Vancouver-based integrated communications agency Hot Tomali has launched an online retail training community called Cheddar Labs (www.cheddarlabs.com). This website rewards retail sales associates with prizes and branded SWAG in exchange for training on the products they sell. The program is free to sales associates, and is funded by brands and product manufacturers.
Over 10,000 retail sales associates have already joined, and the community is growing quickly. These site members represent almost 4,000 store locations in North America and more than 85 retailers, including Best Buy, Future Shop, Apple Store, Target, Staples, and Walmart.
“Cheddar Labs is a powerful marketing channel for brands,” said Thomas Stringham, Hot Tomali's Founder & Creative Director. “Manufacturers now have a direct line of communication with the retail associates on the front line. Electronic Arts already has training hosted on Cheddar Labs, and several other innovative retail brands currently have labs in development.”
A survey of Cheddar Labs users found that sales associates are highly motivated to learn more about the products they sell. Survey highlights include the following:
- 95% of sales associates feel that Cheddar Labs increases their product knowledge.
- 81% of sales associates feel that Cheddar Labs helps them sell more products.
- 99% of users report telling their colleagues about Cheddar Labs.
“It's an adaptive solution that's designed to effectively train any vertical market, including technology, apparel, food and beverage, automotive, and healthcare,” said Thomas Stringham. “Our administrative tools make creating and updating content easy, so that marketing and communications teams and their agencies can manage materials directly.”
Winner of Ad Age’s 2010 International Small Agency of the Year award, Hot Tomali is an integrated communications agency guided by ideas — not mediums. Every project is approached individually to tailor innovative and thought-provoking communications that are specific to their client’s audience. To learn more about these services and to view Hot Tomali’s online portfolio, visit www.hottomali.com.