Aldi scoops Brand of the Year accolade

From unseating Morrisons to become a ‘big four’ supermarket to claiming its place in BrandZ’s Top 100, Marketing Week’s Brand of the Year has had a year to remember.

AldiAldi has been named Brand of the Year at the Marketing Week Awards, beating off tough competition from Boots, Channel 4, LinkedIn, Sage and Starling Bank to take home the top prize.

The supermarket was awarded the accolade based on a public vote coupled with the views of our judging panel of senior marketing leaders, including Jack Hinchliffe, CMO at KFC, L’Oréal’s chief digital and marketing officer Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, Mark Evans, outgoing marketing director at Direct Line Group and GiffGaff CMO Sophie Wheater.

And it’s not hard to see why when looking at the past 12 months. The German discounter became the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket in September, breaking into the ‘big four’ at the expense of rival Morrisons.

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Benefitting from customers switching amid the cost crisis, Aldi added an extra 1.5 million customers in the 12 weeks to 26 September, growing its total customer base to 14.2 million.

This led to its sales over the 12 weeks to 30 October rising 22.7% year on year, making it the fastest growing supermarket, according to Kantar. The discounter now has a UK grocery market share of 9.2%, up from 7.9% a year prior.

Aldi is a brand that others in the category benchmark against, literally.

Russell Parsons, Marketing Week

The business claims more of its existing customers are consolidating their spend, using Aldi as their only supermarket. As a result, the retailer’s UK sales rose 0.9% to £13.6bn during the 2021 financial year, notching up a pre-tax profit of £35.7m.

In September, UK and Ireland CEO Giles Hurley promised the supermarket would continue to deliver its “longstanding price promise” to offer the “lowest possible prices in Britain”. This relentless focus on price helped Aldi increase its brand value by 20% to $21bn (£18bn), according to Kantar BrandZ, making way for its to return to the Top 100 most valuable brands list this year.

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Committed to ongoing expansion, Aldi plans to open a further 16 stores by the end of 2022 as part of a £1.3bn two-year investment pledge.

Aldi has consistently used marketing to elevate its business. The Kevin the Carrot series of Christmas ads had an instant impact since launching in 2016, helping deliver 1 million new shoppers and a 15.1% sales increase. Crowned Kantar’s most effective festive ad in 2021, the campaign produced Aldi’s “best ever” Christmas trading.

Russell Parsons, editor-in-chief of Marketing Week, says: “Aldi is a brand that others in the category benchmark against, literally. A brand that has broken through in a sector dominated by some of the UK’s best known brands. It’s slavish pursuit of low price and effective marketing communications makes it a brand of the moment. A worthy winner.”