Lots of interesting news about supermarkets over the last week have grabbed my attention.
One piece is about how customer perception of the value offered by Tesco has plummeted in the past year. This is despite its aggressive price based marketing strategy to appeal to customers feeling the effect of the economic squeeze. YouGov’s Brand Index Score, which measures how customers rate the brand in terms of impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and whether they would recommend it, has suffered the biggest fall of the Big Four supermarkets in the past 12 months.
It seems clear then that even in an economic downturn, customers want more than just competitive prices. Our recently released spaceID research on the big six supermarkets demonstrates this is the case. It shows that each supermarket must deliver on shoppers desires around ‘community’ and ‘pleasure’.
This research is one reason why I was so pleased to read Mary Portas report on the roles that large retailers can play in facilitating local communities. But what I find really interesting is that some supermarkets are already doing this. Morrisons has just opened a store in St Albans that it says is one of a new breed of Morrisons stores dedicated to delivering to the specific needs of people living locally. Even over the last day or so, local papers have given examples of Sainsbury’s working with local schools and sports clubs to raise money and give away Christmas gifts.
It seems there is a discrepancy between what some supermarkets are doing to facilitate communities, and the image they actually have. If I were working at one of these supermarkets, I would be escalating working with local communities, and I would shout a little more loudly about it.