Those of you who are fans of BBC Radio 4?s “The Archers” will have been following the E-coli story at Bridge Farm. It has raised two interesting marketing issues:
1. The Underwoods contract has been lost because of the E-coli and the recall of the ice cream. Underwoods (food hall) were Bridge Farm’s largest single customer and have been ‘loyal’ customers of the Bridge Farm brand for years, so should they have ‘deserted them’ in their hour of need or restocked the brand once the all clear was given? Can this all be blamed on the ‘new buyer’ at Underwoods or is there something more deep seated with customer loyalty here, I wonder? Although we don’t know the % contribution to the Bridge Farm Business Underwoods made, I’m guessing it’s up towards the 80% as per Pareto’s 80/20 rule.
2. Secondly is the question of damage caused to the Bridge Farm brand by the outbreak. Did they do enough to limit its effects? Should they have ‘outed’ Clarrie to take the blame as Tom and Brenda wanted? Or were they right to take the hit themselves. What can they do now to boost sales?
It will be interesting to see how the story unfolds, but if in your business you had the equivalent of an ‘e-coli outbreak’
- would your biggest customer(s) stay loyal or would they take flight?
- how exposed are you in your business if your largest single customer is responsible for around 80% of your turnover?
- do you have an emergency action plan in place?
Customer loyalty, brand, Pareto and much more are all covered in a good marketing strategy. Call if you would like any help 01225 869 240. firstname.lastname@example.org
Armstrong Beech Marketing