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HOUSTON -- BP Products North America Inc. will make a $500-million investment in its U.S. retail brand over the next two years. At the foundation of its marketing plan is a distinctive fuel offer, improved customer experience and a more compelling loyalty rewards program.
BP's goal is to reclaim the title as the No. 1 fuels marketer east of the Rockies. The company announced the multi-million-dollar investment at this week's 2012 BP Amoco Marketers Association (BPAMA) Convention and Business Expo, an annual gathering of BP marketers taking place in Florida.
“In 2012 and beyond, BP’s commitment to its branded marketers will be second to none in our industry,” said Doug Sparkman, president of BP’s East of Rockies Fuels Value Chain. “Our top-quality fuel offer, improved consumer rewards programs and exclusive energy sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Team USA all point to this year’s convention theme of ‘winning together’ through teamwork and collaboration with our branded customers.”
To achieve a distinctive fuel offer, BP will re-launch BP gasoline with Invigorate this year. A revamped advertising campaign will emphasize the increased mileage benefits of continuous use of Invigorate compared to low-detergency fuels. The integrated marketing campaign around Invigorate will launch in the first quarter and extend through the greater part of this year, the company reported.
The Invigorate campaign will feature a rotation of the company’s first new fuels-related television commercials since 2009. The TV creative, called “side by side,” uses a split-screen to follow the journey of two similar vehicles continuously using different fuels and concluding with one vehicle outdistancing the other due to the “few more miles per tank” benefit from using BP gasoline with Invigorate. The Invigorate marketing plans also include a robust schedule of spot radio, digital support, local public relations activation and refreshed point-of-purchase materials.
"BP's value proposition to consumers is clearer and more relevant than ever,” stated Kevin Phelan, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We’ve invested a lot of time and hard work to ensure that our offers and communications reflect a keen understanding of what consumers truly want and how we can best motivate them to choose BP. We believe our Invigorate campaign will do that in 2012.”
Also during the convention, which concludes today, BP confirmed a March 1 launch date for its new Pump Rewards payment technology. BP said this first-of-its-kind technology will allow its customers to instantly redeem cents-per-gallon rebates by rolling back the price that appears at the gas pump.
The March launch will mark the rollout of several new initiatives that BP marketers can use to leverage the technology. These include the ability to distribute one-time-use rebate numeric codes that can be entered directly at the pump, along with the option to produce third-party direct and bulk promotional cards that customers can personalize for their own site offers.
BP also detailed its plans to launch a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign to support the Pump Rewards program, as well as an aggressive effort to properly train staff across its network. Currently, BP expects to lead nearly 900 training sessions at retail to help educate staff on the Pump Rewards technology and prepare them to support its use and handle consumer inquiries.
In other convention news, BP’s Fueling Communities Grant Program will return in 2012 with even greater application. Last year, the initiative helped donate more than $3 million to 400-plus community organizations that were nominated exclusively by BP’s branded marketers.
This year, the program will continue to offer customers the opportunity to build and strengthen community relationships, but for the first time, it will leverage BP’s sponsorship of the U.S. Olympics Committee and allow BP branded marketers to opt for special activation packages that provide customized resources to support Paralympic Sports Clubs in their regions. Paralympic Sport Clubs are community-based programs developed to support youth and adults with physical disabilities and Paralympic hopefuls by providing an outlet for sports, physical recreation and training.
BP owns the exclusive rights as the official energy sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Team USA through 2016. Convention organizers dedicated time each day of this week's event to rally the company's branded marketers and set the stage for an exciting year of Olympic activity, including an in-person introduction to eight of its nine sponsored Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 10,000 BP- and ARCO-branded retail outlets. It also supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.