CEO and Co-Founder

Last week high-street bakery chain Greggs reached out to rapper Stormzy to reveal he was the first member of an exclusive “next-level VIP” service for its most famous fans. The invite-only VIP card, which was accompanied by a promotional video describing the benefits, allows the user to order Greggs whenever and wherever they want.

This isn’t the first successful PR stunt from Greggs that has been positively received on social media. Greggs’ vegan sausage rolls and steak bakes have all been held as outstanding examples of a brand marketing aimed at a younger generation.

According to YouGov Profiles data, the majority (57%) of Greggs’ customer base (those who have visited the shop in the last month) are aged 40 and over, with a large proportion of customers aged between 40 and 59 (38%). With a customer base that is skewed towards the older generation, Greggs’ recent marketing strategy is increasingly focused on appealing to a younger generation such as with stunts like Stormzy’s VIP card and releasing vegan goods in order to expand reach.

YouGov Profiles data shows that, of those whose favourite music is rap or hip-hop, 73% of those are aged 18-39. However, the same age group only made up 43% of Greggs customers last month. This shows that if Greggs’ Stormzy stunt pays off it could help to bring steak and vegan bakes to the attention of those who think other takeaways have got too big for their boots.

Similarly, nearly half of all vegans are aged between 25 and 39 (48%) with over a quarter aged between 18 and 24 (27%). Greggs’ veganuary goods were not just a PR stunt but another way of appealing to a large pool of potential, younger consumers.

What’s more, since the release of Greggs’ vegan sausage roll in January 2019, consideration scores (whether someone would consider purchasing from the brand in future) among 18 to 34 year olds have increased by 7.3 points compared to 4.6 points among all Brits, potentially due to increased environmental concerns among this age range.

Of course it takes more than targeted PR stunts to sustainably broaden the demographics of a brand’s customer base, but Greggs’ marketing shows that brands should not be afraid to be bold when trying to reach new customers.

This article previously appeared in City A.M.

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