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Wegmans: A Successful Experimental Brand
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Of course most brands take chances and push the bounds, but many of these strategies are calculated risks that stay within certain pre-conceived boundaries. Going too far out can be confusing to the customer and disastrous to the brand. Then again, staying predictable can also have the same effect. It’s important for brands to take chances and push their limits, but these risks should always align with the core brand.

But what about those brands that launch some crazy ideas yet still are very successful? How do these brands do it? The grocery success story of Wegmans centers around experimentation and the ability of this brand to push those bounds to find that success. (Think chocolate meatball cookies.) Team members at every level are pushed to participate in experimentation. Ideas that foster in team members’ heads are explored because the environment allows for this. However crazy an idea is, it’s explored before ever being shot down. Just think, though; Wegmans is also known for having many prepared products that no other grocery store can provide. Maybe there’s something to being a little overly crazy and ridiculous, because this brand’s barriers are much wider than the norm.

Other brands can learn a lot from the Wegmans and Whole Foods of the world. With an open atmosphere, these brands have seen their fair share of success. They've gained this success not by being calculated and strict but by allowing the brand to grow in a path that is not always pre-determined. It’s about taking risks and experiments and putting them into action quickly with the customer making the final decision.

If it works, great. If it doesn’t, remove it. That’s how brand experimentation works. It shouldn’t derail the brand from larger overarching strategies, but instead is a day-to-day piece of how the brand runs. When it hits on something successful the brand continues to grow it. Some experiments do end up making a better brand.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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