Case study: Asda

It seems that starting a price war pays off. Budget supermarket Asda’s brand value has risen by more than a third from £4.12bn to £5.64bn, moving up seven places to ninth in the Brand Finance UK’s most valuable brands league table.

Asda strategic communications director Nick Agarwal insists that ongoing economic instability and public insecurity means that a value proposition is still crucial to the supermarket sector. He claims: “Our internal data suggests that people are still very nervous about what will happen on the economic front this year.

“We need to make sure we serve new customers as well as those who are still feeling financially challenged, especially with the increase in VAT and public sector cuts that are to come. We are very conscious that value is still going to be at the heart of what people want in the coming 18 months.”

Being a low price champion, not just in groceries but also in clothing, has helped to improve the supermarket’s image over the past year. BrainJuicer’s emotional scoring shows that consumers feel more positive towards the retailer this year, compared with 2009, considering the supermarket to be “good value for money”.

The George clothing brand has become a key part of what Asda offers, claims Agarwal. “It claimed the top spot for volume sales in the last calendar year ahead of Marks & Spencer, Primark and Debenhams. Clearly that shows how positively customers responded to us last year.”

However, an improvement to Asda’s core offering has also had an effect on the retailer’s brand image, he suggests. The supermarket has overhauled the majority of its UK own-label food and drink lines, with an increased focus on locally sourced produce. It also introduced a premium range last year, as upmarket competitor Waitrose introduced its own value “Essentials” line.

“Over the last year we have increased the quality of our food range, particularly what we do from a local sourcing perspective, such as stocking Cartmel sticky toffee pudding in Cumbria or stocking our meat counter in Hounslow from a local concessionaire,” explains Agarwal.

“There is still work to do but we are getting better at tailoring our ranges to the needs of local communities. That adds to a better customer perspective of us.”

To read the full cover story on the top British brands click here

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here