Customization Leads to Success?

February 28, 2012

Smashburger was recently named by Forbes as America’s most promising company – find out what the burger chain is doing right.

Named by Forbes as America’s most promising company, Smashburger is a Denver-based burger chain with a mere 143 locations nationwide. Its 2011 revenue was $54 million, and its three-year sales growth was 2,673 percent. Currently, 450 additional franchises are in the works, including overseas, a market Smashburger hasn’t necessarily tested, nor have they conquered their home territory (as other burger chains have).

Smashburger boasts fresh, never frozen Angus beef, artisan buns, as well as menus that are, “specially crafted to reflect the tastes and flavors of your city or state.” This is what makes Smashburger different than other chains; menu customization.

Translate this to the supermarket, and it would make sense that supermarkets that keep in tune with the culture and sensibilities of the communities they serve, should earn more of the close calls shoppers make about where to buy their food.

To do this fully, stores should respect the local favorites, holidays and traditions of their customers, assort their ethnic favorites year-round, support local events and charities, and find highly visible ways to say, "We get what you’re about, and we’re here to serve."  We have the technology to understand what sells in each store location, so it’s time to customize and cut back on the products gathering dust.

Whether the venue is a college town, a beach resort, or a less distinct urban, suburban or rural site, there is always local history, color, and culture to pattern after. Do the upfront research and legwork – go to the local libraries, chambers of commerce, school boards and historical societies to get a closer feel beyond the usual business data for the customers surrounding your stores. Frame your store as ‘not business as usual,’ and stand out from the crowd.