Supermarkets vie to promote value for money

Stephan Shakespeare
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WITH the economic outlook still looking bleak and consumers (as shown by YouGov’s Household Economic Activity Tracker) increasingly price conscious it is not surprising that a number of big supermarkets are keen to emphasise their value. Sainsbury’s launched its “live well for less” advertisements on 15 September and Tesco’s “Big Price Drop” campaign came out a week later. With two of the big companies going with similar messages in such a short space of time it is interesting to look at BrandIndex and compare their success.

Both saw immediate rises in buzz after the launch but Sainsbury’s has been successful in building on this, whereas Tesco dropped back almost immediately. Sainsbury’s was at +17 on 15 September and has steadily climbed to +28 this week. Tesco went from +5 to +10 in the first fortnight but fell just as quickly and are now again at +5.

And what of the message that they were trying to convey? The value scores show that neither brand has had much success in shifting its value perceptions; indeed if anything the movement has been downwards, with Sainsbury’s going from +26 to as low as +17 and Tesco from +28 to +22, although both have recovered to some extent over the last week.

A month later Morrisons launched its “Morrisons Millions” campaign – not as distinctly linked to value as the other two but along the same lines. Like Sainsbury’s it has seen a rise in buzz over the two weeks of the campaign (from +16 to +23) but value has dropped slightly from +34 to +30.

So all three supermarkets have achieved some success in creating positive buzz (with Sainsbury’s the biggest winner) but all will need to work harder at conveying a message of value to todays hard-pressed consumers. Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov