TOWARDS the end of last year I discussed in this column how 2011 had seen Tesco’s brand perception scores fall throughout the year.
As we would expect to see, perceptions proceeded sales. Tesco’s January announcement that its sales had dropped led to a sell-off that knocked around 100p from Tesco’s share price.
This is a shock from which the supermarket has yet to recover, with the stock closing yesterday at 327p, compared to highs of 405p a year ago.
With Tesco’s Christmas 2012 advertising campaign launching last week, I’ve taken a look at YouGov’s BrandIndex to see how Britain’s biggest supermarket has performed in the public’s eyes over the course of this year, and what it will need its campaign to achieve.
THE STRUGGLE TO BOUNCE BACK
The steady decline throughout 2011 in Tesco’s Index score (a composite of six key image measures) continued in the early months of 2012.
The +32 score of January 2011 had become +15 by May 2012, and Tesco fell from second top to last place among Britain’s big supermarkets.
In some sense things have improved since then, with signs that the decline has halted, but the recovery has yet to begin. The downward line has become a straight one, but Tesco remains in last place.
CUSTOMERS SEE A SLIDE IN VALUE
Value was the key attribute that Tesco previously owned, but its edge has diminished.
At the start of 2011 Asda overtook Tesco to claim top spot for best value, and by early 2012 Tesco’s line had crossed all of its big rivals to leave it in the bottom spot with a Value score of +16 (down from +40).
The Value score typically moves around more than overall Index as it reacts to campaigns and promotions, but we can discern a slight trend upwards with the latest score at +21.
Tesco has managed to stop the bleeding, but needs to do much more to regain lost ground. It will look to its Christmas campaign to start the rebuilding process and we will be watching closely in 2013.
Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov