If you went into a Sobeys store at the right time on the right day, you’d notice something very odd.
You’d notice how quiet it is.
No public announcements. No scanner sounds. No carts being noisily collected. The lights are dim. It’s eerily peaceful and relaxing.
For some people, the quiet is a nice change from the regular loud and bright experience of shopping. But for other people, this is the only time they ever get to experience shopping. For some people on the autism spectrum, the regular noise and lights are far too overwhelming for them to ever step foot in a store. You can get a tiny feel for what that experience is like in the video, Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes. The quiet environment that Sobeys is offering is their one opportunity to take part in a basic activity that most people do without thinking.
In partnership with autism Nova Scotia, Sobeys originally launched their Sensory Friendly Shopping program in several east coast Canada locations. After a lot of very positive feedback from their targeted audience, as well as many other people, they announced that the program will soon expand across Canada.
Safeway has also begun to implement sensory friendly shopping times, as has No Frills which has gone so far as to ask their employees not to wear scents during that time. Both Safeway and No Frills have also received very positive feedback from their customers and intend to expand their programs.
But the quiet doesn’t stop there. Where else is it quiet?
Theatres like AMC and Cineplex are also screening movies with lower volumes and dimmed lighting which may be more amenable to people on the Autism spectrum.
However, the movie theatres have expanded their target audience further. In some cases, they are also offering change tables, bottle warmers, and stroller parking making it easier for caregivers of babies and toddlers to enjoy movies in the theatre. Now moms, grandpas, aunts, and nephews can bring baby to the theatre without worrying about harming their hearing or annoying the rest of the theatre crowd with the unpredictability of a young one. At these theatres, everyone has informally agreed to the social contract that someone, maybe even their own child, might start screaming or running around at any moment – and that’s okay.
Creating a quiet sensory experience for people on the spectrum or people with babies is an acknowledgment that everyone is different, and that it is possible and appropriate to create retail and service environments where everyone can enjoy an experience. It’s also a reminder of the philosophy that what benefits group of people might actually benefit other larger groups of people.
Sensory friendly supermarkets and movie theatres benefit groups of people who need calm surroundings. For example, around 2% of Canadians fall on the Autism Spectrum, around 2% of Canadians have Alzheimer’s or dementia, about 5% of Canadians deal with anxiety, and around 7% of Canadians experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Having a quiet place for them to shop is an overt display of and respect for inclusion.
Knowing who your consumer is means knowing all of your consumers, not just the majority of people who are able to enjoy your products and services in the same way that you do. And, accommodating for those unique needs means you’ve created opportunities to surprise and delight new, unknown target audiences.
Ready to learn more? Learn how we helped Saint Elizabeth gain a stronger understanding of their target audience and launch a meaningful new brand for healthcare caregivers. Or, download our Triple C™ framework for a template that will help you develop strategies and tactics that are beneficial for the consumer, the customer, and the company.
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Leveraging qualitative for indiginous innovations: flavour innovations by Irene Joshy
- How do i adapt the flavours of the local palette? can i copy paste? is the flavour appealing and authentic? how do i position the brand or variant? need to deconstruct and reconstruct a product
- India has two major brands in the category – lays which is global and kurkure
- pepsi wanted a flavour map of indea, map the flavours and create flavour groups that work across india as well as strong regional flavours
- identify the semiotics, embedded and emergent codes of the flavours in the context of snacking
- wanted a shortlist to test out
- india has 32 regions, 125 dishes, 75 snacks – how do we decontruct this qualitatively
- every dish has a role – staples, accompaniement
- started by mapping flavours
- started with recipes and ingredients, created and mapped clusters – cook books and online receipts, chefs, home cooks, looked for ‘lost in time’ recipes, used snowballing to find grandmothers known in their areas as great cooks and created recipes from their cooking
- got a list of ingredients and links of strength among every ingredient, created clusters of flavours
- client didn’t know what to do with the results [seriously? you need someone to tell you? sigh]
- clusters allowed them to figure out what went with wheat or lentil or potato or rice
- they could choose a base and then the flavour cluster that worked with it and then experiment by adding something fom a different cluster
- created three test products
- look at visual , olfactory, mouth feel, throat feel, overall impression
- gave consumers metaphors to choose from because they don’t have the words needed to describe their feelings
- first prorotype – flavor and emotion, tactile and emotion, colour and emotion
- is it a type of food that it playful, sensual, rebellious, celebratry, subtle, comfort
- the study was viewed as a map for the next five years
- [very interesting talk, i’d recommend finding the paper]
- huge battle for market share in the been category [really? i’ve not seen a single root beer since i got here!]
- ireland is 4.5 million, dublin is 1.2 million, is it really four main cities or just one city
- city dwellers have more income
- city is freedom and opportunity, each city has its own nuance
- tested several different heineken brands – Tiger, Sol, Desperados, heineken
- Cork, dublin, galways, belfast were tested
- had to avoid the stereotype, had to ask about culture without talking about culture, had to let personal experiences emerge naturally, had to have practical use when the research was done
- mediography – inventory of social engagement, bricks and mortor, entertainment
- talked to trend creators – influences, experts, food, fashion, music, art, opportunities for thir party involvement
- cultural brailing – essays on throughs and feeling on culture ingredients, required to take a broad perspective not just going to get a beer
- digital ethnography – looked at people in action, in interactions, in real time through out the city
- creative consumer workshops – went through all the content they collected, and asked people create ideas for brands and events, marketing could watch this happen
- Dublin – cosmopolitcal, diversity, opportunity
- Galway – laid back, wildness, embracing
- belfast – freedom, optimism, fragility
- cork – pride, traditional, banter
- Truth 1 – dublin is humble about its place in the world, loves to see itself as connected and a contemporty of other cities of interest. led to a music plaform – brought the cities of the world to dublin. “heineken sound atlas” Brooklyn an dtokyo have been featured
- Truth 2- belfast is a freedom and where some places were once closed off, jailhouse and courthouse underground connection was of huge interest but unavailable. They created an event in this area. Drove word of mouth.
- Truth 3 – want to be familiar in dublin but also show off new discoveries. “Open your dublin” which meant to go discover your city. Dine in the dark was dinner in a crypt of a cathedral they thought they already knew.
- Truth 4 – feel dublin is creative but it needs support to really see that. you can sponsor an event as long as you respect the location. Sponsored the Tiger Fringe Festival with daring creatives.
- brands grew by 50% or more
- moved from mass marketing to localized decision making