Tesco has had a challenging year, with lower UK supermarket profits and a huge write-down planned for its ailing US Fresh & Easy chain.
Now an updated marketing plan, 'Building a better Tesco', aims to put the powerful retailer back on track towards future growth through a focus on six key elements:
- Service & staff - Using internal marketing, Tesco asked employees for their ideas and responded when told about broken fixtures or needed resources. 'They wanted to be given the tools to do the job for customers that they really wanted to do', says UK MD Chris Bush.
- Stores & formats - Tesco has already refreshed 300 of its stores, sometimes including not only the interior (see photo of the refreshed Tesco in Whitstable) but also the car park and access roads. It is also investigating expansion possibilities in India, where government regulations require a certain minimum level of local sourcing.
- Price & value - Tesco has put so much marketing emphasis on its low-price policy that some competitors are complaining about misleading messages. Along with some key rivals, Tesco has also reduced petrol prices, making headlines as the summer holiday season draws near.
- Range & quality - Look for additions to own-label ranges in such categories as snacks, soft drinks and ready meals, with more emphasis on high quality.
- Brand & marketing - Perceptions of the Tesco brand are definitely improving, according to YouGov studies, as the company uses advertising to present 'a warmer and more engaging face' in the words of its CEO. The firm also is expanding its F&F clothing brand to standalone, franchised apparel stores across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and beyond.
- Clicks & bricks - Mobile is a big part of Tesco's marketing plan. It has opened a development center for apps, for example, with the goal of serving customers, understanding their shopping patterns, and pinpointing areas for future investment. The company is also mixing clicks and bricks for multichannel marketing convenience, allowing customers who order online or via mobile to pick up their groceries at more than 150 drive-through locations around the UK.