Sofa Analytics # 228. Attack of the Star Wars Tataks – collections and retail


Retail players always want to nurture loyal customers, as loyalty directly affects average check and store traffic. What is the difference between a loyal customer and a regular customer? Most marketing books provide lengthy and complex explanations, but in fact this difference can be described in one sentence: a loyal customer is someone who spends an extra 5-10 minutes on the road, but stops by your store, not a competitor’s store. It is clear that this statement contains a number of reservations, stores should be of the same type, similar in the range of services and goods, and positioning. But all other things being equal, a loyal buyer will choose your offer.

It is a mistake to think that loyalty can only be earned by a high quality basic service, for example, if we are talking about a grocery store, it will be the level of service, the display of products (their shelf life), a variety of assortments and, of course, prices. This is a necessary minimum in order to please the client and win his attention, but is it possible to increase his loyalty and make the choice of your store uncontested? Tools for increasing loyalty have long been invented and actively exploited, these are bonus cards, loyalty programs, additional discounts. In grocery retail, there are collectible promotions, when for every conventional one hundred rubles you get a brand, and having accumulated a certain number of them, you will receive some kind of product at a discount. I am sure that you have come across this mechanic more than once, it is widespread throughout the world, including in Russian retail chains.

The mechanics of such a promotion are very simple: in theory, it is assumed that the person collecting stamps wants to receive some valuable product at a discount. The key problem of Russian players is saving on such prize goods, when the game is not worth the candle. For example, in Miratorg supermarkets there is a raffle for dishes, you need to accumulate a certain number of brands and get a discount on the purchase of glasses or glasses. Sounds attractive, doesn’t it? Spoiled with promotions in “Azbuka Vkusa”, where quality goods of well-known brands are always offered, he took the brands offered at the checkout, and did not look at the goods. On my next visit to the supermarket, I went to the window displaying these promotional products, and was upset – they are terrible! That is, there is simply no reason to use the stamps, from that moment he refused them. And looking at other buyers, I saw that they did not collect these stamps, even when they were asked about it. A complete mismatch in the quality of the goods with the target audience of those who visit this supermarket (it is difficult for me to judge about all Miratorg stores, in some, perhaps, the action is somehow going on). When asked how often someone buys such goods, the store employees found it difficult to answer, the answer I liked the most sounded like this: “It happens.” I do not have the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the action according to the metrics of a supermarket chain, but from the outside, it is seen as useless for the chain, if not harmful.

It is a completely different matter – the promotions launched by Azbuka Vkusa, the marketers of this trading network have gotten their hands on and make them useful. You collect stamps in the application, then exchange them for dishes, knives and the like. Approximately every six months, a new promotion is launched, when you can buy something at a discount. These promotions often offer quality products with discounts of up to 99%, there are no special conditions here – you just need to spend money and get stamps in return. The audience of the stores is used to it and reacts with great interest to this, new promotions are awaited and they are collecting with great pleasure certain items. In the previous promotion, I got five sets of steak knives, the price with the discount turned out to be very pleasant. But these are examples that can be considered classical, they are described many times, as well as the mechanics of their implementation. The benefit for the buyer here is that he receives some product at a discount. This is a tangible benefit that needs no discussion. And what will happen if you launch a campaign with a product that is useless at first glance, something that cannot be used in everyday life?

Sofa Analytics # 228. Attack of the Star Wars Tataks - collections and retail

More recently, I knew that tataki is a way of cooking fish or less often meat, it is popular in Japan. That tataki can be toys, small figures, I did not know.

Disney has created a collection of small figurines depicting heroes from the Star Wars universe. It is worth recalling that Star Wars is a huge business that has raised generations of adults and children. Of course, there are those on the planet who do not like Star Wars, have not watched them, but there are no those who have not heard about them and have not come across symbols and images in modern culture. This is a huge layer of everyday life, from which it is impossible to isolate oneself.

What is a collection? This is not an idle question, because collecting is a process that involves the hidden mechanisms of social behavior. You cannot collect useless things, the object of your collection should have one or another assessment in the eyes of others, and not necessarily positive. Collecting is alien to neutrality, emotion is always important here.

Gathering is fueled by the scarcity of what one collects, often of limited availability. Therefore, rare editions are so popular, they are initially released in small quantities, their value in the eyes of fans is automatically higher. And it can be anything – books, records, stamps, figurines. People have learned to collect everything that is possible. Of course, they should like the item, what they collect, without it there is no way.

For example, an action in which it is proposed to collect knives or utensils may be called collectible, but no one in their right mind would consider these massive, purely utilitarian items worthy of attention. This is a mass market without any special features. It’s another matter when you are offered something that you simply cannot get.

The joint action of Disney and Azbuka Vkusa is an excellent illustration of the collectible promotional campaign. The toys that were offered to be collected by the visitors of the store could not be obtained elsewhere, they were only available in supermarkets. You were given a paper bag at the checkout, in which one figurine was hidden. The element of uncertainty and randomness is also important here, you cannot quickly collect the entire collection of 24 figures.

For shops, the mechanics are simple: for every 1 rubles you get one packet with a figurine (wine, tobacco are not taken into account, this is Disney policy). Also, a condition is the presence of a loyalty card (you can get it for free, and this is also important for increasing the number of loyal customers).

A game related to the Star Wars universe appears in the ABC of Taste application, you can also scan the found figures to get advantages in this game. And this is quite exciting. For lovers of board games, a playing field is sold separately, you can store your collection of figures in the box.

Around this collection action, there is a serious stir. Initially, the promotion is scheduled from April 9 to May 27. But already at the beginning of May, tataks are running out in many stores, by May 14 they were distributed almost 2 million pieces (total circulation – 2 pieces). The board game is also impossible to purchase, the fields for the game are swept away as soon as they appear in stores, this is a rarity.

Sofa Analytics # 228. Attack of the Star Wars Tataks - collections and retail

Collecting fever grips people, no matter what is happening around. Friends exchange photos of figures, many have double ones, and they need to be exchanged for those that are missing. Searches for figurines are already going on outside the shops. On message boards, figurines are sold or exchanged for others.

Sofa Analytics # 228. Attack of the Star Wars Tataks - collections and retail

Some people really play with these figurines, but most just put together a collection. My friend, who has never collected anything, is drawn into this game, refuses purchases in other stores and admits that she often buys something for future use in order to get the coveted figurines. And there are a lot of such people, they are captured by the collecting rage, they cannot stop. The figures themselves have no real value, but the mechanism is running, and the entire collection needs to be assembled. This is the fundamental difference from the “collection” actions aimed at utilitarian items, few people try to collect everything that is offered, only what is needed is selected. Here is a completely different story – you need a complete collection.

Due to the fact that this is “Star Wars”, the involvement of the audience is maximum, this is a successful campaign by any parameters. It is difficult to assess the result in absolute numbers, since self-isolation is imposed on the action and the average check automatically increased in all grocery stores. I don’t like to rely on feelings, but here they say that this is a successful story, it has become noticeable.

On social networks, I often come across photographs of these figurines, and you immediately recognize your colleague colleague. I shared with my friends double characters, added to their collections. And this is very cool! It is extremely rare for retail stocks to evoke emotions, it happened right away, and the reason is not only in the toys themselves, but also in the layer of culture that stands behind them.

Is it possible to conduct such a promotion from scratch when unknown figures will be offered to anyone? Perhaps yes. But the result will not be as noticeable. On the other hand, the world is full of famous TV series and cartoons, the characters of which can be turned into toys and create collections. This is an unpaved field of opportunity.

Customer loyalty is not always nurtured through its benefits, it is more difficult to influence emotions. And the example of a tatak promotion shows that this is a winning way. Are there any benefits to these figures? Not. Do I need them? By and large, no. But I am glad that I collected them, they look good and will take place on one of the bookshelves. They have no practical meaning, which is valuable in itself – I was attracted to collect useless toys, my emotions were involved. To some extent, this is brilliant, because by involving me in the search for toys, as well as thousands of other buyers, influencing our emotions, rationality was turned off. We were solving the problem of collecting, and the increase in spending for us became reasonable, because we had a goal! It sounds funny, but this is exactly how it works. But in any market, in any country, only a few are capable of creating such smart stocks where different instruments are involved. This is an example of a good world class action.

PS I have collected almost a complete collection, there is not only one figurine, but a lot of double ones!

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