H-E-B Leads New Book Launch to Empower Girls
Before supermarket operations were flipped upside down due to the spread of COVID-19, regional grocer H-E-B celebrated the launch of a new book aimed at empowering young girls, The Nuff, in a big way with an exclusive launch window.
As an early tie-in to March’s designation as “Women’s History Month,” H-E-B led the book launch by rolling out the title — which is about an adventurous unicorn with a broken horn who discovers what it means to be enough (or a "Nuff") — to 310 of its Texas stores weeks ahead of the national launch on March 8, International Women’s Day.
During the exclusive launch window, the retailer adopted various merchandising strategies for the book. In addition to primary placement in the book section, many stores gave the books secondary merchandising space in the seasonal Easter department near plush stuffed animals including unicorns where its pastel color scheme fit right in. Many stores also merchandised the books alongside a slew of other unicorn-themed kids merchandise, such as the unicorn horn head pieces from The Nuff, plush unicorns and Make it Real unicorn tie-blanket DIY kits spotted on a sidekick at one Richmond location or a dedicated endcap in Buda.
About the Book
The Nuff is based on a poem written by Veronica Waldrop, a Texas mom of two who lost her two-year battle to breast cancer in 2017. Waldrop wrote the poem as an ode to her two young daughters to remind them they are bold, confident and enough when she’s no longer able to. She finished the poem before her death, and her husband, Will Waldrop, adapted the poem into The Nuff book.
Stanchion signs, violators, headers and other signage also helped draw attention to the book in stores by communicating Waldrop’s personal story (see sidebar), promoting the book itself and employing the hashtag #SheisaNUFF to help stir social media conversation.
On heb.com, The Nuff landed on the home page with a display ad leading to a dedicated e-commerce page that corralled unicorn-themed SKUs including unicorn mac & cheese SKUs from Kraft Heinz and unicorn face masks from Yes To.
H-E-B also held themed reading events at all H-E-B stores from Feb. 21-23. While execution between stores varied slightly during the events, most store entrances were designated as the reading area and were covered in purple, pink and blue The Nuff decorations.
Some events included a faceless cardboard cutout standee and massive floral arrangements spelling out “H-E-B,” perfect photo-ops for attendees and shoppers. The events also offered freebies, cupcakes and kids activities like coloring. Even store floral departments propped up unicorn-themed decor and items including The Nuff-themed balloons and unicorn-shaped eucalyptus plants.
A Facebook event page supported and provided information on the reading events, so most social media updates from H-E-B and The Nuff’s accounts directed there ahead of the reading events. Multiple features in circulars also plugged the book and the events.
To round out the collaboration, H-E-B is also donating copies of the book to schools, libraries and non-profit organizations across Texas.
NOTE: For the full photo audit from this campaign and more, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 1,700 images and 200 articles of marketing and merchandising activity at H-E-B, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.