Delivering food happiness: Deliveroo reveals its strategy to win in the delivery sector

Deliveroo has a new strategy and brand purpose, as well as a new brand positioning and global marketing campaign, as it looks to move beyond its core market and encourage people to switch in an increasingly competitive market.

When Deliveroo launched in 2013 it was at the vanguard of a burgeoning industry for takeaways. The industry over the past few years has shifted from local Chinese or Indian restaurants running their own takeaway services to tech-enabled companies such as Just Eat and Uber Eats managing the service on behalf of both local restaurants and major chains.

The market is growing rapidly. The NPD Group estimates the takeaway delivery market in the UK alone has nearly doubled in size over the past decade, from £2.4bn to £4.2bn as of February 2018, and is expected to grow by almost a fifth again by 2020.

But with mounting opportunity comes mounting competition both for consumer attention and restaurants’ business.

To combat that increasingly competitive landscape, Deliveroo has had to rethink how it takes its brand to market. To do that, it has come up with a three-pillared strategy and a new brand purpose: relentless pursuit of delivering food happiness.

Emily Kraftman, Deliveroo UK and Ireland’s marketing director, tells Marketing Week how the purpose was developed: “We spent a lot of time talking to consumers and there was this very consistent theme that came through around food happiness. [The idea] that the takeaway is this moment of joy – the anticipation of getting your favourite food or trying something new – and that coupled with trust and reliability give us the best version of our brand.”

This purpose underpins each pillar of Deliveroo’s three-pronged strategy. Firstly, it wants to focus on becoming relevant to “switchers” – consumers already ordering takeaway but from competitors.

The last campaign was ultimately very functional and a literal interpretation of what we do. To achieve the goals we want, we need to be more memorable and distinctive.

Emily Kraftman, Deliveroo

Secondly, the company wants to strike a balance between being a global brand but operating on a local level. Kraftman puts it as “building our national image but winning in every neighbourhood, so big media with local, on-the-ground activation”. And lastly, leveraging selection to ensure it offers the best quality food.

That has led to a shift in ad strategy. Last February, Deliveroo launched its first global campaign, ‘Eat more amazing’, which it said at the time it wanted to be a long-term positioning. But despite increasing consideration and purchase intent, Deliveroo felt it needed to move away from a functional interpretation of its brand and bring more emotion.

READ MORE: Deliveroo launches global brand campaign to encourage people to ‘eat more amazing’

Data from YouGov BrandIndex shows the Eat more amazing campaign did increase consumers’ knowledge of the brand, with its awareness score, which measures if respondents have heard of a brand, doubling from 3.1% to 6.6% of UK Brits. Its consideration score, which measures if respondents would consider using a brand, also increased by a statistically significant 0.9 points to a score of 4.9, while purchase intent was up 0.5 points to 1.1.

However, its brand metrics are still struggling. Deliveroo is near the bottom of list of 48 fast food and pub brands in terms of its overall index score (which includes metrics such as quality, satisfaction, impression and reputation). It scores just -2 on this metric, putting it 46th and behind rivals including UberEats, McDelivery and Just Eat.

Kraftman says Deliveroo was pleased with the outcome of its first global marketing campaign because it raised the brand’s profile. But she admits it is now looking to become more memorable and build people’s love for the company.

She explains: “[The last campaign] was ultimately very functional and a literal interpretation of what we do. To achieve the goals we want, we need to be more memorable and distinctive.”

Deliveroo’s new campaign, launched this week, has a very different look and feel. Rather than focusing on the food it taps into that “food happiness” moment and aims to appeal to switchers.

Called Food Freedom and created with newly appointed agency Wieden+Kennedy London, it features a series of off-the-wall scenes including a young man repeatedly eating the same takeaway until he becomes a futuristic old man.

Deliveroo marketing campaign

Kraftman explains: “When we first started we were hyper-local. Now we’re much more consumer determined so the real focus is ‘whatever it is you want we will have that for you’.

“The image we want to create in the long-term is building on the equity we have to be modern, cool, trustworthy and reliable; having the best selection; and being seen as an everyday choice whether that’s your local kebab house or Indian, as well as all the big chains.”

The brand is also hoping to become accessible to an older demographic and to widen its appeal outside major cities. That made catering to local markets a high priority despite this being a global campaign.

Deliveroo has variations of the campaign for different markets to ensure it is locally relevant. It uses different opening and closing scenes in different regions and varies the voiceovers depending on markets, even within English-speaking countries

“We collaborated closely with the markets with food choices to make sure nothing jarred with the audience and everything was relevant,” says Kraftman.

The campaign will be across TV, outdoor and radio using both traditional and personalised digital radio ads. It will also include online, including new platforms Twitch, Waze and Acast.

Kraftman says it is part of the brand’s ethos to use different and smaller channels. She explains: “We try to invest in the traditional channels we know are really important like TV and OOH but we’re also challenging ourselves to see how we can do better and try new things.

She concludes: “We want to become the definitive delivery company, that’s our north star and long-term ambition. This campaign is a big step on the journey to get there.”