Tesco, Heineken, Dollar Shave Club: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all the major marketing news this week, including Tesco’s drive to help customers eat more healthily, Heineken’s struggles with ecommerce and Dollar Shave Club’s new business model.

Tesco is integrating Clubcard into its healthy eating mission

Seven in 10 families believe supermarkets can help them make a better choice when it comes to health and nutrition, while 27% agree they get confused about what is healthy and unhealthy.

This is according to Tesco, which says it has been committed to helping people eat more healthily since 1984 when it became the first retailer – it claims – to launch a healthy living range.

Fast-forward more than three decades at the UK’s largest supermarket is now leveraging data from its Clubcard to track shopping habits and see what the triggers are for changing behaviours and convincing shoppers to eat more healthily.

It has even developed a ‘health score’ for every basket sold – with families with children under the age of 10 scoring the lowest.

A quarter of British adults and a fifth of 10- to 11-year-olds are considered obese, with the most common misconceptions about healthy eating being it doesn’t taste good, it is expensive and takes time to cook and prepare. Tesco is trying to show this doesn’t have to be the case.

Like banks are taking more of a stand with mental health and emotional wellbeing, it is the social responsibility of supermarkets to help people – whatever their background and economic means – to make more informed choices about what they put into their bodies.

READ MORE: Tesco uses Clubcard data to help people eat more healthily

Heineken’s ecommerce woes


It’s not often that a big brand admits when it gets stuck – but it was refreshing to hear this week that Heineken is struggling to suss ecommerce out.

In fact, the Dutch brewing company went as far to say it doesn’t understand its shoppers well enough to succeed online – held back by a lack of shared data from retailers, not enough collaboration across the supply chain and within the business, and its own marketers not investing in the right places.

The shift to online is causing headaches for many brands and businesses – from retailers to publishers – as technology drives consumer behaviours to change faster than most can keep up with.

Heineken sees its biggest opportunity in online because people are often put off buying beer in-store because crates are large and heavy to carry. Beer is also an impulse category, so sales might not happen until 30 minutes before a party or event.

Heineken not only needs to be online, but able to deliver to consumers quickly to meet those impulse shopping habits and demands. Otherwise, as Heineken notes, they will just go elsewhere.

READ MORE: Heineken – We don’t understand our shoppers well enough to succeed online

Dollar Shave Club looks to drive frequency of purchase with more flexible model

The men’s shaving market has been more disrupted than most by the rise of the subscription economy. Five years ago innovation was minimal but now online subscription boxes are common and the market is competitive.

Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club is trying to maintain its edge as its subscriber rate slows by changing its business model to be more flexible.

The brand is still gaining subscribers at a rate of 10% a year but pace is slowing so it is now trying to drive up basket size and frequency of purchase by making it easier for people to add a wider range of products to their basket.

In recent years, Dollar Shave Club has expanded its range beyond razors to include products like ‘shave butter’ and beard softener and the brand wants consumers to add these to their regular purchases.

It has not been an easy move, with Dollar Shave Club “fundamentally rewriting” its data management platform as well as shifting its business model.

To highlight the new approach it launched a YouTube spot that saw a diverse range of men, including a drag queen getting ready for a night out, using the products, which it says is also helping it build a brand image.

READ MORE: Dollar Shave Club shifts business model as subscription growth slows

Three ditches hybrid animals in a bid to “grow up”

As an adult, do you resonate with a flying pug or giraffe-flamingo hybrid? Didn’t think so.

Three is ditching its animal hybrids in an attempt to “grow up” and reverse brand rejection as the company looks to become both “premium and playful”. But whether the two can coincide is another question.

Despite wanting to expand its appeal to a high value and mature audience, the mobile network provider’s new campaign doesn’t venture too far from its usual humour-driven approach.

For instance, the campaign titled ‘Phones are Good’ re-imagines pivotal moments in history while attempting to demonstrate how much better things would have been if phones had been available then, which includes Henry VIII’s wives avoiding execution thanks to Tinder.

The company says it has 39% brand rejection among high value millennials and is looking to turn that around.

“We have a perceived reputational issue. We have a high brand rejection among high value customers,” Three’s CMO Shadi Halliwell told Marketing Week. “While there is a perception out there, it is terribly unfair because it’s not a truth about who we are as a business.” 

But will this approach be successful in reversing brand rejection? Only time will tell.

READ MORE: Three looks to reverse ‘brand rejection’ with ‘premium and playful’ campaign

MoneySuperMarket’s change of focus from ‘revenue to relevance’ will help drive long-term engagement

Moneysupermarket Action Man marketing campaign

Price comparison site MoneySuperMarket has stopped focusing on driving revenue. It may sound like the brand has lost its mind, but by choosing to focus on relevance instead it has been able to improve customer experience, which in turn has increased revenue.

Two years ago the brand sent 800 million emails to customers, all of whom received the same message no matter whether it was relevant to them individually or in the context of why they engaged with the brand in the first place.

“Can you imagine talking to everyone in a football stadium and having exactly the same conversation? We were doing that 40 times over and two to three times a week,” says chief customer officer Darren Bentley, who likens it to “throwing enough mud at the wall in the hope some of it sticks”.

The problem was that some of it was sticking. So while the strategy was driving revenue, it was also irritating customers in the process. Imagine using the service to buy a credit card and then being inundated with home insurance offers.

MoneySuperMarket now only communicates with people when there is a clear signal they might be interested. A shift that helped it boost CRM-driven revenue by 12%, while also sending 200 million fewer emails in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Communicating with consumers in a relevant and timely manner means MoneySuperMarket has the opportunity to be seen as a help rather than an annoyance. Providing useful information about a product the consumer is actually in the market for not only makes people feel more favourably towards the brand but it also means they’ll be more likely to convert.

It seems simple to only contact consumers with relevant information when they are ready for it but so many brands get it wrong.

READ MORE: MoneySuperMarket drives growth by switching focus ‘from revenue to relevance’