Packaged goods companies aren’t the only ones that can profit from added attention to superconsumers. Several years ago we worked with a U.S. hardware store chain (unnamed for reasons of client confidentiality) whose sales were lagging. Its superconsumers were do-it-yourselfers making low-cost home improvements, such as replacing light fixtures. In analyzing how to increase sales among them, managers focused on paint—a high-margin product that is part of many DIY projects, an easy way to spruce up a space, and a purchase for which customers appreciate the kind of advice and personal service that’s hard to get at a big-box store.
The retailer reworked its paint merchandising and marketing to be more inspiring. For example, it created “idea cards” and began offering sample jars so that customers could try out colors at home for little cost. These initiatives succeeded, and not just among superconsumers: Paint sales rose 14% the following year.