The description “badly marketed”, when applied to the ECR Europe initiative, is justified by Alan Mitchell’s response (MW April 30). His alternative description, “the campaign for real brands and real marketing” misses the significance of the initiative.
The issues are “whose brands” and “whose marketing” are the more realistic? Is it the traditional packaged goods or retailer brands that are the consumers’ natural choice?
Using the UK as a reference point, let’s look at some basic data:
First we identify those “brands” with the largest ad spend. Nielsen clearly shows the retailers’ level of spend on their “house” names are higher than any manufacturers’ brand.
Next, let’s think about how the “consumer” might respond to questions concerning which “brand” represents quality, value and delivers satisfaction. The unprompted response suggests that Tesco, M&S and Dixons could be at the “front” of the mind for many people.
The challenges are in understanding the nature of the issues and the intensity of the struggle for the consumers’ “mind space”. In this sense, ECR is a holistic and powerful approach.
ECR is not about simply “dividing the cake,” but about who is “in charge of the kitchen”. This will determine the nature of the offerings. It will also determine the size, and the allocation of the portions, between manufacturers and retailers.