FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) is turning to a new method of improving operations at its stores. The company announced plans for Marathon Insight, a mystery shopping program that is designed to monitor and enhance the retail customer experience.
The move reflects the company's commitment to quality and reliability, according to John Rice, manager, brand marketing at Marathon Petroleum.
"Customers are central to everything we do including marketing our branded fuels," he said. "We aim to make visits to our retail stations as customer-centric as possible. To do that, it is vital that we have accurate and reliable feedback in order to know what we are doing right and what we can enhance."
To build the Marathon Insight program, MPC is partnering with Ipsos Channel Performance, a worldwide research company. Ipsos provides customer insights in the form of site evaluations, effective feedback and analytics.
"Ipsos Channel Performance is honored to be chosen as Marathon's retail customer experience and brand standards measurement partner," said Christopher Koetting, senior vice president at Ipsos channel performance. "As the largest provider of mystery shop and site audit solutions in the convenience and mobility space, Ipsos will leverage deep experience and expertise to ensure Marathon's stakeholders not only receive timely and critical insights to drive site-level action, but also the consultation and thought leadership to inform and support strategic decision making."
A QUALITY LOOK TO MATCH QUALITY FUEL
The announcement of Marathon Insight comes a month after the company unveiled a new image for its branded gas stations. On June 13, MPC shared the look that it expects to represent its retail brand into the next decade and beyond.
"Remaining true to our heritage, you will still see the familiar red, white and blue colors reconfigured into a bolder, more contemporary design," Rice said. "Updated dimensional elements such as a retooled logo, channel letters and illumination will capture attention both day and night. The new image also features 'Endurance Fuels' to underscore Marathon's enduring commitment to provide consumers with high-quality fuels."
As part of the development process, Marathon will test the new look this month at three prototype sites in Findlay. It will announce a full launch plan by August.
According to Steve Solomon, director of brand strategy and innovation at MPC, the new image provides a brighter, more modern look that emphasizes the company's commitment to quality and reliability with space for further innovations.
"Brand marketing is a key component of Marathon's go-to-market strategy, and this new image is just the beginning of more innovations to come," he said.
Based in Findlay, Marathon Petroleum Corp. is an integrated, downstream energy company. It operates the nation's largest refining system. The company's marketing system includes branded locations across the United States, including Marathon brand retail outlets.
Marathon Petroleum also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP, a midstream company that owns and operates gathering, processing and fractionation assets, as well as crude oil and light product transportation and logistics infrastructure.