Do you dream of the day when your groceries are delivered to your doorstep?

Whether it be via drone or driver, doorstep grocery delivery is the future.

Twenty-three percent of American households are already buying food online and, by 2025, it’s predicted that 70 percent of consumers will engage with online food shopping according to a new study by Nielson and FMI. Based on the current climate of technology adoption and evolution, The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper estimates consumer spend on online grocery shopping could reach $100 billion.

“The grocery business truly is at a digital tipping point, where every aspect of the shopper’s journey will soon be influenced by digital, and increasingly enabled by digital platforms.” — Chris Morley, President of U.S. Buy at Nielsen

New technology and innovation have enabled companies to disrupt the traditional grocery shopping experience. The companies that have succeeded so far have been hyper-focused on understanding and solving very specific consumer problems. By being the first to the market, technology startups have been able to deliver remarkable customer experiences by offering a new take on grocery shopping and home delivery.

However, as more competition enters the market, the real “disrupters” in the grocery shopping experience game will recognize that their Brand Story must make the customer the “hero” (not the Brand).

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A Brand Story that simply focuses on the functional and rational benefits of speed, convenience, service, value, etc. will be easy to copy and competitive advantages will be tough to sustain in any meaningful way.

Stories should be told from the perspective of target personas and try to tap into specific emotional benefits that build a stronger and more lasting bond between the target customer and the brand.

Here are 3 examples of brand stories that begin to transform the way we think about food delivery and grocery shopping (while making the customer the hero):

1. “Superhero Stephanie Feeds Family of Five”

As a busy mom of 5 teenage athletes, Stephanie’s days are filled with working her full-time job, providing transportation to kid’s activities, preparing lunches, washing laundry, paying bills, picking up dry cleaning, making sure everyone’s uniforms are clean, and keeping a kitchen (and van) stocked with food for five growing boys. Stephanie has been a superhero during her children’s entire hockey season always remembering snacks, bringing Gatorade, offering transportation. A project at work is making Stephanie make a hard decision — bring snacks and miss the championship hockey game or skip the snacks (and let down the team) to see her son play. She calls her oldest son to break the news and he laughs, “Mom! You can do both. Just use Instacart, duh.” Stephanie goes to Instacart’s website and instead of just placing the order for the hockey game snacks, she’s inspired to order the entire week’s groceries. This is a complete life-changer! Stephanie, like a true Superhero mom, decides to do something for herself. Determined to have Michelle Obama arms, she signs up for Pure Barre exercise classes and feels on top of the world.

2. “Nick’s Nightly Nosh and Netflix”

After working 12 hours a day, Sara comes home completely exhausted and starving. Nick, who arrives home shortly before, usually prepares himself for the million-dollar question while praying it doesn’t start an argument. “What do you want for dinner?” It’s a question that had become a nightly stress point since they are both too exhausted to cook dinner or go to a restaurant. Sara loathes eating unhealthy and has been more vocal about it than usual. Tonight is different — Nick is waiting at home with a fresh, chef-prepared meal that was delivered earlier that day by a cool new service he found called Freshly. When Sara arrives, she is completely blown away by the freshly-prepared dinner and they enjoy the first relaxing night together in a long time. Now, when Sara comes home, Nick has dinner waiting every night, there are no more arguments about what to eat, and they use their extra time together to watch a new series on Netflix. Sara is so impressed with Nick that she surprises him with Opening Day tickets to his favorite baseball team.

3. “Dolly and Dan Dodge Divorce”

Dolly and Dan love to cook together but they both have busy careers and they can never find time to grocery shop. It’s a real chore – and it’s become a point of stress in their lives. They frequently argue over the shopping duties and they end up spending a lot of money to eat out during the week. Dolly heard about a new service called Blue Apron from a friend of hers. Now, she and Dan sit down on Saturdays and plan out their menus together online for the coming week. All the fresh ingredients and recipes for 5 meals, everything they need, is delivered on Monday and then Dolly and Dan enjoy cooking together after work each night. They love to try different things and they find this is a great way for them to wind down and reconnect after their busy day. Dolly and Dan’s friends are so impressed that they are able to juggle such busy lives and still have quality time to spend together every day. Dan used to hate the fact that they wasted a lot of food each week because they often had to purchase larger quantities of ingredients than they needed. But Blue Apron’s portions and ingredient quantities are exactly what the couple needs. Dan feels like they’re saving a ton of money by eating at home, so he’s planning to surprise his wife with a weekend getaway to her favorite resort.

Before venturing into the world of ecommerce and on-demand delivery, it’s imperative that retailers master their brand story, align their brand strategy, and ensure the correct systems are in place. The brand story must be at the core of everything you do, and it must make the customer the hero.

“Analytics will be key for retailers and manufacturers to understand the digitally engaged food shopper on a deeper level. Beyond unified insights that connect the dots across consumer interaction and platforms, the winning strategy will turn metrics into action steps towards effective digital engagement.” — Chris Morley, President of U.S. Buy at Nielsen

Brick and mortar face significant challenges in identifying the differences in how consumers shop online versus in-store and then unifying the customer journey across all platforms. To learn how to use the Customer BuyWay and bring simplicity, clarity, and alignment to your brand’s story, strategy, and systems, download our latest ebook: Transformational Marketing: Moving to the TopRight.