“Spar was founded in 1932 by Andrian van Well in Holland”. It continued to develop during the 1930s and later started its expansion across the globe. The growing success of SPAR in the countries where the brand is present is the evidence of a great brand supported by effective brand contact processes and internal marketing as the foundation. Internal marketing is said to be the foundation of a great brand.

SPAR’s growth and its sustainability is based on the below,

Value for Money; SPAR’s “tagline is value for money”. Their goal is to have an aggressive winning price strategy that attract and retain customers.

The Expansion of the brand; SPAR’s international presence is very essential in the brand’s growth. There are currently SPAR outlets operating in 45 countries globally.

SPAR’s Brand Contact

Brand contact refers to any information-bearing experience a customer has with the brand, the product category, or the market that relates to the marketer’s product or service. This is the first touch point which influences customer decision.

To create an impactful brand contact a brand contact planning process should be followed to the latter. There are five steps of this process as suggested by Klopper and North and they are;

  1. All points of Contact
  2. Primary brand contact patterns
  3. Most important brand contact points
  4. Brand Contact cohesion strategy
  5. Managing the brand Contact

Through a commitment to outstanding service and excellence in fresh foods, SPAR meet the needs of all its customers by selling freshness, choice, quality and good service. 

SPAR’S brand contact points

The below are what makes SPAR tick;

Look and Feel; Spar shops are continuously being designed in a way that is convenient to its customers.  SPAR’s look and feel is modernized and refreshed. Almost all SPAR shops have a larger sense of appealing space. Free open space where customers are able to do their shopping freely without feeling pressurized to do quick shopping. All the departments are well synchronized and nicely brandedPromotional banners are well put with visible black writings.

Fig 1…Interior look of one of the many SPAR shops across the globe

SPAR’s Internal Marketing

Internal marketing is the integrated internal management of all activities that directly and indirectly support the satisfaction of customer requirements, especially through employees. Organisations should ensure that employees leave the brand at all times.  They are the first contact point for any brand and as such they should be treated as number one brand ambassadors. SPAR employees have a bigger share in making the brand what it is today.

One of the key enablers of SPAR Strategy is attracting and retaining competent, motivated employees. It is critical in mitigating skills shortages in key technical areas.

Also, building an employee base that reflect demographic base diversity is a crucial part of SPAR’s success. It values the cultural diversity of its consumers and as such SPAR hires mostly who can relate to customers’ expectations. Employees are very much aware of the localized cultural expectation.

Employee Development

SPAR cares about its customers, hence it has invested on employees who take a personal interest in customer needs. SPAR employees are the ones who make great brand contacts through their level of customer service, and that alone grows the brand perception. The commitment to customer service has always been part and parcel of the SPAR brand philosophy. SPAR continues to be relevant in today’s competitive market because of the quality service they provide through their friendly empowered staff.

SPAR’s internal branding initiatives include but not limited to its internal employee development programmes which are run through the SPAR Academy of Learning. SPAR has developed programmes such as;

  • Programme for Management Development
  • SPAR Leadership Development
  • Management Growth Programme
  • Supervisory Development Programme
  • Graduate Training Programme

SPAR also provides various training programmes to grow its internal branding such as first aid training drivers training and many others.

For SPAR to implement any major change in its processes and operations, employees are normally engaged as they value employee consultation very much.  SPAR shows its commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with employees to agree on terms of employment and that would bring about major changes, i.e “a minimum of eight weeks’ notice prior to the implementation of any significant operational change. This is a clear indication that SPAR is very much alive to the fact that unhappy customers are brought about by unhappy employees.

SPAR also have a comprehensive risk management programmes meant to protect the health and safety of its employees. This is one of the many employee branding initiative meant to show how SPAR values its employees as brand ambassadors.

SPAR’s employee recognition is meant to ensure that everyone understands that the customer is king and to also empower them in taking pride in their contribution to the brand.

Where to Improve?

It has been proven that Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is one effective way of making a brand relevant and accepted by targeted audience. This is one area where I am of the view that SPAR needs to do much and to equally distribute its resources. Currently its CSI and sponsorship programmes are not distributed equally in all countries where the brand has foot prints.


Having noted the above, I can confidently conclude by saying SPAR is very effective in its brand contact process and internal marketing. That is what sustained the brand in all the years since inception.


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