may not be all bad.  Let’s remember, we (consumers and shoppers) want to be served not sold.

In response to the changing dynamics of people’s behavior, marketers are thinking of new and creative ways to engage consumers and shoppers.  For example, leading marketers are starting to focus on Inbound marketing rather than the traditional outbound broadcast approach to serve people. Rather than simply pushing inert, one-way, marketing messages through digital and physical media, the inbound marketer invites people within the marketing message to receive valuable insights and content relevant to the person’s context. This approach brings people to the marketers rather than the marketer to the people as in traditional programs.

This rise in inbound marketing has created an influx of original innovative marketing campaigns such as reward-based incentives, that are both beneficial to the consumer as well as productive for companies. For example, Kingsford Charcoal in Q2 2015 launched a campaign, powered by SNIPP, invited consumers to participate and receive immediate value, the program increased sales and fundamentally influenced consumer behavior. 

Marketers leverage the Snipp solution to achieve 
a wide range of objectives, including
increasing the quantity of products sold, 
cross purchasing, and customer brand loyalty

Kingsford Charcoal, in preparing for the campaign, recognized a downward trend in charcoal sales and noticed a correlation to the decline in the sales of charcoal grills.  The company was loosing out to new gas gills. In an effort to reverse this trend, they endorsed charcoal grills with the campaign slogan, “Authentic BBQ taste doesn’t come in a tank”.  Under this campaign, every purchase of a charcoal grill included a free bag of Kingsford charcoal.  Kingsford promoted this campaign using a variety of digital channels such as Google paid search, social media platforms, and website banner ads to get the message out to customers. 

The critical element in the campaign’s success was Kingsford’s use of SnippCheck technology.  Snipp is a receipt validation and loyalty platform for retail and consumer goods mobile engagement.  It empowers brands to reward people for buying a product, buying more and more often. Marketers leverage the Snipp solution to achieve a wide range of objectives, including increasing the quantity of products sold, cross purchasing, and customer brand loyalty.

By using Snipp, charcoal grill buyers simply snapped a picture of their receipt and sent it to the number promoted on the campaign promotional material to receive a coupon for free bag of charcoal.  “The campaign led to 2.7 times the number of anticipated charcoal-grill purchases and drove twice the number of expected coupon redemptions”.

We were fortunate to speak with Roberta Greenspan, the vice president of sales and client service for Snipp. She elaborated on how Snipp is unlike other receipt validation and loyalty platforms. Snipp campaigns can be easily deployed and with the company’s branding. This means that companies can launch a mobile marketing campaign without the fear of losing brand authenticity due to another brand’s logo appearing on the promotion. This was a key component that allowed charcoal grill buyers to seamlessly snap and send a photo of their receipt to collect a free bag of Kingsford charcoal, all while appearing to be Kingsford’s promotional tool, not Snipp’s. 

Using a free sample as an incentive in consumer’s path to purchase is by no means a new marketing method.  According to a Preogressive Grocer study released by Statista (see above), 66% of respondents are more likely to try something new if there is a free sample as a purchase incentive[1]

Kingsford Charcoal’s success with this program was based on taking a tried and true approach and separating itself from the ordinary by taking a risk and advertising for a product that they don’t actually sell, charcoal grills.  Ultimately, the campaign was a smashing success.