Maintaining what is arguably the most unique and targeted brands in the industry isn’t an easy job. But Aaron Simpson is going to do it. And do it well.
As if someone with the title vice president of customer fanatics has a choice. Simpson is responsible for advertising, category management, store design, branding, fresh food development, merchandising, customer research and supply chain. He has witnessed the company’s move toward made-to-order foodservice and the ongoing evolution of a best-in-class loyalty program. And he’s as passionate an advocate of his company’s culture as his job requires.
“Our brand lens (Adventure’s First Stop) influences all of our decisions, and we put these decisions through that lens,” he told CSP in 2016 about the chain’s most recent store design. The new shopping experience delivers on that with an open food-prep area and dine-in seating, along with all the adventure-themed flourishes that have long differentiated the brand. “One of our brand philosophies in-store is: Show them, don’t tell them.”
And the customers? Using Maverik-speak, they’re fanatical. Five thousand people show up to grand-opening events, with customers tailgating in anticipation.
But Simpson is more than just adventure’s messenger; he is a steadfast industry advocate.
“My prior boss used to say, ‘We’re not a gas station; we’re more than a convenience store. I’m not sure exactly how to describe us.’ A lot of us have a hard time describing exactly what we are as the industry continues to evolve,” he told CSP. “I think the best way to describe today’s Maverik is Adventure’s First Stop.”
5,000—Amount of customers who have turned up at a Maverik grand opening