Giant is Turning Customers into Advocates

Based on what I’ve heard from everyone I know who shops at Giant, the Giant-Shell partnership is a success. Giant gets more traffic because customers know that every dollar spent is a point towards the rewards program. Shell gets more traffic because customers would rather use their coupons to buy gas. Over time, customers build a relationship with the companies and Shell becomes their gas station while Giant is their supermarket. Win-win situation.

A great rewards program but nothing too out of the ordinary. The reason why I wanted to talk about it was because of the social chatter going on. Customers are so dedicated to the rewards program that they are even tweeting about it. Because this tweet isn’t @Giant, it would be a little difficult for the company to conduct accurate social listening. Regardless, it shows that the comment is honest. Kathryn isn’t seeking to talk with the company or make herself be noticed. She’s simply sharing her thoughts on the experience. In doing so, she’s sharing that she would rather drive a little extra in order to use her Giant points, and get the cheapest gas possible.

This honest comment from a friend (or at least from someone you are interested in given that you are following them on Twitter) is more likely to shift your shopping habits than any other advertising effort that the company makes. By consistently creating programs that are wanted and even searched for by consumers, Giant is doing marketing right. It is turning its customers into advocates. As mentioned in a previous post, it’s much easier to gain a customer through referrals as opposed to any other means.

What do you think? Is there an easier or more efficient way to gain customers? In what other businesses might a similar partnership be successful?

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