Tesco marketing will continue to be “broad church”

Tesco will continue to push Clubcard and a quality message in its marketing communications and will not focus purely on price despite cutting its Double Points offer to pay for £500m of price cuts.

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The supermarket has reduced the price of more than 3,000 products including 1,000 of its own brand ranges, and simplified its promotional structure by having fewer offers.

Tesco says the move is in response to customers’ desire for immediate savings as in the face of rising utility bills and falling consumer confidence.

Carolyn Bradley, Tesco marketing director told Marketing Week that “cuts where customers need them” will be a continuing theme but the supermarket will vary the message.

She adds: “We’re a very broad church and talk about a lot of aspects like quality, price, Clubcard, stores and we’ll keep on talking about all those things.”

The supermarket introduced the price cuts at the same time as ending the Double Points Clubcard promotion it introduced two years ago to encourage customers to take up its loyalty scheme and shop with the supermarket.

Bradley adds: “It’s not that Double Points and the Clubcard relaunch didn’t have the right impact, but if you’re a company that believes in doing what customers want and listening to them, you have to believe in changing what you do in response.

“It’s not a body swerve away from Clubcard but we needed to make an adjustment to give customers savings at the till. Two years ago, we thought we might have been out of recession by now, but we can’t call the economy any better than anyone else.”

The Price Drop initiative comes as research from Assosia, which measures supermarket promotions showed that the number of branded products on offer has increased more at Tesco in the past year than at the other major supermarkets.

The level at Tesco has risen to 36.5% at Tesco, up from 34% a year ago while the market average is 34.3% up from 32.5.

The initial reaction to the Big Price Drop has been positive. Tesco’s Buzz rating, which measures public perception, has increased from -2 to 14.9 between 21 and 27 September based on a 2 day rolling average of YouGov’s data.

Its value rating, which measures if consumers think Tesco offers good or poor value, has also increased from 20.1 to 27.9 during the same period.

Tesco’s move is expected to start a fresh price war but Asda, which promises to be 10% cheaper than rivals, has dismissed the Big Price Drop as “spin” and claims its Price Guarantee “ended price wars”.

Read Rosie Baker’s view on the impending supermarket price war

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