How Greggs vegan sausage roll stormed social media and helped dramatically change the retailer’s results.

When there is so much dismal news for retail, it’s interesting to compare how shares in Greggs hit an all-time high on the back of some brilliant marketing and good trading figures.

This is a fast turn around from the spring when Greggs issued a profit warning after the freezing “Beast from the East”  dented sales.

The launch of a vegan sausage roll and a clever Christmas lights stunt have propelled Greggs into the headlines. In both cases, the marking offers a blueprint for other businesses to follow.

Here is a business that only sells offline using social media to deliver in-store footfall and sales – at scale.

Pre Christmas, Greggs leveraged their location opposite Fenwicks’s Christmas window to generate publicity through social media by reversing their facia sign to show the reflection of their sign “the right way”.

Cheeky Greggs reverses shop logo to capitalise on Fenwick’s Christmas window display

 However, their marketing campaign for the Vegan Sausage Roll fuelled by the debate over whether the vegan product could be called a sausage roll at all – has been heralded  “a master class in public relations” by the industry magazine PR Week.

The BBC reported that the Youtube advert parodied the tone of an iPhone commercial and garnered five million views on social media. Their media relations even garnered a response from Piers Morgan, presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, said: “Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns.”

Greggs reply to Piers Morgan

Neil Knowles, the company’s Digital Brand Communications Manager told the BBC, “Whilst we always anticipated it to be huge news we never expected the reaction to gain as much momentum as it has done. And while we love a good conspiracy theory, we don’t have any relationship with Piers Morgan.”

See the full article from the BBC : Greggs: How its vegan sausage roll stormed social media

Both Greggs campaigns from inception to execution demonstrate how businesses that have physical products can leverage digital channels to deliver significant footfall and sales.

Greggs Rank 38th in the Maybe* index of over 160,000 business locations.

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