[:en]Brand Exclusivity Growing in Convenience Stores in 2020[:]

[:en]It’s nothing new to convenience stores. But the extent to which it happens is increasing.

Brand exclusivity is growing. But why?

“More and more consumers — led by millennials and Gen Z — are looking for experiences and not just ‘stuff to buy,'” says Marrissa Jarratt, SVP and CMO at 7 Eleven.

Though we live in a materialistic culture, Millennials prefer experiences over owning material goods. That’s a huge departure from where American society has been for many decades.

Millennials have come to distrust traditional marketing strategies from big brands. In fact, one study suggests that as much as 84% of Millennials feel this way.

At a high level, “experience” to Millennials means they would rather go on a vacation than own a home or car. To them, the latter represent big commitments.

What Does “Experience” Mean in the Context of Convenience Stores?

But what about c-stores? How do you provide a valuable experience to Millennials at the micro level?

“Experience” at this level can mean simply creating a brand experience that connects with Millennials. For example, rather than shouting that they should buy your product, you promote the values your brand stands for.

For example, if you only source your product’s materials in environmentally sustainable ways, or if you optimize all processes to minimize your carbon footprint, you talk about that. You share the exact materials that make up your product and substantiate your claims.

That’s a value Millennials adore. And the clearer you make it to them that you do those things, the more they like you and enjoy purchasing from you.

Your product’s packaging may also highlight how it works in the Millennial’s everyday life. For example, you have an energy drink and you show a picture of someone with lots of energy succeeding at work or intensely engaging with their family. That’s just a simplistic example, but you get the point.

A Final Important Point about Brand Exclusivity and Marketing to Millennials

Finally, understand that even though you may have exclusivity, Millennials still have high skepticism of large brands. Millennials would much rather hear about ways you support their values, like giving back and making the world a better place, rather than simply prompting them to spend more money.

Exclusivity itself will help your cause. But you can’t simply stop and rest there.

Now you understand where to go. And it’s up to you to create a marketing strategy that gets you there.[:]