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18 May 2017
posted by: Amanda

WHY do we fixate on branding homogeneity over shopping simplicity? ALDI hits the nail on the head with latest ad


Aldi's latest ad really sums up what is going on for a lot of shoppers in-store right now...

'Don't waste your life choosing' .... is the overall slogan in this ad campaign and pasta sauce the offending category but in reality, Aldi could have chosen any & many categories to make the same point.

Watch it here

An Aldi Australia spokesperson, said: “The truth is that we are able to offer the lowest prices because our business DNA is fundamentally different to our competitors. These differences deliver us savings, that we pass onto our customers, all without compromising on quality. It is not often that we tackle such rational topics in marketing. Fingers crossed, we’ve been able to inform and entertain at the same time.”

The bit that I really like in what Aldi has to say about the ad is underlined above and begs the question WHY do we not tackle rational topics in marketing?

WHY do we make it so hard for time poor shoppers to find what they are looking for and actually buy our products?

WHY do we assume that shoppers have the same expert level knowledge and recognition of our products that we do when they visit the shelf (if we're lucky) maybe once a month?

WHY do we decide on critical things such as packaging in a meeting room with amazing lighting and glossy mock-ups rather than out in store with 15-minutes to spare and screaming kids round our ankles?

stressed mom shopper 595


In short, WHY do we fixate on branding homogeneity over shopping simplicity? Isn't this exactly what shopper marketing is supposed to be about?

Success at shelf is reliant on many factors, but there are three basic & simple steps that any brand can take to hugely increase its chances:

Visit real stores in the real world

If I had $1 for every time I hear busy executives complain about never getting the time to visit stores...But what's really interesting is the lack of connection & importance most place on visiting stores. Nobody I've ever spoken to in the industry would ever dream of launching a new product without tasting it or trying it out yet most executives I talk to launch products, build plan-o-grams and design POS material without visiting a single store to try them out.

What we need to realise is that visiting stores to try out is the shopper equivalent of consuming a product to try it out.

We need to make in-store visits part of our everyday shopper marketing process and put as much focus on them as we do with the consumer side of the equation.

If you're unclear on the message once it's in-store or think it looks like a dog's breakfast - like the real world Carrefour China example below - the shopper will too.

 carrefur china store sale

Set shopper behaviour targets

Set base metrics for shopper as you would for consumer. For example, when a marketing manager launches a new brand, they typically would have key metrics that the brand would need to achieve in order to become viable and remain in the portfolio such as X% market share by X date. The same should apply to shopper marketing managers. For example, reduce browsing rejection at shelf from 5% - 4% with the new plan-o-gram or, increase shopper satisfaction from orange to green at the next category review.

It is an old adage but still works for me, you can't manage what you can't measure and many businesses we work with are not measuring shopper marketing effectively.

Measure what worked with shoppers last time & why

We'd never dream of launching a new brand without measuring it's share, penetration and repeat to measure its success so why do we spend time, effort & resource on designing & implementing plan-o-grams every 6-months without measuring their impact on shopper conversion, behaviour & satisfaction. I'd love to see more brands working with their retailers to trade frequency for effectiveness when it comes to plan-o-grams.

I'd be really keen to hear from you on whether you think we are failing at getting it right for shoppers in-store today and share your experiences of when things have really worked well.

Good luck.