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i2C at five: Highlights from our fifth birthday celebration

5 years ago, we launched insight to communication (i2C), a data-driven marketing agency giving Sainsbury’s branded suppliers unprecedented access to customer data and communication channels, helping our clients to understand and influence shopper behaviour more effectively than ever before. On 15 March 2018, colleagues from i2C and Sainsbury’s got together with our Sainsbury’s supplier clients to celebrate our 5th birthday.

Hosted by i2C, the event took place at The Trafalgar Roof Top bar in central London, and celebrated the achievements and successes of the business over the last five years. Mike Coupe, Paul Mills-Hicks and Mark Given were amongst the guests and Mike gave the room his thoughts on the last five years:

“Five years ago none of us would have anticipated how successful i2C would go on to be. I can’t wait to see what can be achieved over the next five years.” Mike Coupe, CEO at Sainsbury’s

Our CEO Susie Moan reflected on the client, capability and people successes since launch. Over the last five years i2C has worked with over 450 clients, and this year alone we added 110 new clients to our portfolio, supporting Sainsbury’s strategy of distinctiveness. We celebrated with those who have been partnering with us from the very beginning, such as Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo and Mondelez, alongside those who are new and distinctive suppliers to Sainsbury’s, such as Califia Farms, Northern Dough co and KiddYum.

“We have been working with i2C for the last five years, helping us put the Sainsbury’s shopper at the heart of what we do. Last night it was great to catch up with the i2C teams and old i2C colleagues we have worked with, as well as meet new colleagues from across the industry.” Claire Barley, Shopper Marketing Manager at PepsiCo.

On the night we showcased some of the work we’ve delivered over the years. At i2C one of our specialities is creating deep shopper insights, helping clients know Sainsbury’s shoppers better. Our insight capabilities were recognised with, for example, the large scale Category Insight Partnership with GSK that has supported Range Reviews in the Health Care Category and the creation of Customer Segmentations to drive Sainsbury’s category strategy in Dental. In the last five years we have trained more than 1,500 clients on how to analyse their shoppers themselves using our market leading customer data tool, Self Serve. In fact, Self Serve has executed an enormous 1.5 million reports in the last five years, helping i2C, our clients and Sainsbury’s know their customers better than anyone else.

Our clients also helped us bring to life some of our capabilities on the evening. Working with REL we were able to replicate in store theatre by sampling our clients’ products: Off The Eaten Path healthy snacks from PepsiCo and premium chocolate from Nestle L’Atelier and Pladis Godiva.

To demonstrate our communications achievements, we presented our recent Tropicana Little Glass campaign, which aimed to combat negative press related to sugar in orange juice. The campaign achieved over 10% sales uplift for Tropicana, uplift in new customers to the brand of 40% alongside 4% growth for the Sainsbury’s category. It also won us a nomination at this year’s Loyalty Magazine Awards. Since we launched over five years ago we planned over 7,000 media campaigns for the brands we work with.

When we launched there were just 75 colleagues working for the business. Fast forward five years and we now have 114 on the payroll. We pride ourselves on our innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial culture, and it was a delight to pay reference and appreciation to the 20 colleagues who helped launch the business five years ago and have been contributing to our success ever since.

In a nod to our team culture and innovative spirit we used the birthday event to kick off our Sport Relief fundraising efforts. Our aim was to cycle from the Sainsbury’s Store Support Centre in London to Sainsbury’s Nairn store, their most Northern store in The Highlands. We had bikes set up on the evening with colleagues cycling and raising money, and on that evening alone we managed to get from London to Luton. By Friday 23rd March we’d reached our target and cycled all the way to Nairn.

i2C has come a long way in five years and achieved a huge amount in a relatively short time. We are hugely excited about what the next five years, and beyond, will bring for i2C, Sainsbury’s and our clients.

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