Coca-Cola Co. takes the retailer-supplier relationship to a new level with its Shopper Experience Innovation Center (SEIC) here, where it tests cross-category and category-driving marketing strategies.
“I want to understand how we talk to a retailer in a way that’s going to really resonate with that retailer. So, a lot of the solutions that we develop and the things that we do are around how do we build the category,” said Ron Hughes,director of Shopper Experience Innovation, Coca-Cola Refreshments, during a presention and tour at the center Wednesday.
Coca-Cola Co. developed the innovation center to test shopper marketing solutions, such as merchandising, displays and store layouts, by creating them in mock retail environments and observing shopper behaviors. Retailers can work directly with Coca-Cola Co. to try out concepts while minimizing risks on their end.
Opened in May, the 15,000-square-foot SEIC includes two spaces that can morph into different retail settings — one smaller space for convenience, QSR, drug and value retail; and a larger space for replicating supermarket settings. The environments are customizable with the ability to closely match the retail settings of a customer working with Coca-Cola Co. on solutions to potential challenges.
The center’s aisles are stocked with actual CPG product packages to enhance the retail experience. Designed as a “nondescript ‘lifestyle’ shopping environment” free of product bias, according to a release from Coca-Cola Co., the SEIC includes a wide range of categories and national and private-label brands that go beyond the supplier’s own offerings.
[via Supermarket News]