Brand Bonding

Chevron rallies around revamped ExtraMile brand, wins mystery shop

[Editor's Note: Chevron's ExtraMile stores won this year's CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop. Over the next three days, CSP Daily News will look at the concept and why it is succeeding. For complete results of the mystery shop and more about ExtraMile, watch for the August issue of CSP magazine. And watch for an interview with Chevron executives Shariq Yosufzai and Danny Roden next week on CSPTV.]

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- A new energy has begun to swirl at Chevronand at the core of that internal buzz is its ExtraMile convenience concept.

Over ExtraMile's two-year development cycle, insiders say that internal departments, the supplier community and its loyal customers have rallied around the new brand. All our worlds are coming together, Jeff Hersh, manager of North American marketing at Chevron, told CSP Daily News. For the first time, we're rallying around a branded c-store concept.

Chevron landed squarely on CSP's radar after ExtraMile won the CSP-Service Intelligence Mystery Shop this year. As a result of capturing the top overall ranking in the mystery shop, San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron gave CSP exclusive access to high- and mid-level executives, all of whom expressed unified support over the newly redeveloped c-store concept.

We've had the [ExtraMile] brand out there in a few markets, but what we've got today has evolved within the last couple of years, Hersh said. That evolution began with a 43-store pilot in Seattle involving both company-operated sites and what Chevron calls its retailer class of trade. Deemed a success, the ExtraMile concept, which focuses on four distinct zones of product offering, is now rolling out to markets in Southern California and the San Francisco area.

The four zonesinclusive of a beverage centerpiece called HydraZone, a branded gourmet coffee section, sausage-focused foodservice and a stalwart tobacco offerstand on a foundation of newly reworked layouts, plan-o-grams, merchandising, in-store graphics and customer-service processes.

Paul Cassadont, merchandising center of focus (COF) manager for Chevron, said the oil company's capabilities have dramatically improved with regard to plan-o-grams and reordering. The company is more actively involved, investing in software and manpower to help drive merchandising choices.

Hersh agreed. We do extensive research that calls upon suppliers, syndicated data and internal data, he said. We feel very good about items we put into those store layouts. We think we have the right mix.

With many of the major oil's diverse elements rallying around the reborn ExtraMile brand, Cassadont said the biggest payback has been consistency. That's important, he said. Where you have the ExtraMile sign you've got to have consistency. [The brand] benefits from it.

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