We set up the Co-op Member Voice team to, well, give Co-op members a voice. We’ve been engaging with members both online and in their communities in many ways. We’ve asked them to ‘join in’ and talk to us about their favourite pizza toppings, we’ve arranged community dog walks and we’ve done an awful lot of baby talk!
By speaking and listening to our customers and members, we’ve got a better chance of both meeting their needs and giving them what they’d like.
One of our first Member Voice engagements was when we gave 100 active members in Holmfirth 6 bottles of wine so they could host their own wine tasting event. We asked for their thoughts and used their recommendations and tasting notes in point of sale material in the Holmfirth store. All 6 types of wine saw an increase in sales when the member testimonies were seen by customers.
One of our most popular opportunities was when we asked members about their favourite local real ales. Over 900 members waxed lyrical about their favourite local tipples and you can see what we learnt on the main Co-op blog.
Try the beer, write the tasting notes
We had a big response to these opportunities so in January we invited 100 members to taste 3 brand new, not-even-in-the-shops-yet, Co-op own-brand beers: IPA, Triple Hop and Golden Ale. We asked members to taste them and tell us what they thought for the chance to see their tasting notes on the labels.
It’ll be interesting to see if members and customers react to the member comments on the packaging keeping in mind the successes of the Holmfirth wine trial on local wine sales.
Beer sampling on social
As you can imagine it didn’t take long for the 100 cases to get snapped up. Members were thrilled to be asked to taste and give their thoughts on our new beers and ales and took to Twitter to share what they were doing. You can see some of their tweets by searching #coopjoinin.
The 100 tasters then filled in a survey about the beers and the Beers, Wines and Spirits team chose a comment about each beer that would be printed on the corresponding bottle.
The Golden Ale tasting notes were from Michael Gibbons, a Co-op member from Luton.
Sam Dineley, a Co-op member from Bristol wrote the Triple Hop tasting notes.
And the IPA comment was from Tom Packman, a Co-op member from Essex.
A meet-up in a brewery
We invited the 3 members whose notes were chosen to Frederick Robinson’s Brewery where we make and bottle the ales. After a full brewery tour, we were taken to the bottling plant to see the Triple Hop bottles coming down the line and being filled and packaged ready to head to our Co-op Food stores. Then we tasted some of Robinson’s customer favourites, along with the fresh off the line Triple Hop.
The Co-op ales go on sale in our Co-op Food stores on 13 March and our members’ voices are shouting loud and proud from the label!
You can join in with a Member Voice opportunity by logging into your Co-op Membership account.
If you’d like to become a member you can sign up for membership. Join us!
Visit drinkaware.co.uk for the facts about alcohol.
Member Voice team