Greggs the bakers – Baking a Better Brand

Executive Summary

There was a time when Greggs ruled over the nation’s taste buds. Then, the Subways and McDonalds started eating into its business. Sales nose-dived. Perceptions dipped. Finally in 2006, Greggs approached Propaganda. Our objective – revive Greggs and bring back traffic.

Greggs wanted a campaign that not only drove sales short-term, but built the brand long-term. Research showed that shortcuts weren’t the answer. Greggs needed a unique positioning. They had to change perceptions of their shops as dated, cheap, fast food outlets. The challenge was clear – bring back people, and sales, with a strategy that worked across Greggs’ diverse regions.

We decided to use Greggs’ bakery heritage. ‘Good, honest, baker-fresh food on the go’ wasn’t something the competition could claim. The resulting campaign, via TV, radio, online, promotions and POS, had a huge impact:

  • National sales increased by 9% during the first campaign year.
  • The initial 2007 campaign saw Greggs serving 3 million more customers.
  • Savouries, Greggs’ main offering and focus of our autumn 2007 campaign, saw a 15% rise in sales.
  • Greggs’ share price soared from 3997p in Sept 06 to 5324p in Sept 07.
  • From 2006-2008, brand perceptions shifted from ‘out of touch’ to ‘up-to-date’.
  • The long-term brand building strategy originated in 2007 helped focus the business during 2008 & 2009 – a difficult recession period that saw Greggs’ sales continue to increase.

Had this activity not taken place, Greggs would have slowly lost its voice. We gave the brand a positioning that helped it thrive in an evolving environment. Without it, and faced with big spenders like Subway, Greggs could never have enjoyed such a revival.

What makes this activity exceptional is that it achieved outstanding results by going to the brand’s core, using something the brand had already – heritage. A positioning based on a core competency ensured Greggs would always be relevant. It connected with consumers, and turned things around in record time.

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