• Born in 2004, Michel & Augustin are winning in a saturated market
• Millennials management
• Omni connect strategy
• Using online method for offline recruitment
• Mastering marketing tech without budget[/mks_pullquote]
[mks_separator style=”blank” height=”5″]
Michel & Augustin: How Marketing allows small company to compete against giants:
Nowadays competition is hard in food industry and it’s more and more difficult to stand out of the crowd. With the increase of the gluten free products, the sugary market is not the easiest place to start a company.
But there are still some passionate entrepreneurs to believe that their products will meet consumers’ expectations. And there is no doubt that Michel & Augustin belong to this exclusive circle of visionary. By simply navigating through the website of the brand we realize that M&A is more than a promise, but the cornerstone of an attractive business.
From SME to the American Dream
Michel & Augustin is born from a similar story than Ben & Jerry but in France with a friendship that started on the school benches between its two creators. After making higher education in commerce and marketing, Augustin decides to drop his suit and tie for a baker’s hat and passes its diploma in pastry. As Steve Jobs in his garage, the first recipes are born in the kitchen of the two creators with the small round shortbread in September 2004. The story then goes that Michel & Augustin left driving their Kangoo to canvass all grocers and shops of the French capital.
Today the brand is now firmly entrenched in all major distributors in France but also around the world (Russia, China, USA, Eastern Europe …). Its “Bananeraie”, seats of the brand, are located in Lyon, Paris and New York.
Recently, Michel & Augustin is based on well-established American brands. Since January 2016, Starbucks distributes the products in 7.624 stores. In the air, Delta Airlines offers the products on its 4,000 daily flights, first class and business class. Therefore, the company multiplied by fourteen the capacity of its production line in the United States. They are now targeting other important retailers in the West Coast the recent acquisition of their capital by Danone might be interesting for them, mostly for the distribution.
In fact the company is not anymore cooking in their kitchen, they managed the Finances engineering tips by They no longer produce, focusing on marketing and sales. They now call 7 companies (6 in France and 1 in Portugal)
Product Marketing: Transparency, premium and fun
The key to success of Michel & Augustin isn’t a huge marketing budget, but a clever use of transparency, simplicity and creativity. The best showcase of this type of brand is undoubtedly the products and company values that they transmit. From the “cows to drink” biscuits through desserts, cookie to-go or crackers; Michel & Augustin retains its basic promise: authentic, homemade and quality ingredients.
The brand positioning is thus clearly that of premium and quality. The price is certainly higher than average but the strategy makes it stand out from its competitors on the shelves of supermarkets. Basically the
Out of the box
Urban area tailored
Gourmet & Authentic
Promotion: Zero budget but rich in ideas
M&A are particularly brilliant in term of communication, despite having limited budget they managed to be viral mastering Commando Marketing and Street Marketing. The promotion is based on three principles “millennials, fun and smart.
The launch of their best seller “Cow to drink” is a true best practice in this area comparing to the competition:
High visibility thanks to a Friendly childish tone
The keyword of the brand communication strategy is the use of a childish tone on all its communication channels. Michel & Augustin has opted for humor and derision, wanting to be close to its customers. The smile is therefore required, the customer proximity magnified by a deep friendship between him and the brand. The idea is to invite customer to join the beautiful little family Michel & Augustin. This style of communication is fully assumed by the use of a color graphic, a logo with childish drawings and a friendly tone.
Mastering Buzz with Commando Marketing
For the launch of the “Cow to drink” in July 2006, one of the best sellers. The launch of the yogurt has been at the same time as that the Danone called “The Two cows” produced by its US subsidiary Stonyfield. Michel & Augustin took advantage of this coincidence to launch a commando operation by distributing at the entrance to the press conference to each journalist, their product with a letter denouncing the arrival of US cows in France. It was indeed a unique opportunity to reach 150 journalists. And it worked since the first questions from journalists at the conference was “Will you announce the launch of the cow to drink Michel et Augustin?”. This is typically the kind of action that M&A lead, without means or pretension but that will make people smile.
The Bill Gates imposture
In February 2007, Bill Gates gives a conference in Le Palais des Congrès (Paris) in front of 6000 entrepreneurs. Augustin, disguised as a kitchen employee of the conference, dropped one of his “Cows to drink” on the speakers table. The video of the conference will be diverted on the social media and M&A created a viral marketing campaign with Bill Gates, photographed next to the yogurt.
Mastering Customer proximity with Street Marketing
One of the big part of the brand marketing strategy is its presence in the streets of major French cities or in New York. Michel & Augustin has made the wise choice to invest heavily on street-marketing, without hesitating to stage the creators of the brand. So we could see the two friends put cows in a Paris train station, take the stage in a supermarket, make a press conference in the same disguise. In the same idea Michel & Augustin conducted a campaign to see land a giant cow throughout France, the cow and came to stand before the most famous French monuments.
Another successful operation of the brand is the 100 Scooters in Paris, offering customers to rent scooters with the colors of the brand which promote the use of bicycles in the city. This transaction also put Michel & Augustin in their local environment by placing the brand as a change driver of the city, including the promotion of an eco-friendly mode of transport. They also organised event in Paris Une Nuit à la belle Etoile in the heart of Paris in park Monceau.
Talent Acquisition: Made by passionate for passionate
The corporate culture is a key factor for Michel & Augustin. The internal organization of the company seems to grow every employee to propose ideas, share feelings, to express her doubts when more or less formal meetings. The work environment is the corporate image: colorful, quirky, warm, fun… As evidenced by “The Banana Plantation”, the workplace which opens its doors to visitors every first Thursday of the month.
Social media transparency: To communicate internally, the 90 employees have their own group on WhatsApp and
Passion for product: No matter if the employee works in finance or marketing, they all have to pass their pastry diploma.
Michel & Augustin are famous for recruiting through their event and they feature in social media their employee “adventures” and achievements. Behind every function they valorize and highlight employees (Webdeveloper, marketers, finances etc.) with pictures directly on the product for example.
However, there is still too little dimension explored by brands: Using Online method for Offline operations. It’s precisely on this point that Michel & Augustin makes the difference. When the offline becomes a real scene for the actors who play the game, one explores a form of communication that becomes a reflection of inner experience.
Example: There is a lot of creativity when it comes to recruiting online. But what about recruiting offline using online method: M&A recruiting in the metro
As in France, their US employees must pass the equivalent of a pastry diploma. In Brooklyn, the doors of the “Banana Farm”, the nickname of their New York offices are always open to customers and curious. The company recently organized BethecookieBoss a contest to win 25 a pastry trip to France.
Digital: Omni-Connected with the consumers
You will therefore understand, Michel & Augustin likes and enjoys quite frankly this marketing guerrilla strategy. But the brand does not forget of course the digital component of its business by including each of these operations on social networks.
When many brands rely entirely on digital, there are others that sail between offline and online to provide proximity and engagement with their community. Michel & Augustin is one of those brands that know how to encourage commitment, although social media reach the masses, the land offers a rarely achieved complicity on the net. By using omni-connect strategy, M&A created an intra-community link.
They have over 177,000 fans on Facebook, 35,600 followers on Twitter and a YouTube account relaying the life of the brand.
Michel & Augustin is rich in education and serves in particular to emphasize the importance of the relationship brand / consumer. A beautiful lesson in marketing, communication and building a strong community around two omni-present entrepreneurs.
The Michel & Augustin case show that disruption doesn’t has to come only from pure player or tech companies but by engaged and passionate people even in a traditional saturated market. Thanks to their quirky look on life, their desire to create an affinity relationship with their consumers but also (and especially) to their love for good products.
Imagine you enter at Best Buy with your smartphone and as soon as you cross the entrance of the store, it appears on the screen some mobile coupons and a list of items on sale that day at the branch where you are.Obviously you need to download the Shopkick app. But once it is downloaded, every time you go into a store, display discounts will be automatic.
Funded in San Francisco, Shopkick is a run by a young entrepreneur named Cyriac Roeding which partnered with business angels including the founder of LinkedIn. For now, some retailers already partnered with Shopkick like Best Buy, American Eagle Outfitters, Macy’s and Target.
Cumulate your Kickbucks!
In addition to coupons and sales information, Shopkick allows you to accumulate Kickbucks, a kind of virtual currency that you can redeem against subscriptions to magazines, gift cards or song downloads.
Shopper are looking for best deal and we are convinced that thousands of people across USA and Canada where the service is offered , will love Shopkick . This is exactly what consumers want.A brilliant innovation to deal, now see how to run performance. M-Coupon can be also used for food waste as did Lidl.
In addition to retain customers, free download cards available to checkout strengthens the mobile strategy of the brand.
For years, Starbucks has partnered with Apple and iTunes. It is the turn of the Swedish Spotify to sign with the coffee specialist. Near the checkout, a card with a free download songs is available to customers every week. Since 2016, Starbucks soundtracks and the different broadcast playlists are available on the Spotify App.
Retailers are clear that one of the keys to retain customers is to offer an unique, efficient and personalized shopping experience.
To do this, companies in this sector must keep up and adapt their services to the market trends. The standardization of services offered trivialize, indeed, the benefits offered. Point accumulation system is present in 80% of stores surveyed by Dia- Mart Consulting ; and 68 % of them reward their loyalty by vouchers.
Loyalty cards are they becoming obsolete weapon of seduction ?
These programs, set up to encourage customers to return to the store with benefits and services have a good head in their shoulders! Although there are many reasons for this disenchantment, these programs remain a vital pillar of the customer relationship for retailers and maintain their image while collecting valuable data. For consumers, discounts are not arousing enough within digital area. Loyalty has fallen behind in terms of its implementation on the websites. Only 52 % of surveyed dealers offer to join their online loyalty program! There are still opportunities for many business owners to create an effective loyalty program.
So what are the levers to activate urgently ?
1/ Digitization of loyalty programs: Lyoness
Offering the advantages of the programs through web, tablets or smartphones will get a more direct and immediate customer response, increasing convenience and ease to use. Mobile Apps are still fairly new to many organizations and they struggle at times to implement it into their business objectives. Lyoness embraced Mobile Apps thus making consumers aware of this application and the benefits thereof. Small businesses can also use such apps to host contests and games among their loyal customers and send push messages to their phones that alert them of special events or deals that only they qualify for. In short I summarized you what is possible:
Cashback Card: One loyalty card for all sectors and countries instead of dozens of customer loyalty cards, which take up a lot of space.
Mobile Cashback: shop clever and easy with your Smartphone
Vouchers:You also receive Cashback and Shopping Points when you purchase Vouchers at Loyalty Merchants. You can also use them on your Smartphone.
Online Shopping: You benefit with Cashback and Shopping Points even whilst shopping online.
Lyoness created one card that costs nothing either to get or use and every time you use it you get paid!
Working with imaginative and innovative ideas in loyalty programs, allow companies to have a competitive advantage in retail industry, with these digitization strategies they are winning in efficiency and personalization.
2/ Loyalty Rewarding interaction
Overcome the phase to earn points by simply buying, retailers are starting to implement loyalties programs rewarding customer interaction. Visiting the store, writing reviews of a product on the web, answering surveys, watching videos, or uploading posts on social networks, among others, are some of the examples of actions being implemented in large distribution chains. By logging into the MyCokeRewards website customers could use their points to receive Google Play credit share the opportunity on social medias.
3/ Customized Loyalty offer
Retailers are offering to the user the ability to choose their own savings bonds, for example, you choose between 10 products (from a list of hundreds proposals) in which you get always a 20% off. Discounts are made through the loyalty card and there are campaigns that can temporarily change these products, such as Christmas, Epiphany, Easter … Loyalty programs are evolving, and customers are expecting more customization and special perks from the businesses they spend their money at regularly. Showroomprive.com develops a personal relationship between brand and consumer, through email campaigns and personalized offers based on purchase history and customer behaviour.
4/ Loyalty Offer events and experiences
Money can’t buy events and experiences, implementing strategies such as access to the sales a day before the public opening, participation in events shopping, fashion shows, etc. Inviting customers at the company events, allows a physical relationship with them and provide an opportunity to seal a strong affiliation. On AXE.com is given the opportunity to be mentored by Mr. Legend and be featured at an event during SXSW or at the Toronto International Film Festival.
5/ Linking loyalty with financial products
Offer financial products with favorable or advantageous conditions that are linked to credit card and going beyond the consumer sector, such as insurance, mortgages, pensions, etc. Financial products help customer to choose a suitable solution to its consumption and budget, permitting a long term relationship with them.
Carrefour markets has its own bank with varied range of financial products
The supermarket is dead, long life to the supermarket!
While I was waiting the digital new upcoming innovations, I really thought that the supermarket was dead! But in reality, supermarket is moving faster than expected! Many consumers love having groceries delivered to their door, but there is still a huge number of shoppers that love going to the store and personally select their products. It is clear that the “digitization” of the store is becoming a key issue in many sectors of distribution and the Grocery retail is not being outdone. Several technologies and techniques are promising in the context of “digitization” of supermarkets, provided they are well controlled. Bellow, find the Techingrocery selection of the 15 most disruptive innovation to change the face of supermarkets as we know!
1. IBeacon Reinvents Proximity!
This technology uses Bluetooth transmitters. It locates smartphones or tablets customers and send them offers, discounts or contextualized information depending customer geolocalisation. This technology is driven by Apple but it is available on all Android devices ( from 4.3) equipped with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip. We can interact with the customer via the application on his smartphone. Platforms like Rover, Bealder or Beaconstream address this kind of personalized content. Here a short video to understand the IBeacon technology:
Why people are getting crazy with this innovation?
Brick-and-mortar retail stores are particularly excited about this technology. Location sensitivity allows physical retail to push deals and coupons to those nearby and heat map visitor concentration to track which displays are generating attention and which are being ignored. Enhanced traffic tracking and the ability to precisely target nearby users will bring to physical stores advantages once held only by online retailers. Target, the second largest general merchandise retailer in the U.S embrace this technology and started beacon implementation in 50 of its stores nationwide. But the mains groceries retailer leader as Tesco, Target, Walmart, Waitrose, Auchan seems to be enthousiast about IBeacon.
2. Improve your Experience with Augmented Reality Glasses…
The chain Intermarché ( Les Mousquetaires ) set test a prototype of glasses connected ( Wuzic of French origin ) , proposed by the Digitas agency. They allow the consumer to be guided to the shelves according to the list of previously entered races and to receive information on demand.
3. Or Skip the Glasses and Draw your Smartphone!
Ads Reality ( A.i.Solve , UK ) is a mobile application to highlight products or retain customers and analyze data. Another app ‘ Interactive Environments ” plans advertisements on very large screens or specially equipped shop windows to display images in augmented reality.
4. Kitchen Connected
Be connected to your supermarket from home! This remote device allows the consumer to add articles to his shopping application through the barcode or by vocal recognition. Amazon Dash, hiku by chronodrive, Pikit by Carrefour or Api by Intermarché want to take this innovations wave and introduce the day to day of their customer.
The main 3 reasons why you should provide this service to your customers!
According to an internal survey of Hiku, 69 % found it very convenient. In addition, 77% would recommend it to a friend or relative.
New Chronodrive customer spend on average 40 minutes on the internet’s first order, this decrease to 16 minutes for regular customers and less than 5 minutes for Hiku users.
The Kitchen device own a scanner for barcode products as well as an integrated microphone which use voice recognition. In the test, 70% of requests was made by voice!
5. “Everything Bar code”: Soon a new Standard!
Digimarc and GS1 US are collaborating to expand their barcode around the world. Printed everywhere on the product, the invisible global bar-code allows a faster collection of products in the cashier line. This increase the efficiency of the store but it’s not all. The printed code can be combined with 2D codes or serial number allowing authentification, direct marketing or redirection toward information, photos, vidéos ect…
6. Electronic Labels
On the supermarket shelfs are emerging IT solutions , such as Nutri Info, for developing recipes. The tool is based on a database of all ingredients, salt contents , sugar, fat, additives, allergens … On a radius of sale , the system allows users to edit labels with the composition as if it were industrial products.
7. Connected Labels to Push Promotions
Based on NFC (Near Field Communication ), it allows the consumer to get its smartphone product information, to shop and to enjoy discount coupons. It’s also a solution for supermarket with pickupstore services to help the employees save time during the preparation.
8. RFID to track each Step of your Supply Chain
RFID makes its way into the distribution , especially for critical sectors , such as meat, requiring foolproof tractability. RFID tags are affixed to the packaging as on pallets . They capture and provide information that can check during all stages of the distribution chain without the possibility of hijackings or incursion. It remains to miniaturize chips and optimize their interconnection with a remote communications.
9. Tracking Customer Buying Journey
Publicis Shopper ( France ) tracks the customer buying journey (in opt- in). They recently won two marketing prize (Atedem and POPAI) with “Share a Coke” campaign in supermarkets about shopping experience in-store of Coca cola. Same in UK with Ditto for Shoppertrak.
10. Measuring the Traffic Flows Instore
Bumbee Labs (Sweden) has people positioning systems. The IOPS application ( Indoor outdoor positioning system) measures the flow of traffic in malls or public space.
11. Best before Date Management to Reduce Wastage
Checkpoint developed a new system based on RFID label technology which help stores to limit their food wastage while making money. Mostly used on premium product due to the price of RFID labels, the solution allow the real-time updating of the stock after being scanned on the cashier line. An inventory of soon to be expired product is created and the shelf manager can use it to run some promotion to push them. According to checkpoint, The bêta version succeeded in decreasing loss from 35% and increasing sales from 7%.
12. LocalEyes & Mobeye Mission your Customers to Help You
These app allowing consumers to some accomplices to be paid by the marks so they took pictures on the location of the marks, on prices displayed on the juxtaposition of competing products , etc. – A solution already adopted if tested by Danone, Heineken.
13. Robots & humanoid Are Coming!
We Robots ( Attraktion company , Austria) have 3D sensors, and a display with keyboard . Mounted on wheels , they move independently and offer customers practical assistance : map of the store special requests on keyboard , etc.). See also Sephora -other models.
14. Wipro controls Your Shelves Filling
The indian company Wipro Technology proposes an automated system to control your shelves are well filled. In this purpose they use a robot similar to an Ipad up on a gyropode which reviews regularly each shelf. It detects if a product is missing to trigger a replenishment, misplaced products are target and the information is sent to the shelf manager to replace them. It could also allow to the brands like Nestlé, Danone ect… to monitore their product placement from the headoffice, but this will surely be depending the retailer…
15. Toshiba Invents the Instant Cash Checkout
Based on the use of three 3D cameras, the machine identificate firstly the customer, then scans the whole cart. Each packaging is identificated helped by 500 differents characteristiques dots to allow this performance.
Switch your smartphone to a pair of glasses, and you will get opticians addresses close to your location. In front of your cat and you will know the details of his race. Or on artichoke and you will get video recipes to cook this vegetable.
Welcome to “Blippar” a mobile application Created in 2012, already estimated at $1.5 billion by the “Financial Times”.
The augmented reality player raised $54 million and they are likely to become the leading visual discovery app for the physical world. The British start-up began creating a visual catalogue of billions of things that make up our environment in order to build a “visual browser”.
The goal? Providing “Internet” to individuals who have no computer skills and a simplified search engine insiders. Achieve an era in which everyone has access to unlimited knowledge of the world around them, regardless language or culture. The firm also wants to focus on the education sector in order to empower educators with interactive visual learning experiences.
“I think the application can be a great equalizer in our society and it will remain one of the company’s visions for the long term”, says Ambarish Mitra, CEO and co -founder of Blippar.
Lucky Charms box turns into a quest game via Blippar
If the ambition of Blippar seems utopian, its CEO is confident of its implementation is the future.
For now, the application is somewhat improved. It can indeed detect objects like a computer or a computer mouse but cannot specify their model or brand. Blippar will then improve image recognition software and inflate its library.
To do this, they are looking for brands that want to offer content on the application. “As such revenue ketchup for a bottle of Heinz or links to commercial sites if you point a product that you like (clothing, computer, car …). The company has already signed partnerships with major groups such as Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Nestlé.
Recent success of Pokemon Go allows Blippar to grow quicker, they have now 12 offices around the world, including London, New York, San Francisco, Delhi and Singapore.