Method to NNEasy Snack Madness

Nice N Easy seeking social media engagement with "bracket" promotion

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Greg Lindenberg, Online Editor

CANASTOTA, N.Y.-- Taking a page from the "March Madness" excitement of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc. has created "NNEasy Snack Madness," a promotion that created a bracket-style contest among the many salty and sweet snack brands offered at the retailer's convenience stores.

Seeking "to increase the level of engagement on our Facebook page, grow the number of followers and expand our reach on the platform" led the retailer to introduce "an engaging campaign that would resonate well with our fans that was easy to conduct and not too annoying," Nice N Easy's director of marketing, Jared Sturtevant, told CSP Daily News. It also gives "fans an opportunity to influence the next free offer in an entertaining way."

The Snack Champion will be the chain's next free coupon available to all Facebook users as a thank you for visiting its Facebook page, the retailer said.

Divisions include the Cookie & Cake, Alternative, Salty and Candy. Nice N Easy will post questions on Facebook during the month of March such as "Snack 1 or Snack 2?"

The chain's analyst provided performance data for the divisions, and then its "snackatologists ranked the snacks by both points scored and income earned," said Sturtevant. "The top snacks were clear seeds for numbers 1 through 3, but we had to consider other factors such as historical prominence, clout and reputation as we went deeper into the ranking to ensure we secured interesting matchups for the tournament."

Click on File Attachments below to see the full brackets and brand rankings.

The company said that the promotion is not a contest; consumer comments will determine which snack moves on. Each post will remain open for a minimum of 12 hours.

Involving 32 brands, the rounds are as follows:

  • Round 1. March 6-16.
  • Round 2. Sweet & Salty 16, March 20-23.
  • Round 3. Elite Ate, March 27-28.
  • Round 4. Final Four. March 30.
  • The NNEasy Snack Madness Championship will be held April 2 ("Coincidentally, there is another significant sporting contest being held that same night," Sturtevant said.)

Nice N Easy will watch EdgeRank, an algorithm that determines Facebook exposure, to see how Facebook values these posts, Sturtevant said.

"The first round will be played in eight days over a two-week period. There will be two prime-time matchups scheduled each night at around 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. with a three-day rest period before the Sweet & Salty 16 and Elite Ate and one day off before the final four snacks play for a shot at the title," he said.

The promotion will be promoted using paid ads on Facebook, wall posts, tweets and in-store signs, he said. "We are really banking on some word of mouth advertising being generated as well. Staying in front of our customers in an entertaining way will keep us first of mind will give us an added competitive edge."

Response from vendors and the industry "has been great," he added. "Everyone seems very excited."

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes operates more than 80 stores throughout New York State with executive offices located in Canastota, N.Y.