#LEAwards spills: Why FairPrice Group pivoted to focus on social content

Emerging champions in the categories of "Best use of content marketing" and "Best use of social media" in the Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2020 is FairPrice Group. A household name since it was founded in 1973, FairPrice found itself at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. It dealt with sudden changes in consumers behaviour such as panic-buying and an increased demand for grocery delivery due to social restrictions. 

As such, the brand chose to pivot its marketing strategy from a brand-led one to a consumer-led one, proactively engaging consumers and addressing their concerns. In an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Alison Ee, head, group content, social and design at FairPrice Group revealed how the brand shifted focus to creating social media content in 2020 to not only highlight its offerings, but also help consumers adapt to the new normal during the pandemic. 

FairPrice Group's efforts not only won the hearts of the judges at the Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2020, but also its consumers in Singapore. The brand was recently ranked the most-talked about brand in Singapore among consumers in YouGov’s annual BrandIndex Buzz Rankings in Singapore, dethroning five-time defending champion Singapore Airlines.

What are some of the expectations your consumers now have for your brand?

Ee: FairPrice Group was at the frontline to witness the effects of the pandemic outbreak in Singapore - panic-buying due to the fear of food supply shortage, a huge surge in demand for grocery delivery and cooked food options as more work from home. As a leading grocery chain and food centre network, we held to our brand promise and social purpose to serve Singaporeans in such critical times.  

During these uncertain times, customers look to us not just for functional and transactional needs, but also for emotional and social support. We proactively communicate and engage with our customers to allay their fears and extend real time updates on initiatives to bring better grocery access and convenience to them.  

We shifted our social content from a brand-first to an audience-led approach.

An intentional effort guided by consumer insights, was made to produce original social content to inspire, enable and delight our fans with easy recipes and smart shopper tips to inspire and enable the home cooks. We also spotlight our dynamic frontline teams, whose commitment and personal sacrifices enable us to serve Singapore uninterrupted. Beyond food as a daily essential, we collaborated with personalities to share early memories of their favourite foods and how they have influenced their relationship with and love for preparing food today.

Going into 2021, we will continue to present a diverse collection of food content to engage the broad spectrum of our customers from value seekers to food lovers to home cooks, as interest group communities.

How has your marketing plans shifted this year?

Ee: Building on the successful body of work in 2020, we glean from the data insights to refine and pivot our social content strategy this year.

Effective content mix and channel diversification to reach different interest groups and coupled with sharper content ideation would allow us to capitalise on our expertise in the Everything Food space.

For example, exploring further into shorter form platforms like TikTok, and building up networks for user-generated and employee-generated content.

What are some of the trends you see carrying on post-pandemic, and how are you readying your workforce to be ready with these trends?

Ee: We believe that content creation closer to the frontline and the source is a growing trend; and will necessitate the engagement and enablement of our own staff to be content creators through their own voices, and also tap on their own social networks to share the stories they tell.

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

Ee: There are three aspects to great marketing:

  • Customer-centric mindset defines great marketing outcomes
  • Speed to change, adapt and innovate
  • Build an emotional connection with your audience, engage them to co-create and establish a distinct brand voice

 How are you planning for 2021?

Ee: Other than Everything Food content to inspire, enable and delight our shoppers, we will be more deliberate in building tribes and communities around food-related interest areas for meaningful social conversations, and also aim to share more stories of how the many FairPrice Group community initiatives have impacted lives and rally our fans to do good together.

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