With the intent of growing and expanding its retail business footprint, integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol is adapting its processes to best suit consumer needs.
Sasol retail and corporate affairs VP Mohamed Carrim states that enhancing the consumer offering forms part of the basis for business.
“Personalised engagement is the foundation on which Sasol builds its success within its retail portfolio. Sasol continues to explore various innovative programmes to expand its emotional connection with consumers, which will therefore increase loyalty of existing customers and entice new patrons to our retail sites. This, thereby, cements our strategy to enhance our consumer offering,” Carrim notes.
Additionally, he notes that consumer needs are constantly evolving and it is imperative, as a retailer, to adapt to these changing consumer needs. Carrim states that the means that Sasol intends to employ to meet these consumer needs is to develop a cutting-edge approach that will enhance retail site formats to next-generation stores.
“By creating differentiated concepts, Sasol can enhance the overall customer experience. To achieve this objective, the company needs to adapt to changing demographics and technologies such as e-commerce, robotics and mobility. This diversification focuses on both fuel and nonfuel concepts. A compelling contemporary retail value proposition would address diverse and changing consumer needs and therefore optimise Sasol’s retailer profitability.”
Further, he mentions that, in today’s fast paced world, consumers value convenience. It is for this reason that Sasol intends to add to the convenience that is offered at its forecourts. “Convenience centres at forecourts have become important aspects of the value proposition. Sasol retailers are at the forefront of its engagement with consumers as it offers valuable insights into their communities. Consumers are shifting behaviours, with convenience weighing heavily as a motivating factor in decision-making in a time- constrained environment.”
With the need and expectation of 24-hour convenience year round, Sasol retailers aim to create a personalised and digitally connected platform where the consumer can draw cash, shop for groceries, pay accounts and order a variety of healthy meals for their family.
“In response to the discerning and evolving convenience shopper, Sasol focuses on segmentation to ensure that retail offerings are finely tuned to the consumer’s needs. In an increasingly competitive environment, challenging economic growth and, with the ever-rising cost of living, it is pivotal that we understand our customers and their needs.”
Carrim also emphasises the importance of franchisees and the role that each franchise owner plays, along with the entire forecourt staff, as brand ambassadors. This vital role not only has the ability to significantly increase the volumes sold at each site from between 280 000 ℓ and 450 000 ℓ a month, but it also has the ability to make the brand come ‘alive’.
“It’s important that we keep our retailers and franchisees happy. The manifestation of our brand, which is all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations, is embodied through our network. So, if they’re happy, we’re happy,” Carrim enthuses.
Accolades and Awards
In addition to encouraging brand growth internally among forecourts, Sasol has also won a number of accolades and awards.
In 1991, Sasol launched the Super 100 ‘Glug-Glug’ TV commercial in South Africa.
“As confirmed by research conducted by renowned advert tracking agency Milward Brown in 2010, it was established that this was South Africa’s most-liked ad for the past 25 years. This advert still tops global leading research, data and insights organisation Kantar’s Best Liked Ads of all-time list,” Carrim boasts.
The “this isn’t just any fuel. This is Glug-Glug” fuel campaign advert was voted the number one advertisement for the second quarter of 2019, as announced by Kantar.
“Kantar’s Best Liked Ads list celebrates South Africa’s favourite TV commercials, as rated by South African audiences. Kantar challenges consumers to consider the three pillars of a strong brand which are: the saliency of the brand, if consumers can recall the brand and if the brand has a unique meaning for all the people that it serves. The TV adverts that South Africans have chosen as their best liked for Q1 and Q2 demonstrate expertise in all three areas,” Carrim explains.
Sasol also placed second at the recent Ask Afrika Orange Index 2019 Awards in the Petrol Station Industry category.