When Meijer decided to expand into Wisconsin, company leadership knew it would be a large undertaking. The company hadn’t expanded into a new state in nearly 20 years. Recognizing the need to introduce the Meijer brand to Wisconsinites and help embed Meijer into the communities it was targeting for stores, Meijer engaged Mueller Communications.
To help create awareness of the company, its one-stop-shopping concept and to differentiate it from other retailers in the grocery and general merchandise space, Mueller Communications has engaged in a variety of community relations, public relations, sponsorship and philanthropic activities with Meijer. At the core of our approach has been a comprehensive media outreach campaign designed to introduce Meijer to Wisconsin shoppers and keep it top-of-mind as a one-stop shopping option.
Thanks to unique media angles developed by the Mueller Communications team, and our ongoing relationships and firsthand knowledge of Wisconsin media, Meijer has received overwhelming, ongoing media coverage across all media types.
Since engaging Mueller Communications in 2013, Meijer has secured more than 3,500 Wisconsin placements, which have supported the company’s record sales at numerous Wisconsin store openings. Meijer now looks to Mueller Communications as a trusted resource and has replicated the “Mueller approach” in other Midwest states and markets.
Our work with Meijer has been extensive and dynamic. We have assisted with promoting, announcing, and hosting grand opening events for their 10 stores in Wisconsin and one in Escanaba, Michigan. We have provided media training for store directors and pharmacists, as these individuals routinely serve as spokespersons for Meijer. We have performed traditional earned media outreach, securing mentions in print, online, radio, and television.
Civic and Community Engagement
We have also helped Meijer coordinate their philanthropic efforts. All too often, companies fail to coordinate their mission and business objectives with their civic efforts. Using our knowledge of Wisconsin and our personal relationships with nonprofits and charitable organizations across the state, we helped Meijer strategically align their civic involvement, charitable contributions, and sponsorship efforts with their corporate objectives and in a manner consistent with their unique history and culture and facilitated partnerships with organizations including Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, the Hunger Task Force, Waukesha Women’s Center, Kenosha Boys and Girls Clubs “Kids Kitchen,” Oak Creek and Wauwatosa libraries, among many others.
Each year, Meijer donates six percent of its net profits back to the communities in which it operates. Mueller Communications developed the MeijerGives strategy to broaden awareness of all Meijer does to support people and communities, and to build goodwill among current and potential Meijer customers and team members. Mueller coordinated with community partners and shared a “toolkit” we developed, increasing the use of the #MeijerGives hashtag and Meijer Gives story. We also helped craft content for Meijer’s social media channels highlighting examples of this generosity. We created and distributed a Community Impact Report to demonstrate the breadth and depth of Meijer’s charitable giving.
Events and Influencer Outreach
Finally, Mueller Communications has developed and launched unique events and campaigns to help create awareness of Meijer’s locations and offerings and drive customers to a particular store location that was lagging behind the other Wisconsin stores in terms of sales performance. These events include:
Hashtag campaign and contest to raise food donation amount for local food banks.
High school acapella contest in store.
St. Nick “surprise” winter boot donation to local schools.
Store ambassador campaign targeting local influencers and community members, securing them for a store tour and offering them gift cards in exchange for sharing information to friends and neighbors.
To date, Mueller has helped Meijer open 10 stores in Wisconsin, with plans to open four more stores in the coming years in cities throughout Wisconsin.