Winco vs. Whole Foods: Why branding matters in the social media landscape

I was just taking a look at some of the efforts being made by grocery stores within the social media landscape. Here’s what WinCo is up to:

website: http://www.wincofoods.com/
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wincofoods
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/winco.llc
youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/wincofoodsllc

So far, they are not doing anything of great interest. I would actually say that their efforts are a little on the pathetic side when compared with what Whole Foods has going on:

website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ (see top right hand of homepage)
twitter: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/twitter/
http://www.facebook.com/wholefoods
flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whole_foods/

What’s the difference between the two? Whole Foods has been at this for a long time. They’ve developed content (something WinCo will probably have a tough time doing); they aren’t trying to sell you stuff; they have built a brand worth talking about; they have a wonderful story to tell; and they are trustworthy. Winco’s has one thing they can talk about – price. Aside from their price image, it is hard to talk about their big, sterile buildings, lack of personal contact, lack of service, lack of selection, lack of product knowledge, lack of story… You get the picture.

Whole Foods has over 1.5 million followers on their global twitter site. This does not include the twitter pages that are being built for every single one of their stores (where individual stores talk about their upcoming events, cooking classes, cooking tips, meal solutions, promotions, etc (http://twitter.com/WFMCottHeights). Each of their stores have their own blog pages as well (http://wholefoodsmarket.com/storeblogs/highlanddrive/). Whole Foods gets the online world better than anyone in the grocery business. What they have done is integrate all of their web efforts to tell one simple story that is focused on a specific audience.

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3 thoughts on “Winco vs. Whole Foods: Why branding matters in the social media landscape

  1. Nice point.

    However these two companies are marketing to almost the complete opposite genre of shoppers.

    Whole Foods is marketing to the uppity, loyal, tech savy, educated, and health oriented costumer.

    While the Winco customer is all about the lowest price. I don’t see many of their shoppers too concerned about or even know what social media is. They will forgo a sterile store and customer service if it means saving money. They like to get their ads in the mail. Everyone has been talking about the mailer recieved this week, comparing store prices.

    On a somewhat related note, I have been embaressed by the fact that I actually like Walmarts advertising as of late. But once you walk in the door of that store, the money spent on advertising is out the window. They are nothing they promote themselfs to be.

    1. I completely agree with you – different stores, different audiences. The real issue is that social media is about building relationships. Winco will have a very difficult time doing this because they don’t care about their customers. They care about cost control.

  2. Your right, Winco probably does not care about customers. But do customers really care about the store, or are they just using them for their benifit of saving some money?

    Question: Do you need social media to effectively build relationships with customers?

    Do you follow this guy on Twitter?http://www.scottmonty.com/

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