Connecting with Consumers to Beat the Competition

Vanessa Toperczer
  • December 15, 2020
  • Vanessa Toperczer
Vanessa Toperczer, VP, Brand and Product Integration at IMI International, discusses the success factors behind Walmart's "Fight Hunger. Spark Change." campaign idea.

Now, more than ever, local food banks need support and Walmart, with their Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign did just that. They started their 2020 campaign as they do, donating millions of dollars to food banks across North America, bringing key partners along for the ride, including Campbell’s Soup CompanyConagra BrandsGeneral Mills and J.M Smucker Company to name a few…and this year they increased their donations from previous years given the increased need driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative was a winner with consumers when we tested it in May, scoring among the best-in-class program ideas of IMI’s North American database. Why so strong?


Especially during this time, people want brands to help. Walmart rose to the challenge with their donation program.

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While direct donations drive impact and Walmart gave millions, don’t feel you have to give millions to do your part to help or make an impact on your brand. There is a point of diminishing returns.


Walmart aligned themselves strategically with what makes sense for their brand offering and what matters to their consumer, in May and now – food security.Our SponsorPulse™ platform confirms that Food Banks and Food Security Causes is the 2nd largest cause platform in Canada (just behind Recycling), engaging with 12M people! It’s the 5th largest in the US, engaging with >96M people. That’s a lot of people!

Relevance is critical for success and manifests itself through engagement and passion.  When 108M people in North America are engaged with what you’re connected to it’s bound to create connections.


They communicated what they were doing, period, and consumers felt it was better than the competition. When you are better than competition it’s one piece of the puzzle to ensure you stand out from the clutter.

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What’s the point?

Build plans on insight to ensure that what you are doing aligns with what is relevant to both your brand and your consumer. That’s the sweet spot for a strong connection. Consider what you need to spend to be effective. Learn from what’s out there to efficiently build communication that you know will work vs starting from scratch.

If you’re going to say something make sure that it’s relevant, compelling and better than competition so it stands out in a crowded space.

That’s the winning combination.