Circle K is an international chain of convenience stores, founded in 1951 in El Paso, Texas, United States. It is now owned and operated by the Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard. Today, it is present in most of the 50 U.S. states, all Canadian provinces, and a number of European countries (Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden). In Asia and Latin America, the brand is used by franchisees.
Back in 2015 when our cooperation started, there were no Circle K stations along the Swedish roads. Instead there was Statoil: a popular and well-known brand. Our first mission was to change their current printed menu boards to digital ones. That mission developed into something much bigger.
We started with a comprehensive, strategic work, including site studies, workshops and interviews with staff as well as customers. Our insights led to a change of structure – for example we found a new way of showing their wide range of products; highlighting different items and helping the customers to make decisions.
One of Circle K’s focus areas was their food offer. They wanted to become “famous for food”, and had convenience and high quality as their catchwords. With those words in mind, we developed a customized craving concept.
Except from the menu boards, we have the Coffee zone and the Carwash zone. Carwash is a natural part of petrol stations, although the washing itself is rarely a spontaneous decision. Therefore, we created content with a more informative touch. Although, to strengthen the perception of Circle K as a great choice when actually making the carwash decision, we made the world’s first premium carwash craving.
Today we have our digital signage solution running in more than 100 Swedish Circle K stations, and in Q1 2018 it will run in 180. We also work on an international level; in the Nordic region we have our carwash solutions in Norway and Denmark. Q1 2018 there will be a total of about 140 Norwegian and Danish stations.
Circle K’s goal of becoming the best food provider along the road is a question of perception. An independent survey company have been making extensive brand surveys, which includes investigations of the difference between digital and printed menu boards – and the answers are unison: We can see a huge increase of both brand and food perception.