‘Here for you for life’ speaks to a fundamental truth about what The Co-op stands for, the principles it was founded on, and what it is that makes it different.
The Co-op is a convenience store and supermarket, it is a bank, an insurance provider, a travel agency and a funeral director, but it is also much more than that.
Built out of communities working together to improve their lot, The Co-op’s raisin d’être is to be there for its members. Not just when they pop in to buy a pint of milk or stock up for Christmas, but all the time, at every life stage.
The Co-operative is not just a brand name for the business, it operates a co-ownership business model – something that very few people actually realise. The previous brand strapline ‘Good for
Everyone’ didn’t actually say anything about The Co-op or what it stands for. It was too broad and too vague.
For a brand and business with such heritage and with such a different set of values to its rivals, The Co-op needs to make sure that people know it stands for something beyond retail.
Marketing messages from The Co-op in recent years has been somewhat scattergun. It was Bob Dylan, It’s been ‘Gud with Fud’, then it was taking over Somerfield, then it evoked a revolution.
Each campaign had its merits and reflected part of The Co-op message but nothing tied it all together.
Feedback about the line to Marketing Week on Twitter have been mixed: @gmarlowe calls it “lame and uninspiring” adding that it probably isn’t going to be true. @therealdaftbear calls it “solid and reassuring” and in tune with the economic and political feeling.
The new strapline is full of potential, but The Co-op will have to work hard to fulfil the truth in it and make sure that it doesn’t become yet another nice sounding, yet empty brand promise.
The mixed reaction highlights exactly what The Co-op needs the new strapline to do. It has to demonstrate why it is different from rival supermarkets, or banks or insurance providers, and how it really will be there for customers for life in a way that other businesses won’t be.
Since joining 18 months ago as group CMO Gill Barr has talked about the importance of raising awareness across its business divisions. Now, with an overarching brand statement it can be more confident and consistent in the way it cross promotes it business and draws consumers back into the co-operative way of life.