Coca-Cola is redirecting its attention to shopping occasions and trip missions based on its recent research that found six in 10 (57%) grocery trips are occasion-based. At the Path to Purchase Institute's shopper marketing conference recently, Andrew McMillin (vice president, shopper marketing, large stores, Coca-Cola) and Jeff Fechalos (director of shopper insights, Coca-Cola) shared the beverage company's thinking around "unlocking the occasion" along the path to purchase or at the point of purchase (POP). Because grocery shopping is focused on meal consumption, Coke needs to tie beverages in somehow. By understanding how shoppers move through the store, the brand can tailor its offerings to tie into key engagement points along the path to purchase.
Coca-Cola is one of the savviest marketers around, so getting a glimpse of the company's process is enlightening. The idea of fitting your product into the retail occasion is easier said than done of course but the various perspectives the beverage maker employs in deconstructing the occasion can be instructive. For example, having key priorities layered onto the trip mission is something that can be modified to fit your particular shoppers' needs. Look for commonalities as well as differences among your shoppers and how they shop. If you don't already have a standardized way of looking at the shopping trip specifically for your product category, it's time to develop one.