Stuart Galvin quote web

The FA Cup may be a 146-year-old sports competition, but business is bigger than ever for brands. So how do grocery brands make the most of it and other sport events?

Our Beyond Demographics research explored shopping habits today, uncovering seven mindsets that motivate purchases. Grocery shoppers are most likely to be in the ‘sociable’ and ‘secure’ mindsets. By understanding how sports events can be used to play into shopper mindsets, brands can reach a mass audience and drive incremental sales.

Sociable shoppers seek connections with others so any brand activating around sporting events to bring friends together will be on to a winner. For brands not traditionally linked to sport, this can be powerful because it will put them in the baskets of shoppers who wouldn’t usually consider them. McCoy’s tapped this by inviting consumers to nominate their social hub - their local pub - to be recreated as a pop-up in Rio for the World Cup.

Secure shoppers value protection and reliability by avoiding risks, looking for price and convenience. Lucozade Sport spotted the opportunity to engage and de-risk with new audiences during the 2015 World Cup, when its camaraderie and banter-filled Home Nations Only campaign ran sampling to encourage trial by new recruits.

There are also clever ways to straddle these two mindsets, such as via product launches. During the Rio Olympics, M&S launched a Brazilian own-brand prosecco. With the status and reassurance of a best-loved retail brand, abating potential misgivings, Riosecco was perfect for the secure mindset, while engaging sociable shoppers looking to share with friends.

However, brands need to also think about the retailers playing host to their products. Grocery brands should look to team up with retailers participating in a sporting event, such as Race for Life in Tesco or Sport Relief in Sainsbury’s, to open up opportunities in stores. Additionally, offering retailers insight that they might not be previously aware of will help convince them to put a savvy brand in premium spaces, even if it’s not typically associated with the event.

Stuart Galvin is business director of SMP