The ads state: “Step into middle England’s best loved department store, stroll through haberdashery to the audiovisual department where an awfully well brought up young man will bend over backwards to find the right TV for you.”
Followed by the self depreciating tag line: “Then go to Dixons.co.uk – the last place you want to go.”
The ads, seemingly targeting John Lewis among others, have understandably split opinion and have been branded a “silly move” by commentators on marektingweek.co.uk. It has even been suggested that the Dixons faces the same problems experienced by collapsed retailer Woolworths by one of the posts.
To some the campaign screams desperation, but I think what Dixon’s is doing with its latest advertising campaign should be given a bit more credit.
It’s commendable that Dixons is proving how self aware it is of it’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.
Dixons is proving it’s aware of how consumers are shopping. Consumer behaviour has changed rapidly in the past 12 months and it’s no secret that many research big ticket items in stores such as John Lewis and then scour the internet for the best price to make their purchase.
Everyone knows John Lewis gives tip top service, something Dixons can’t compete with as it no longer has the face to face contact with shoppers it had before becoming a purely online retailer in 2006.
What it can compete on is price.
However, it’s difficult to pull of this kind of tactic without reminding people that you really are “the last place you’re want to shop.”
There is always a risk that this kind of tactic will further damage the brand. Instead of reassuring customers that it is improving its service and building its reputation, Dixons seems to be resigning itself to the fact that it’s famed for offering shoddy service and a dissatisfying shopping experience.
A tongue in cheek campaign like this might be better received from a retailer with slightly stronger credentials than Dixons has.
But at least it’s gotten people talking about it.