Think BR: Every little can help Tesco

By Elly Woolston, brandrepublic.com, Monday, 16 April 2012 08:30AM

Tesco's review of its advertising account is the perfect time for it to work out what it really stands for, writes Elly Woolston, client partner, {united}.

Elly Woolston, client partner, {united}

Elly Woolston, client partner, {united}

At last, Tesco’s advertising is now up for grabs.

It’s about time the brand revamped its messaging, but I can’t help but feel that before it can successfully take on a new advertising agency, it needs to really get to grips with what it strives to stand for in the first place.  

The Every Little Helps campaign has failed to gauge the need for a balance between value for money and quality from the off, and the brand’s messages seem to be a little mixed. 

Tesco’s relentless focus on the Big Price Drop and its decision in February to drop its carbon footprint scheme shows the chain is focused on price and price alone. 

Furthermore, looking at the recent iPad debacle it seems as if it's not doing a very good job at living up to its Every Little Helps slogan, with a failure to put in place a proper customer service strategy.

However, the recent decision to bolster its fresh produce and improve its customer service hints at a desire to change to incorporate quality and deeper-seated beliefs. 

As consumers reach a tipping point on price alone and now want a brand with values and beliefs, Tesco’s marketing and advertising strategy needs to include embedded beliefs to pull out values that are based on more than just the price tag. 

Accessing and successfully using these beliefs can fuel the higher purpose that differentiates them from others in the minds of consumers, building brand loyalty, and hopefully revitalising the Tesco brand.

This is not to say Tesco does not try to show values, it just hasn’t quite got it right yet.

The Tesco for Schools and Clubs voucher scheme attempts to give something back, but I can’t help think maybe it slightly misses the mark as it is not relevant to every shopper. 

Waitrose, on the other hand, gives its customers the choice of what scheme to donate to through its Community Matters token concept. 

Furthermore, the latest of Tesco’s in-store initiatives sees discounts on Thomas Knives: great discounts, but I, like many Tesco customers, fail to see the relevance of this promotion.

Tesco needs to lay out its values and beliefs for all to see and ensure this messaging is streamlined across all advertising and marketing activity. 

The evolution of the Tesco brand needs to be heartfelt and transparent rather than knee-jerk if customers are to be convinced of its benefits.

Every Little Helps is probably one of the best known straplines in advertising history.

Rather than completely scrapping it, Tesco would do well to redefine what this means to a public looking for genuine beliefs over quick-win price promotions. 

After all, every little helps when a brand gets to know itself.

Elly Woolston, client partner, {united}


This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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