Kroger Co. on Tuesday introduced a content-driven marketing platform that would unite localized supermarket brands in service of highlighting the company’s values, charitable efforts and employees — increasingly, key elements as consumers decide who to give their business to.
Krogerstories.com, which went live Tuesday, utilizes long and short form stories, videos, photos and other content from freelance writers, store employees and the company’s marketing arm to provide “a way for our stakeholders to have a fuller perspective on the people and the ideas that drive this company,” Keith Dailey, a spokesman for the Cincinnati retailer, told SN in an interview.
The project represents something of a new way for Kroger to pursue credit for its local branding and charitable efforts, while joining a trend toward utilizing “content” as an element of a branding story.
"We believe customers, associates and other stakeholders are increasingly making decisions about where to shop, where to work, and who shares their values based on how well they understand the ways a company makes a difference for their people, communities and the planet," said Jessica Adelman (left), Kroger's group VP of corporate affairs. "And in this equation, we believe that stories — credible, authentic, human stories — matter more than perhaps anything else."
Adelman joined Kroger in late 2015 and has responsibility for the company’s reputation management, external communications and brand public relations.
The website on Tuesday highlighted a contributed article from an artist at work on a mural project in urban Cincinnati communities supported by the company; a story highlighting how Kroger’s California based Ralphs and Food 4 Less brands are utilizing food waste to support an organic energy plant; and a video providing a peek into the company’s “food styling studio,” among several other pieces of content.
Asked how the company would judge the success of the new initiative Dailey said: “What I think is most interesting about a platform like this is that the stories will either perform or they won’t based on whether they’re a compelling story or not, and so for us, the simplest measure of success is, are people reading it and are they engaging with it, learning something new that perhaps didn’t realize.
“We’re all busy people. When you’re in our store to shop, you’re in our store to shop — and may not know just how deep our commitment to sustainability or community art is, for example.”