Tesco, Subway, Heinz: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all this week’s marketing news including Tesco’s move into the discount space, ITV’s refreshed strategy and a management restructure at AB InBev.

Tesco ups the ante with Aldi and Lidl

This week it emerged that Tesco is only a few months away from rolling out a discount supermarket chain across the UK.

Jack’s – as it is reportedly going to be called, named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen – is an obvious pushback against the likes of Aldi and Lidl, which over the past few years have been winning market share from the Big Four (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons).

What the new concept value store will look like in terms of branding, price and store layout, remains guarded in Top Secret files over at Tesco HQ. But Tesco must know that Jack’s will need to offer more than just low prices to succeed in an already competitive and crowded grocery market.

Integral to this will be the branding. Get it wrong and Tesco risks cannibalising sales and damaging its image entirely. Get it right and the German discounters might feel inclined to look over their shoulders.

Will Jack’s feel like a standalone store or will there be a cross-over with the main Tesco brand? Will it sell own-label products or Tesco products in-store? Where will Booker and Chef Central sit? Are there opportunities to incorporate Clubcard?

These are questions that will all be answered in time. But when it really comes down to it, Jack’s success lies in the hands of the fickle British consumers.

READ MORE: How Tesco’s new discount chain can compete with Aldi and Lidl

ASA bans Heinz Beanz ad (again)

heinz

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart…But not as good as Heinz is trying to tell us, apparently, with an advert for Heinz Beanz getting banned for the second time in less than 12 months.

The original ad – which tells the story of a man and his new triple-P fitness regime (purpose, progress and protein, obviously) – was struck off by the UK ad watchdog last November for breaching nutrition guidelines. In this instance: comparing the nutritional value of beans to a protein shake.

So Heinz re-jigged the dialogue (one word to be precise) a bit and tried again. Unfortunately for Heinz, this one broke the rules too.

As the ASA explains: “The [ad] did not include any nutrition claims which would allow marketers to make a claim that one food had “as much” of a nutrient or nutrients as another food. We therefore noted that the claim – Heinz Beanz had the same nutritional benefits relating to protein, fibre and fat as a protein shake – was not permitted.”

Heinz said it was “disappointed” that the Advertising Standards Authority decided the edited version wasn’t fit for TV either, but maintains that it met the required standards.

It makes a change that a food brand is in trouble for something non-junk food related, and shows that the regulator is hot on issues not just to do with fat, salt and sugar. In this instance: a baked bean.

READ MORE: Heinz ‘disappointed’ as Beanz TV ad banned again

ITV wants to be ‘more than TV’

ITV unveiled its new strategy this week, which includes injecting £40m into marketing, advertising and its on-demand platform the ITV Hub.

The commercial broadcaster wants to be known for “more than TV” and is fed up with being seen seen as “cosy and traditional” when it has so much “amazing creativity and energy” on offer. By repositioning the brand to appeal to a wider audience, it thinks it can boost viewership by as much as 15 million eyeballs.

Data will obviously be key to this; and so ITV is building a ‘Centre of Data Excellence’, which simply means it is bringing all of its data together in one place.

It makes complete sense and is a wonder the broadcaster hasn’t done it sooner. As well as streamlining the business, it will allow ITV to improve the personalisation of content on the Hub and build deeper relationships with its consumers.

It is clear from Wednesday’s results that new CEO Carolyn McCall is doing all she can to “refresh” the business, so it will be interesting to see how else ITV plans on driving profit from both advertisers and consumers, as well as broadcasters and platforms.

READ MORE: ITV puts focus on brand and data as it looks to be ‘more than TV’

Subway brings global repositioning to the UK

Subway Wraps

In the face of growing global competition, Subway is repositioning its brand and rethinking its products, marketing and loyalty scheme. While the fast food chain is opening outlets in the UK, in the US its has closed more than 1,000 locations as rivals such as Panera Bread attract more customers.

The rebrand is meant to target younger consumers as Subway looks to revitalise its image and sales. New products include a range of wraps, while its look and tone have been revamped and stores refurbished. The Subway loyalty scheme is also getting an overhaul to offer more “exclusivity” and to introduce ‘Sub Squads’, which encourage groups of people to order.

Fast food chains such as Subway and McDonald’s have typically done well in the UK over the past few years, while struggling in the US. Yet Subway faces growing competition in the casual dining market here too. Revitalising the brand and trying to position it as fresher should help it keep up with consumer trends.

READ MORE: Subway rethinks loyalty, brand and product in global repositioning

AB InBev wants to speed up innovation with new CMO role

AB InBev is bringing its marketing and innovation teams together under one leader as it looks to speed up the pace of disruption and take advantage of new growth opportunities.

The shake-up means Pedro Earp, currently chief disruptive growth officer, will now hold the dual role of chief marketing and ZX Ventures officer. Miguel Patricio, previously CMO, will assume a new role overseeing global marketing projects, reporting into CEO Carlos Brito.

Brito says the changes will help AB InBev become more flexible and better able to test new innovations. The idea is that means AB InBev will be better able to respond to trends in the market, making it “more relevant and scalable”.

Flexibility and agility are always issues at big brands, and few companies are bigger than AB InBev since it merged with SAB back in 2016. Trying to be more reactive to trends, especially as consumer tastes evolve, should help the company make better use of its scale.

READ MORE: AB InBev brings together marketing and innovation in new global CMO role

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