Is Your Execution Working at Cross Purpose?


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Shell has run this promotion a couple times in recent memory. I guess that means they think it is working. I wonder.

It is obviously a tactical implementation of a 2 pronged strategy;

  1. build customer loyalty by getting people using Shell on a regular basis, and
  2. driving impulse purchase by getting people into the store.

Great in theory — but poor in actual execution.

In order to get people in the store, they are forcing people outside their normal purchase routine. Not always a bad thing, but now people who usually pay at the pumps (remember, not too long ago this was the strategy they employed to reduce labour costs) are now forced to go into the store to get their bonus points.

They may or may not purchase (only Shell and it’s agency can comment on this), but they definitely recognize they are being forced to go into the store rather than simply pay at the pump.

This doesn’t support the second prong of the strategy which is loyalty. A customer who currently uses the pay at the pump feature as a convenience is now inconvenienced by being forced to take more time and got into the store — which does not foster loyalty. In fact, it irritates people and reduces loyalty.

Now someone might say that loyalty was not the intent. But any program designed to drive repeat purchase is a loyalty strategy — and if that wasn’t your intent then you need to re-think your execution.

My Perspective: Why would anyone run a program that would decrease customer loyalty?

This promotion may be working to drive impulse purchase — but it definitely isn’t working to build loyalty for people who want the convenience to pay at the pump.

Remember, customers get points for buying gas. By buying gas more frequently, we get more points. Now layering a second objective over top,they are reducing the effectiveness of the first objective.

So the program is working at cross purposes. They need to re-think this execution so it drives in-store visits without forcing people who want the convenience of paying at the pump.

The incentive to go inside needs to be something people will want, but doesn’t force a change the current behaviour if all I want to to get gas.

Are you executing programs that may also be negatively executing another strategic objective?

Make sure you review all your programs to ensure one desired impact isn’t having a negative impact on another — possibly more important strategy.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Bill Hogg
Bill Hogg works with senior leaders to inspire and develop high performance, customer-focused teams that deliver exceptional customer service, higher productivity and improved profits. Sought after internationally as a speaker and consultant, Bill is recognized as the Performance Excelerator because of his uncanny ability to create profound change and deliver extraordinary results with the most demanding organizations.


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