Every Little Helped
Posted by Giles Lury on April 20, 2012
Comment on this article
As someone who used to do their main shopping in Tesco and used other supermarkets for top-ups, but who has now switched to another brand for my main shop and relegated Tesco to one of my other top-up options, I feel well placed to give both a professional and personal view on why they have gone off the boil in the UK.
Tesco at their best for me epitomised what a good brand should have – a central core but a multiplicity of initiatives, innovations, ideas and actions; their recognition that for many people the supermarket is a necessary chore and that anything and everything, however small, you can do to make it better for me, the shopper, is welcome.
For years they did this – improving their stores, improving the car-parks and introducing family and toddler spaces, improving the quality of their products, allowing me to give something back to my local community with “computers for schools”, helping with queueing whenever they could by opening other tills, giving me premium and value options, introducing a loyalty card which gave me back something I could actually spend on what matters to me – every little helped and all those “littles” added up to a lot. It made Tesco leader of the pack and the constant innovation help keep them there
In recent times, however, while they have seemed to have one central core, it is a new core and they appear to have focused on it to the exclusion of just about everything else – to paraphrase Tony Blair it appears the three most important things for Tesco are value, value and value.
Now times are tough are and budgets are tight (even for those of us working in marketing) but Tesco seemed to have forgotten that whilst really important, price isn’t the only factor that affects where we choose to shop; otherwise why hadn’t we been shopping in Aldi or Lidl?
Other supermarket brands had been following Tesco where they led, but now in many ways it is the other supermarket brands that have been taking the lead in initiatives and innovations… whilst still being concerned with price too. For example, Waitrose may have introduced their Essentials range but have also focused on local producers, and have re-gained the lead in recipe suggestions and inspirations using Delia and Heston to good effect.
Tesco has announced its £1 billion plan to re-establish growth, and I wish them well, but from what they have said it sounds a little too much like they are planning to play catch up -not planning to re-establish themselves as leaders.