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Beverages

Building a promotional calendar for dispensed beverages

Keep customers interested with collectibles, discounts and LTOs
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Photograph courtesy of 7-Eleven

Within convenience stores, dispensed beverages are a mainstay. From the occasional customer to the everyday visitor to the multiple-times-per-day regular, dispensed beverages fulfill the need for a drink that offers great value and is quick to pick up. But for c-stores that want to increase their dispensed beverage sales, offering promotions throughout the year is a great way to entice consumers. As for planning successful promotions, having a calendar of events can be helpful.

Partnering with the Marketing team and planning promotions well in advance gives enough time to prepare for them with products and other supplies, as well as gives ample time for stores to promote the events. Here are a few ways to build a successful calendar of promotions for dispensed beverages.

Seasonal promotions

Offering drinks in coordination with the weather is nothing new, but there’s a reason seasonal promotions are popular: They work. In the dead of summertime, offering promotions on cold drinks, in the form of punch cards for fill-ups or deals on certain sizes, can help entice hot, thirsty customers inside for a refreshment. Likewise, colder weather deals on hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate can inspire customers to come in for something to warm up with. But weather doesn’t have to be the only “seasonal” promotion—rather, consider things like “back to school season” promotions around FCB, support a local college sports team or create a Happy Hour around Specialty Iced Coffee mid-afternoon snack.

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Contests, Charities or Cultural events

Know your Brand and create promotions that engage your customers while supporting your category or loyalty objectives. These types of promotions can also increase social media participation. Create a contest and prizes can be tailored to drive sign up to loyalty programs, or reward customers with entries for each refill to drive visits. Promote and generate support your Company Charities with a donation on purchase of limited time offer drinkware. Or, sponsor an event, like concerts, movie releases, award shows and even popular celebrities can inspire a promotion at c-stores. For instance, Stripes Stores, a division of 7-Eleven Inc., released three limited-edition collectible cups featuring the late singer Selena. By creating unique and engaging promotions and participating in partnerships like these, c-stores can attract new visits and engage existing customers.

Limited-time only Specialty drinks

Limited-time only specialty drinks can be a great way to get customers in the store—after all, pitching exclusivity and rareness can be enticing. Offering trending flavor add-ons or new formats of drinks (for instance, frozen specialty coffees, Nitro Brew), as well as testing out new drinks in certain regions (for instance, horchata in the Southwest or “dirty sodas”—sodas with syrup shots and coconut flavoring) can help get customers in the door to try something new—and maybe come back for more of it.

Promotions don’t have to be rigidly tied to events on the calendar, but creating a promotional calendar can be a boon for expanding dispensed beverage sales. By rotating options like offering collectible refillable cups, highlighting seasonal discounts and drink formats and promoting new, limited-time-only drinks, c-stores can attract thirsty customers all year round.

This post is sponsored by Whirley-DrinkWorks!

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