Supermarket Branding?Do you think any supermarket company delivers on any sort of branding at all? I have Shaw?s, Stop and Shop, Star Market and a slew of local stores in my neighborhood. I couldn?t tell you how any of them are positioned or what their brand identities are? And I?m a pro??
They have truly commoditized their industry. Only one of them, Stop and Shop has stepped out and differentiated. They opened up PeaPod, an online delivery service. I?ve used PeaPod since they?ve opened. Talk about convenience and time savings. I shop online and they deliver everything to the house the next day. Whoopdeedoo!? They are all great at garnishing statistics on your food shopping choices but they all fail at one thing. Branding. None of them care enough to care enough about the customer. Branding is all about making people feel a certain way. How do you feel at a supermarket? You should feel a certain way in a certain store. But I?m sure like me, you don?t.?
Now comes along Fresh & Easy (a new brand from Tesco).
Fresh & Easy stores are only a quarter of the size of the traditional US supermarket, based on the Tesco Express local stores format that has worked well in the UK. Innovations include a ?kitchen table? of freshly prepared hot foods, check-out registers that require customers to scan their own goods and over half of the products sold under Fresh & Easy?s own label.?
“The combination of Fresh & Easy’s smaller stores, self service tills and ready-to-cook meals has direct appeal among U.S. shoppers whose primary concern is convenience,” says Jennifer Halterman, senior consultant at TNS Retail Forward. “There is demand for this type of concept, and we expect other U.S. retailers to be watching Tesco closely for ideas on how to tap into this buoyant market. Fresh & Easy’s smaller store size gives it an ideal formula to replicate quickly throughout the United States.”?
Let?s look at this realistically. So you are going to be making smaller more CONVENIENT type stores huh. Brilliant! Wait, don?t we already have convenience stores? Ah, yup so what?s convenient about ringing in your own stuff? Last thing I want to do is any kind of work! I tried that at a Home Depot and didn?t like it much. And how about ready to cook meals? Wouldn?t a fast food restaurant suit that bill??
Look, when you try to be everything to everyone you get a bunch of crap. And personally that?s what I think is going to happen here. It may be a hit for a while but long term it?s nothing more than a glorified convenience store.
I?ll stick with PeaPod, now that?s convenient! And by the way the only company that clearly is differentiating and positioning themselves. The rest of the supermarkets just sell based on location.?Maybe some smart ass supermarket chain will develop a brand identity around location. Like, come see us because we put stores in areas you drive by. We care about you so we?re centrally located. Don?t go to Shaw?s it?s an extra half mile away come to Location-Mart. How?s that?