Contributed By: Anna Talcott, Jasmine Alanis, Michelle Munoz, Nancy Pham
Augmented Reality for Giant
Our group chose to use Giant Food as the firm for which we would produce our advertisements. Giant is a major grocery chain, but it holds a special place for many Mary Washington students, as it is the only grocery store within reasonable walking distance of campus. We chose Giant Food Inc. for a number of reasons, from their proximity to UMW, to their diverse environment model, and their potential benefits for using AR in advertising. Specifically, for the use of augmented reality, we found Giant to be a good candidate due to the wide variety of products they offer, and the potential innovation AR has to offer to their current advertising practice.
Giant Food began in 1936; it was created by two men and became Washington, D. C’s first supermarket. From their pioneer store in the nation’s capital, they have gone on to open over 150 stores throughout Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Giant Food Inc. has a history of creating a diverse environment, both for employees and shoppers. The company hires people from a variety of backgrounds and are known for their inclusive work environment. Giant seeks to provide options based on the location of each store, as they work to foster a “neighborhood supermarket” environment by creating stores that suit the needs of the local area.
The Giant we focused on is the Giant located in Fredericksburg, VA, or more specifically, indie of Eagle Village. This particular Giant is a decent sized store that offers a large variety of products. Their selections in store cater to a wide range of shoppers. One aspect that sets this Giant apart from others is their amenities for UMW students. This store offers a student discount to draw in more student shoppers and shows that this Giant location goes a little bit further to cater to the needs of the area.
Social Media Presence
Giant Food has a social media presence across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Giant Food is an exclusive company to some areas on the East Coast; their largest following is on Facebook, followed by Twitter, then Instagram.
Though their following on Facebook is larger, and this may be due to the duration of time their account has been active, it does not mean this is where they reach most of their consumers. As the same information on Facebook is shared across all their platforms. In fact, it may allow Giant food to reach different audiences based on the majority demographic per platform.
The initial feel that our group shares about Giant Food’s social presence across platforms is that it is a family oriented brand and a traditional American grocery store. Giant Food prides themself on their long standing community driven brand and the wants and needs of their consumers, “Being a better neighbor is our promise to you, and it has been since our first store opened in 1936” (Community). Not only is the viewer able to gain insight of the physical involvement the company has within their community through social media, but it is evident that they are trying to make their products part of a family dynamic.
Through their marketing, their products are seen as integrated into families’ daily lives from lunch ideas to achievements such as a cake for a graduation party, and seasonal activities for the kids. They have shown the versatility of their products along with the vision they have for use of products within a customer’s daily life. The company provides visuals that are appealing to the eye, with quality footage that is consistent with their website and values. For example, Giant Food is big on providing a healthier community to both kids to adults, so on their social media accounts they provide healthy and friendly recipes for everyone to aide in that mission (Community).
Another aspect of Giant’s social media presence is their production of 30 second videos that showcase the steps and ingredients needed in a specific recipe. These videos comparable to the viral “Tasty” videos that we see all over Facebook. Their short videos are just long enough to keep potential customers engaged, which has worked for them the best on both Facebook and Twitter, garnering thousands of views. This is ideal when marketing to consumers who are meal preppers of the family, as well as someone wanting to impress their guests at an event. It allows you to see Giant’s products one step further from the shelf.
Though Giant is a smaller company than most grocery stores like walmart, their social media marketing seems to provide an exclusive experience for their loyal and potential consumers.
For our first Augmented Reality (AR) promotion, we wanted to use Giant’s Weekly Advertisements to display and explain nutritional facts for customers. We chose to do this because it would provide convenience to customers who are looking at the advertisements, before they are even inside the store. This would display all of the nutritional facts for every product and include the specific allergies people might have, such as being gluten-free and dairy-free. With the convenience of looking at nutritional facts, this could help others take note of what they are consuming and potentially promote healthy eating in advance. By looking at the nutritional facts ahead of time, this allows the opportunity for potential customers to be further educated on Giant products, and should minimize the time spent at the store investigating ingredient labels due to restrictions from allergies.
Secondly, we have realized that not many people understand what benefits come with being a Giant Bonus Card member. So, we want to use the bonus card as a way for users to further understand their membership benefits. Arguably, Giant does not fully explain all of the benefits you can get when signing up for their membership cards. With that being said, this promotion would help customers really take advantage of the rewards Giant already offers. In addition, this will also reduce email spam from the company. We were hoping to get users to understand their benefits and use their online accounts more frequently. Some of the benefits include tracking your Bonus Buy savings and fuel points (Member, n.d.). With this advantage, members can proactively use their benefits to save money with the benefits of gas points. Another membership benefit is earning money for schools of your choice, so not only are members saving on their own end, but they are also giving back to their local community (Member, n.d.). Applying to be a Bonus Card member is free, so in return, members can easily receive benefits simply from shopping at Giant and utilizing the rewards system.
For our third AR promotion, we decided that Giant’s Guiding Stars program would benefit the most from the incorporation of augmented reality. Guiding Stars “is a nutrition guidance program to help you quickly navigate to foods with the most nutritional value” (“Health & Wellness Tips”).Customers just have to look for stars as they shop, “a higher Star rating means the item contains more beneficial nutrients overall, and has fewer nutrients that are best to avoid” (“Health & Wellness Tips”).Giant has rated over 100,000 food options within their stores in order to assist customers in making healthier decisions. Not only does Giant offer their Guiding Stars, but this program is accompanied with a team of registered and licensed dietitians that educate and help shoppers make better choices. Giant has In-Store Nutritionists to help customers in real time, so we felt that the second a customer sees the guiding stars program, they should also be made aware of the In-Store Nutritionists with their easiest form of contact.
If a customer is utilizing the Guiding Stars, this would also indicate that this customer is looking for further education and assistance in healthy eating. That same customer would, assumedly, also be interested in an individual consultation from Giant’s Nutritionists. Nutritionists are available by appointment for one-hour sessions for $25; this fee is refunded in the form of a Giant gift card (“Health & Wellness Tips”). Ideally, the customer would see the Guiding Stars advertisement inside the Giant stores, pull out their phone, and find that store’s in-house Nutritionist information through augmented reality. It would streamline the process for the consumer so that they would not have to do their own research, and potentially bring in more customers for the Nutritionists to assist.
For our last augmented reality promotion, we decided to use Giant’s logo. We wanted the logo to answer some the most frequently searched questions related to Giant: store hours and pharmacy hours. We know, from personal experience, that looking up store hours or pharmacy hours can be annoying and an extra step to a consumer’s day. Most of us have showed up to Giant only to find it closed, and then trying to find the store hours listed somewhere on the building. By incorporating augmented reality, Giant’s store hours and pharmacy hours immediately pop up from Giant’s logo. We felt that this would save consumers’ time and a few late-night trips.
Community. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2018, from https://giantfood.com/community/
Health & Wellness Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2018, from https://giantfood.com/health-and-wellness/#/our-nutritionists
Member Benefits (n.d.). Retrieved from https://giantfood.com/member-benefits/