Greggs to ditch stunt marketing and bank growth on veganism, delivery and coffee
Greggs is switching up its marketing strategy to drive a reappraisal of its brand among customers, as it looks towards vegan and vegetarian food, delivery, hot food and coffee for future growth.
"We are trying to get people to reappraise us to realise we're not just about pasties," Hannah Squirrell, Gregg's customer and marketing director, said at MAD//Fest London this week.
"We are about healthy diets and veganism - if you want it. But if you want a big doughnut, that's there for you as well."
In January this year, the bakery chain launched a vegan version of its sausage roll to enormous success. According to Gregg's own figures, like-for-like sales increased 9.6% in the first seven weeks of 2019, and Squirrell said the product encouraged people "who would never have set foot in Greggs" to think differently about the brand.
Squirrell also claimed that Gregg's healthier range, Balanced Choice, accounts for roughly 20% of sales.
"We're trying to get people to think of Greggs when they think salads and wraps, which they don't naturally at the moment," she said.
Meanwhile, the chain has just overtaken Starbucks as the third largest provider of coffee, following Costa and McDonalds.
To further drive this brand reappraisal, Squirrell said she plans to move Greggs away from the "stunt-based" marketing it has used in the past.
Last year, the brand offered customers a four course dinner menu for Valentine's Day, and later launched a Christmas marketing stunt where it flipped its store front logo in Newcastle to be reflected in the famous Fenwick's Christmas window display opposite.
Although such stunts worked "very well" for Greggs in the past, Squirrell now wants to steer the bakery towards more brand building advertising and away from PR and social stunts. She hopes to create a "drumbeat" around that brand reappraisal and increase awareness of the three pillars of Greggs' brand values - quality, value for money, and "doing the right thing".
As such, Greggs recently conducted a radio campaign across the Midlands highlighting its coffee - the trial run ended on November 8.
Elsewhere, Squirrell praised Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside for his attitude towards marketing: "He said the key rule is to keep the CEO out of the marketing department."