Throughout the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, Sainsbury’s was the market
leader and the dominant force in grocery retailing in Great Britain. The objective
was to stop the haemorrhage of customers by getting closer to them. As part of
its customer vision, Sainsbury’s decided to take more care of families with young
This makes business sense and can contribute to Integrated Marketing
excellence. Families are among the most valuable customers and share many
needs and interests. This combination of needs coherence and financial value
means the brand can exploit the Pareto (or Differential Marketing) principle1 to
create tailored value and communication propositions. This can in turn help to
increase customer-bonding levels, given that emotional loyalty is driven by trust
Therefore, in 1998 Sainsbury’s launched the Club 0-5 in response to Tesco’s Baby
Club. The objectives were to keep existing high value customers, increase their
loyalty, and improve the spending of medium value customers.
But there was a major problem: customers had to join the Club in order to start
receiving the benefits. Sainsbury’s had limited means for recognising
potential/prospective Club members. This hindered the effective implementation
of the project. Convincing customers to sign up before providing them with any
value is expensive but was driven by the need to capture information and get permision.
Developments in the Sainsbury’s Reward Card programme (now Nectar) enabled
the team to adopt a new vision and method. In May 2001 the initiative was relaunched
with a new name: Little Ones.
Customers may now join at any time and receive the welcome pack and other
acquisition material. In addition, the word “Club” has been dropped from the
name to communicate that the programme is open to everyone. Sainsbury’s now
has the opportunity to include most of the relevant customers without waiting for... [continues]
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